Friday, September 5, 2008

Speak Up Against An Assault on Patient Rights

The seal of the United States Department of He...Image via Wikipedia Help! Please help! President Bush and HHS continue to chip away at patient rights to information and treatment choice. For years, health care workers have been excused from participating in procedures they oppose on religious grounds. But these proposed regulations go far beyond that.

Make your opinion known. Right now. Today. This is the 30 day comment period on these proposed regulations.

American Association of University Women - Two Minute Activist: "The new regulations, proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services, would allow health care employees to refuse to provide any health care service that is in any way contrary to their personal beliefs without any consideration for patients' guaranteed access to care and full information. Building upon three existing refusal clauses, the new regulation would allow individuals to withhold information about such services and refuse to refer patients to other locations where such services could be obtained. It would also grant refusal rights to any members of a health care facility's paid and voluntary staff, from appointment schedulers to janitorial staff. Further, the proposed regulations may undermine state laws protecting women's access to reproductive health care, including those requiring health insurance plans that provide drug benefits to cover contraceptives; laws that require hospitals to offer emergency contraception to rape survivors; and laws that require pharmacies to fill patients' valid medical prescriptions.

There is an extensive body of laws, regulations and court precedent that currently balance the religious rights of workers with the practical needs of employers - health services providers included - all while ensuring a patient's access to reproductive health care. This balance is vital to providing critical health services ..."
Use the link to AAUW's two minute activist to make HHS aware of your concerns.
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