Great news out of HHS!
“Today, HHS will file a rule in the Federal Register aimed at increasing compliance with existing federal laws protecting provider conscience. The proposed rule clarifies that non-discrimination rules apply to institutional health care providers as well as to individual employees working for recipients of certain funds from HHS. It requires recipients of certain HHS funds to certify their compliance with laws protecting provider conscience rights. The HHS Office for Civil Rights is designated as the entity to receive complaints of discrimination addressed by the statute or the proposed regulation.
The proposed rule also charges HHS officials to work with any state or local government or entity that may be violating the law or the proposed rule to encourage voluntary steps to remedy the problem. If they fail to fix the problem, it empowers HHS officials to consider a range of sanctions including termination of funding and the return of funds paid out while they were in violation. The proposed rule is open for comment in the Federal Register for 30 days.
Our nation was built on a foundation of free speech. The first principle of free speech is protected conscience. This proposed rule is a fundamental protection for medical providers to follow theirs.”
- Jennifer Lahl, MA, BSN, RN, is founder and president of The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network. Lahl couples her 25 years of experience as a pediatric critical care nurse, a hospital administrator, and a senior-level nursing manager with a deep passion to speak for those who have no voice. Lahl’s writings have appeared in various publications including Cambridge University Press, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Dallas Morning News, and the American Journal of Bioethics. As a field expert, she is routinely interviewed on radio and television including ABC, CBS, PBS, and NPR. She is also called upon to speak alongside lawmakers and members of the scientific community, even being invited to speak to members of the European Parliament in Brussels to address issues of egg trafficking; she has three times addressed the United Nations during the Commission on the Status of Women on egg and womb trafficking.