The Federal Department of Health and Human Service has issued draft regulations which rescind Conscience Clause Rights for medical professionals who based upon their religious beliefs do not wish to participate in abortions or other morally objectionable procedures.The comment period ends on Thursday, April 9, 2009.
Cardinal Seán and his fellow Bishop's in Massachusetts and across the nation are asking that you make your voice heard during this comment period in support of keeping the conscience rights for healthcare professionals.
Below you will find a link to an “Action Alert” which will allow you to make comments to the Federal Government. In addition, I am including here the text from the Cardinal's March 20th blog urging individuals and health care professionals to comment on this important matter.
I urge you to voice your support for Conscience Rights and to do so BEFORE THE APRIL 9, 2009 deadline.
MCC-Net Alert - March 25, 2009
US Bishops Urge Catholics to Speak Out For Conscience Rights By Contacting Federal Government
Please follow the link to http://www.nchla.org/actiondisplay.asp?ID=271 to read and act on an action alert issued by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the National Committee for a Human Life Amendment.
The alert concerns a proposal by the Obama Administration to nullify federal regulations governing the right of healthcare workers to refuse to participate in abortion.
Please forward this alert to your friends as well. The action deadline is April 9th.
“Finally, I want to encourage you all to participate in a petition initiative that is working to gather signatures to protect the conscience rights of doctors and health care professionals.
Last August, the Bush administration approved a regulation prohibiting discrimination against health professionals who did not want to participate in abortions or other morally objectionable procedures based on their religious beliefs.
With a new administration in place, the Department of Health and Human Services is now trying to rescind the regulation, and has opened a 30 day comment period that will finalize April 9.
So, a conscience program sign-on campaign has been initiated, inviting both patients - that means all of us - and also health care professionals to sign a petition that will be presented to President Obama and members of Congress asking them to keep the current regulation that protects the conscience rights of health professionals.
There are two different petitions available at www.freedom2care.org, one for the general public and another with specific wording for health care professionals.
This is the wording of the petition to be signed by health care professionals:
As a healthcare professional, I cherish the freedom to care for patients by adhering to ethical standards of care.
I do not want the government to interfere with or restrict my freedom to practice medicine without violating the ethical standards I have learned and to which I am committed.
I want to remain free to conscientiously care for patients according to time-tested, patient-protecting ethical standards that include, but are not limited to, the Hippocratic Oath, moral and religious principles, the Nuremberg Code and other longstanding principles of medical ethics.
I oppose mandating participation in abortion and any unlawful discrimination and intolerant coercion that could force healthcare professionals like myself, or hospitals and clinics, to choose between violating ethical commitments or leaving the practice of medicine.
I support laws, regulations and policies that protect and preserve the freedom of healthcare professionals to care for patients without being forced to participate in ethically controversial practices.
The federal civil rights regulation noted below is an important tool to clarify and illuminate our civil rights protections, and should be preserved in its entirety.
Therefore, I urge the President, officers of his administration and Members of Congress to protect my freedom to care for patients under the ethical principles to which I am committed-by preserving existing federal civil rights laws and the existing Health and Human Services regulation (published 12/19/2008) that implements those laws.
The petitions underscore the importance of maintaining the conscience protection for healthcare workers as the Obama administration is trying to reverse what was a very important regulation to uphold the conscience of Catholics and others who oppose abortion procedures.
The Bishops’ Conference is also encouraging Catholics to react to this attempt to rescind the regulation.”