Make your voice heard: Say no to HHS Conscience and Religious Freedom Division Rules

March 9, 2018

The new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division, part of the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Civil Rights, marks one of the greatest threats we’re facing to the future of the end-of-life choice movement and patient-centered care.

Under the HHS proposed rules, providers who object to various procedures could impose their own religious beliefs on their patients by withholding vital information about treatment options from them — including options such as voluntarily stopping eating and drinking, palliative sedation or medical aid in dying. And your federal tax dollars will be used to protect physicians who make the unconscionable decision to willfully hold back information from a patient and abandon them when they are at their most vulnerable.

This is unacceptable and needs to be stopped.

Leave a comment objecting to the harmful proposed rules that will govern this new division today — just click the big green button on the top of the page that says “submit a formal comment” to get started:

—– Sample Comment —–

To whom it may concern,

I do not agree with the proposed Health and Human Services rules that infringe on patients’ access to healthcare, including receiving accurate and complete information. Our tax dollars should not be used to protect physicians who value their own opinions above the preferences of their patients. Patients should be the center of care decision-making and should be fully informed about their treatment options. Their advance directives should be honored, regardless of the physician’s personal objections.

These rules even go so far as to allow physicians to refuse to make referrals to a physician who does not have the same moral objections. This leaves patients with no recourse and prioritizes a physician’s point of view over the care of their patients.

The rules that will guide this new so-called Conscience and Religious Freedom Division violate the trust that is integral to the patient-doctor relationship. It is unconscionable for the federal government to enforce discrimination under the auspices of religion and use taxpayer dollars to protect doctors who violate patient wishes — this office is not about freedom; it’s about denying patient autonomy.

Thank you.

Compassion & Choices
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Patricia A. González-Portillo
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