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Protection of Conscience Project

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Minnesota

Bill H.F. 65 (1999-2000)

Health Care Conscience Protection

Check the status of this bill at the Minnesota State Legislature

Introduction
The following bill was introduced in the 81st Legislative Session (1999-2000). It pertains to companies rather than individuals. The text does not define the services or procedures in question, a point that is favourable to protection of conscience. However, the requirement that the objecting health care company refer the patient for the objectionable services or procedures is inconsistent with the stated policy "to recognize the free exercise of conscience and religious liberty in matters of health and the provision of health care". Conscientious objectors who view referral as a form of moral complicity would not only be denied the free exercise of conscience and religious liberty, but would be exposed to civil action for adhering to their beliefs. [Administrator]

A bill for an act relating to health; providing for the protection of conscience and religious liberty in health care; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapters 62Q; and 145.


BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1. [62Q.125] [HEALTH CARE CONSCIENCE PROTECTION.]

Subdivision 1. [POLICY.]

It is the policy of the state to recognize the free exercise of conscience and religious liberty in matters of health and the provision of health care.

Subd. 2. [REQUIREMENT.]

If a health plan company does not provide certain services or coverage on moral or religious grounds, the health plan company must inform the enrollee in the member handbook, subscriber contract, or certificate of coverage of the restrictions imposed. The health plan company must ensure that the enrollee is able to exercise the enrollee's own conscience and has access to the full range of legal medical services. At a minimum, the health plan company must refer the enrollee to a provider that provides the denied services.

Subd. 3. [CAUSE OF ACTION.]

An enrollee injured by violation of this section may bring an action against the health plan company for compensatory damages, injunctive or other equitable relief, attorney fees, and costs.

Sec. 2. [145.4137] [HEALTH CARE CONSCIENCE PROTECTION.]

Subdivision 1. [POLICY.]

It is the policy of the state to recognize the free exercise of conscience and religious liberty in matters of health and the provision of health care.

Subd. 2. [REQUIREMENT.]

If a provider, as defined in section 144.335, subdivision 1, paragraph (b), does not provide certain services on moral or religious grounds, the provider must inform the patient of the restrictions imposed. The provider must ensure that the patient is able to exercise the patient's own conscience and has access to the full range of legal medical services. At a minimum, the provider must refer the patient to a provider that provides the denied services.

Subd. 3. [CAUSE OF ACTION.]

A patient injured by violation of this section may bring an action against the provider for compensatory damages, injunctive or other equitable relief, attorney fees, and costs.

 

 

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