Most U.S. states ban women from suing health care providers if
they are harmed after being denied an abortion due to conscience laws, a
study has revealed.
Conscience law enables institutions and individuals to refuse to
participate in abortions on moral or religious grounds. The research
published in the journal JAMA
showed half of states have no limitations on the rights of institutions
to refuse to terminate pregnancies in such circumstances.
The study was prompted in part by recent lawsuits against Catholic hospitals that refused abortions to women having miscarriages, study author Professor Nadia N. Sawicki, Co-Director of the Beazley Institute for Health Law and Policy at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, told Newsweek. . . [Fulltext]
ACT leader David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill has passed
its final reading in Parliament four years after it was first put in the
The Bill – which will let terminally ill adults with less than
six months left to live access assisted dying or ‘euthanasia’ – passed
its final reading on Wednesday in a conscience vote, with 69 votes for
it and 51 against.
But just because the legislation passed its final reading, it won’t actually become law unless the public vote to pass it at the 2020 general election. . . .[Full text] [End of Life Choice Act (2017): Protection of Conscience Provisions]
On 19 April, 2018, the legislature of the State of Victoria, Australia, passed the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017, which will come into force in June, 2019. It is currently the most restrictive euthanasia/assisted suicide (EAS) legislation in the world, running to 130 pages. In brief, the law authorizes physician assisted suicide for terminally ill adults, but permits euthanasia by physicians only when patients are physically unable to self-administer a lethal drug. In both cases a permit must be obtained in advance.
Assisted suicide will become legal in Hawaii on 1 January, 2019, as a result of the passage of the Our Care, Our Choice Act. Introduced in the state House of Representatives only in January, it passed both the House and Senate and was approved by Governor David Ige on 5 April. Beginning next year, physicians will be able to write prescriptions for lethal medications for Hawaiian residents who are capable of informed consent, who are at least 18 years old, and who have been diagnosed with a terminal, incurable disease expected to result in death within six months.1
And beginning next year, Hawaiian physicians who refuse to facilitate assisted suicide by referring patients to a willing colleague may face discipline — including expulsion from the medical profession — or other legal liabilities. Hawaii could become one of only two jurisdictions in the world where willingness to refer patients for suicide is a condition for practising medicine.2 . . . [Full text]
Catholic News Agency
Mexico City, Mexico, Mar 26, 2018 / 06:14 pm (ACI Prensa).- The Mexican Senate has approved a measure protecting the conscientious objections of medical personnel who hold moral or ethical objections to certain treatments.
The decree, approved March 22, states that “professionals, technicians, aides, social service providers that are part of the National Healthcare System shall be able to invoke the right of conscientious objection and excuse themselves from participating and/or cooperating in all those programs, activities, practices, treatments, methods or research that contravenes their freedom of conscience based on their values or ethical principles.” . . . [Full text]