The Healthcare Discrimination Under Conscience Protection Laws campaign finished in December 2018.
Healthcare Discrimination under Conscience Protection Laws
A LICENSE TO KILL
On 18 January, the Department of Health and Human Services announced the creation of the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division within the Office of Civil Rights. This body claims to protect the conscience and religious rights of healthcare practitioners in America. However, its vague and broad wording lead us to believe it will be used as a weapon by those with bigoted hatred to deny care to the LGBTQA community. Listed as one of the reasons somebody may file a complaint of experiencing discrimination is being "coerced into performing procedures that are against your religious or moral beliefs". Will a gay, lesbian, or bisexual patient requesting an STI test qualify as a procedure which discriminates against a nurse's religious beliefs? Will a transgender patient requesting hormone therapy be denied the healthcare they desire and are willing to pay for because a doctor claims it is against their moral beliefs?
When it comes to these hypothetical incidents occuring in Centre County, we will not wait for them to occur before taking action. We have assembled large healthcare providers within the county and have contacted them, asking how they plan to implement policies regarding their institute or their medical professionals interacting with the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division. As well, we are asking for their practitioners' emails to ask them personally if there are services they will refuse to partake in.
Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals are renowned for putting the healthcare needs of patients above the preferences of themselves. They respect the Hippocratic Oath and international precedents like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Geneva Conventions. It falls within our prospect as an LGBTQA civil rights and educational nonprofit to inform our community of those healthcare staffers unwilling to meet these expectations.
The one that got away
After several months, every provider either already publicly displayed a nondiscrimination policy inclusive of transgender patients or produced one when asked except for one: The Meadows. We conversed with The Meadows Behavioral Health Treatment Facility multiple times and explained the necessity of including transgender people in their nondiscrimination policy, which currently only includes sexual orientation protections. Despite them informing us they provide healthcare to transgender patients at their location, they did not, as of 1 December 2018, have a public nondiscrimination policy toward transgender individuals.
POLICY TO NOT DISCRIMINATE
NO Policy to not discriminate
NO RESPONSE SINCE 1 february
Last Updated: 1 December 2018