Senate Bill 1353 (2010)
Freedom of Conscience for Health Care Professionals
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LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO
Sixtieth Legislature Second Regular Session 2010
IN THE SENATE
BY STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
AN ACT RELATING TO ABORTION AND
END OF LIFE CAREÍ¾ AMENDING CHAPTER 6, TITLE 18,
IDAHO CODE, BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION 18611,
IDAHO CODE, TO DEFINE TERMS, TO PROVIDE FREEDOM OF
CONSCIENCE FOR HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS, TO PROVIDE
IMMUNITY FROM LIABILITY, TO PROVIDE AN EXCEPTION FOR
EMERGENCIES AND TO PROHIBIT DISCRIMINATIONÍ¾ AND
Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of
SECTION 1. That Chapter 6, Title
18, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby amended
by the addition thereto of a NEW SECTION, to be
known and designated as Section 18611,Idaho Code,
and to read as follows:
18-611. Freedom of Conscience for Health Care
(1) As used in this section:
(a) "Abortifacient" means any drug
that causes an abortion as defined in 18-604, Idaho
Code, emergency contraception or any drug the
primary purpose of which is to cause the destruction
of an embryo or fetus.
(b) "Conscience" means the
religious, moral or ethical principles sincerely
held by any person.
(c) "Embryo" means the developing
human life from fertilization until the end of the
eighth week of gestation.
(d) "Fetus" means the developing
human life from the start of the ninth week of
gestation until birth.
(e) "Health care professional" means any person licensed, certified or registered
by the state of Idaho to deliver health care.
(f) "Health care service" means an
abortion, dispensation of an abortifacient drug,
human embryonic stem cell research, treatment
regimens utilizing human embryonic stem cells, human
embryo cloning or end of life treatment and care.
(g) "Provide" means to counsel,
advise, perform, dispense, assist in or refer for
any health care service.
(h) "Religious, moral or ethical
principles," "sincerely held,"
accommodate" and "undue hardship"
shall be construed
consistently with Title VII of the federal civil
rights act of 1964, as amended.
(2) No health care professional shall be required
to provide any health care service that violates his
or her conscience.
(3) Employers of health care professionals shall
reasonably accommodate the conscience rights of
their employees as provided in this section, upon
advanced written notification by the employee. Such
notice shall suffice without specification of the
reason therefor. It shall be unlawful for any
employer to discriminate against any health care
professional based upon his or her declining to
provide a health care service that violates his or
her conscience, unless the employer can demonstrate
that such accommodation poses an undue hardship.
(4) No health care professional or employer of
the health care professional shall be civilly,
criminally or administratively liable for the health
care professional declining to provide health care
services that violate his or her conscience, except
for lifethreatening situations as provided for in
subsection (6) of this section.
(5) The provisions of this section do not allow a
health care professional or employer of the health
care professional to refuse to provide health care
services because of a patient's race, color,
religion, sex, age, disability or national origin.
(6) If a health care professional invokes a
conscience right in a lifethreatening situation
where no other health care professional capable of
treating the emergency is available, such health
care professional shall provide treatment and care
until an alternate health care professional capable
of treating the emergency is found.
(7) Nothing in this section shall affect the
rights of conscience provided for in section 18-612,
Idaho Code, to the extent that those rights are
broader in scope than those provided for in this
SECTION 2. The provisions of
this act are hereby declared to be severable and if
any provision of this act or the application of such
provision to any person or circumstance is declared
invalid for any reason, such declaration shall not
affect the validity of the remaining portions of