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Protection of Conscience Project

Service, not Servitude
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House Bill 5276 (2004)

Check the status of this bill at the Michigan Legislature

November 6, 2003

Introduced by Reps. Gleason, O'Neil, Hummel, Hune, Rivet, Sak, Richardville, Robertson, Stahl, Bradstreet, Voorhees, Vander Veen, Hoogendyk, Huizenga, Pappageorge, Mortimer, Newell, Ward, Casperson, Milosch, Paletko, Farhat, Koetje, Stakoe, Moolenaar, Emmons, Drolet, Palmer, Brown, Sheltrown, Spade, Kooiman, Pastor and Acciavatti

As Passed House, April 21, 2004

A bill to allow certain health facilities to object to providing or participating in certain procedures under certain circumstances; and to provide for protection from certain liability.


Sec. 1. As used in this act:

(a) "Health care service" means the provision or withdrawal of, or research or experimentation involving, a medical diagnosis, treatment, procedure, diagnostic test, device, medication, drug, or other substance intended to affect the physical or mental condition of an individual.

(b) "Health facility" means any of the following:

(i) A clinical laboratory.

(ii) A county medical care facility.

(iii) A freestanding surgical outpatient facility.

(iv) A home for the aged.

(v) A hospital.

(vi) A nursing home.

(vii) A hospice.

(viii) A hospice residence.

(ix) A facility or agency listed in subparagraphs (i) to (vi) located in a university, college, or other educational institution.

(x) A private physician's office.

(xi) A medical clinic.

(xii) A public or private institution that provides health care services to an individual.

(xiii) A teaching institution that provides health care services to an individual.

(xiv) A pharmacy that provides health care services to an individual.

(xv) A corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, limited liability company, or other legal entity that provides health care services to an individual.

(c) "Health profession" means a vocation, calling, occupation, or employment performed by individuals acting pursuant to a license or registration issued under article 15 of the public health code, 1978 PA 368, MCL 333.16101 to 333.18838. However, health profession does not include a vocation, calling, occupation, or employment performed by an individual licensed or registered as a sanitarian or a veterinarian.

(d) "Participate" or "participating" means, at a minimum, to counsel, refer, perform, administer, prescribe, dispense, treat, withhold, withdraw, diagnose, test, evaluate, train, research, prepare, or provide medical advice or material or physical assistance in a health care service.

(e) "Public health emergency" means a condition or situation that presents an immediate threat to the public health, safety, or welfare and requires immediate action to preserve the public health, safety, or welfare.

Sec. 2.
(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a health facility may withdraw or withhold from providing a health care service, or may refuse to provide or participate in a health care service, on ethical, moral, or religious grounds as reflected in its bylaws, or an adopted mission statement.

(2) A health facility shall not assert an objection described in subsection (1) under any of the following circumstances:

(a) The objection is to a health care service the health facility routinely provides or participates in and is based on a disagreement with a member of a health profession employed by, under contract to, or granted privileges by the health facility regarding the medical appropriateness of a health care service for a specific patient if the patient has consented to the provision of the health care service.

(b) In the event of a public health emergency.

(c) In the event of an emergency where a patient's condition, in the reasonable medical judgment of an attending physician or medical director, requires immediate action to avert serious injury, harm, impairment, or death or is such that a delay would create a serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function to that patient.

(3) This act does not relieve a health care facility from a duty that exists under another statute or other law pertaining to medical standards of acceptable health care practice and procedures.

(4) A health facility's objection as described in subsection (1) to providing or participating in a health care service shall not be a basis for 1 or more of the following:

(a) Civil, criminal, or administrative liability.

(b) Eligibility discrimination against the health facility in a grant, contract, or program, unless providing or participating in the health care service is the exclusive purpose for the grant, contract, or program.


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