A bill backed by NC House Republicans would allow health care providers, institutions and insurers to refuse care to any patient on religious, moral or ethical grounds.
Imagine needing a medical service and your doctor refuses to help you or your insurance refuses to cover it because they object to something about you. That is the scenario that GOP lawmakers are attempting to legalize with House Bill 819 the so-called “Medical Ethics Defense Act,” which could include refusal of care to patients based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or even political opinions or marital status.
Liz Barber, a policy analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina stated during a hearing of the bill that “Anti-trans bills are a trend that we’re seeing, and I think that this is just one play out of that playbook. It’s giving medical professionals a license to discriminate against trans people, and really, anyone.”
The dangers of allowing health care providers to refuse service based on personal beliefs cannot be overstated. It violates medical ethics, puts vulnerable populations at risk, and can lead to a lack of access to health care services.
Health care providers have an obligation to provide the highest quality of care possible to their patients, regardless of their personal beliefs. Upholding this principle is essential to ensuring the health and well-being of all patients, and to maintaining the integrity of the health care system as a whole.