Health Care Providers Against Discrimination In Health Care sign now

Dear Governor Granholm and Senator Hammerstrom:

The undersigned licensed health care providers write today to urge you to oppose HB-5006, also known as the Conscientious Objector Policy Act, which would allow physicians and other health care providers to refuse care to patients on the basis of a patients sexual orientation or gender identity.

The bill states: A health care provider may object as a matter of conscience to providing or participating in a health care service on ethical, moral, or religious grounds. It also directs employers to keep the providers written objection on file, and forbids employers from refusing employment or staff privileges to a health care provider who has exercised his or her right to assert an objection to providing care to individuals to whom they object.

Legislation of this type, which has also been introduced in a number of other states, has typically been proposed to permit health care providers to refuse to offer certain reproductive health services. This legislation is so broadly written that it could be used to permit health care providers to refuse to provide services to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) people as a class. As such, this bill is blatantly discriminatory and clearly unethical and we ask you to oppose it.

HB-5006 represents a danger to LGBT patients and has the potential to do grievous harm. Studies show that LGBT patients frequently find it difficult to come out to their doctors, and they often receive substandard care as a result. This bill promotes fear among LGBT patients that their doctors may expel them from their practices and ultimately this reduces access to health care.

Additionally, in 1990 the American Medical Association Code of Ethics was amended to state Physicians cannot refuse to care for patients based on race, gender, sexual orientation, or any other criteria that would constitute invidious discrimination. This legislation could provide legal cover for any health care provider who wished to violate widely accepted principles of medical ethics.

The undersigned represent the interests of thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender physicians, medical students, and other health professionals, as well as hundreds of thousands of LGBT patients across the country.

We strongly urge you to prevent this legislation from being enacted into law in its current form.

Thank you for your consideration.

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Alyce BlackwellBy:
School and EducationIn:
Petition target:
Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm and Michigan Senator Bev Hammerstrom

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