TWENTY-SEVENTH LEGISLATURE - FIRST SESSION
BY SENATORS DYSON AND COGHILL
Introduced: 19 January, 2011
Referred: Health and Social Services, Judiciary
An Act providing for the protection and reasonable accommodation of a
health care provider's expression of conscience pertaining to a health care
service; and providing for immunity, an exception, and prohibition of
discrimination for an expression of conscience by a health care provider."
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:
Section 1. AS 18.95 is amended by adding a new section to read:
Protection, reasonable accommodation, and notice of conscience objection by
health care provider.
(a) Except as provided in (c) of this section, an employer who receives a
notice of objection described in (b) of this section shall make reasonable
accommodations for the employee providing the notice and may not
discriminate against an employee who provides the notice.
(b) A person who is employed as a health care provider may provide
advance written notice to the person's employer of an objection to providing
health care services. A health care provider is not required to provide a
written explanation of the reason for the objection, but the objection must
be related to the provider's conscience. The objection may not be based on a
patient's race, religion, sex, age, disability, or
(c) An employer is not required to accommodate an employee who has
provided notice under (b) of this section if the employer demonstrates that
the accommodation poses an undue hardship on the employer or the objecting
employee is the only health care provider available to assist in the
provision of health care services in a life-threatening circumstance.
(d) Notwithstanding the provision of a written notice of objection under
(b) of this section, a health care provider may not refuse to provide
treatment or care to a patient seeking health care services in a
life-threatening circumstance until an alternate health care provider is
(e) A person who refuses to provide health care services in compliance
with this section may not be held civilly or criminally liable for
consequences resulting from the compliance.
(f) This section shall be construed in a manner consistent with 42 U.S.C.
2000e - 2000e-17 (Title VII, Civil Rights Act of 1964), as amended.
(g) In this section,
(1) "health care provider" means a person licensed,
certified, or registered in the state who provides health care services; in
this paragraph, "provide"means to counsel, advise, perform, dispense,
assist, or refer;
(2) "health care services" means treatment,
management, and research of illness and health;
(3) "life-threatening circumstance" means a situation
that poses an immediate risk to a person's life or long-term health.