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Human Rights Campaign raises objections to Bush’s healthcare ‘conscious’ regulations


WASHINGTON Regulations that would allow a healthcare professional to refuse to provide a service on the grounds of personal religious or moral beliefs have drawn criticism from a gay-rights organization.

The Human Rights Campaign criticized “provider conscience” regulations issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, saying they could be interpreted to allow healthcare professionals to deny some services to gay, lesbian and bisexual patients, such as HIV tests, also allowing them to not inform patients where else they could obtain services.

“These regulations sacrifice patients’ right to medical care, permitting providers to refuse to do their jobs when they choose,” HRC president Joe Solomonese said. “We ask the Bush administration: what happened to ‘first, do no harm?’ Denying patients legal, safe medical treatments for any reason is simply wrong, and violates the trust that all Americans, regardless of our sexual orientation or gender identity, place in our doctors, nurses, and pharmacists.”

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