A case currently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit seeks to defend conscience protections for pro-life medical professionals. The case, HHS v. New York, filed on behalf of Dr. Regina Frost and the Christian Medical Association (CMA), seeks to block an attempt by the state of New York to undo increased conscience protections for medical professionals issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services last year.
Dr. Frost is a practicing obstetrician and gynecologist with 15 years of experience and is also a member of CMA. Following the Trump Administration’s increased conscience protections, several states, including New York, sued to block the rule and require doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other medical professionals to participate in procedures that violate their conscience, including abortion and assisted suicide.
In June of 2019, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty filed the case on behalf of Dr. Frost and CMA with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. In November, the court ruled against the conscience rule, prompting an appeal seeking to defend conscience protections. The Becket Fund explains, “Dr. Frost and other religious healthcare professionals are called to serve everyone with compassion. They only ask not to be forced to perform certain medical procedures that they believe would be inconsistent with their faith.”
Since filing opening briefs in the Appeals Court for the Second Circuit in April of this year, CMA has received support from states, members of Congress, minority groups, medical organizations, and legal experts.
In a press release about the case, CMA CEO Dr. Mike Chupp noted, “As a general surgeon who did patient care for over 30 years, my professional judgment has been based upon available medical evidence, training and experience, and a deep sense of obligation to care for my patients in a way that best benefits their health. The conscientious practice of medicine depends upon the integration of these factors by a healthcare professional. The informed conscience of every healthcare professional serves as an inner compass for the best kind of patient care. The HHS conscience rule affirms that our CMA members must be protected from violating their deeply held beliefs as they seek to serve all patients with excellence and compassion.”
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