Conscientious Objector Policy Act is Unhealthy
Legislation would give doctors the right to deny medical services to GLBT individuals based on "moral" beliefs
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The following is a statement from Kathleen DeBold, executive director, The Mautner Project for Lesbian Health regarding the passage of the Conscientious Objector Policy Act in the Michigan House of Representatives:
On Friday, members of the Republican-controlled Michigan House of Representatives sent a frightening and inhumane message to medical practitioners throughout the state with passage of the Conscientious Objector Policy Act. The measure will allow doctors to refuse to treat gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender patients based on moral, ethical or religious beliefs (although, the measure would prohibit the refusal of emergency care).
A core belief held by doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists and other health care professionals is to first do no harm. And nothing could be more harmful to someone who is ill than denying them care.
As the nation's leading lesbian health organization, The Mautner Project strives to educate and inform those in the medical profession about the healthcare needs and concerns of our community. And while some of our health concerns may be unique, we certainly aren t unique in our desire for fair and equal access to care from physicians and hospitals staffs.
By codifying discrimination in healthcare, this measure not only tramples the Hippocratic Oath that each physician is sworn to uphold, it puts this medically underserved population at even greater risk of serious illness and worse.
Denying health care coverage to any segment of the nation s population is a very dangerous precedent to set, and I hope that members of the Michigan Senate see this legislation for what it is discrimination, dangerous and morally repugnant.
The Mautner Project is the national lesbian health organization. The Mautner Project s mission is to improve the health and wellness of lesbians and women who partner with women through advocacy, education, direct services, and research.
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