Intended for healthcare professionals


Trump introduces “religious freedom” rule allowing medical staff to refuse to provide treatments

BMJ 2019; 365 doi: (Published 07 May 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l2082
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal

Donald Trump, speaking in the White House Rose Garden during a National Day of Prayer service on 2 May, announced a new final rule that expands the rights of medical professionals to refuse to provide treatments or services that they say infringe their religious beliefs, such as abortion, advance directives, and assisted suicide.

The 440 page final rule1 will apply to all healthcare providers that take federal money—essentially, all hospitals and their staff, as well as most doctors. It is effectively the health department’s summation of existing law and its guideline for enforcing it.

Trump said, “Just today we finalised new protections of conscience rights for physicians, pharmacists, nurses, teachers, students, and faith based charities. They’ve been wanting to do that a long time.”

The Obama era rule did not offer enough protections to religious people and failed to reflect some laws …

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