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Illinois

Senate Bill 1564 (2015)

Check the status of this bill at the Illinois General Assembly

Introduction:

Senate Bill 1564 proposes to amend the existing state protection of conscience statute, the Health Care Right of Conscience Act.  The relevant sections of the existing statute are reproduced below on the left, with the proposed amendments opposite them on the right, highlighted in yellow.  The amendments are controversial.  See Illinois controversy about legislative overreach.

Existing Statute
[Abstract only pdf]

 
Senate Bill 1564
[Résumé seulement pdf]

745 ILCS 70/1 Health Care Right of Conscience Act.

Sec. 1. Short title.

 
Section 5.

This Act may be cited as the Health Care Right of Conscience Act. (Source: P.A. 90-246, eff. 1-1-98.) (745 ILCS 70/2)

 

The Health Care Right of Conscience Act is amended by changing Sections 2, 3, 6, and 9 and by adding Sections 6.1 and 6.2 as follows:

Sec. 2. Findings and policy.

The General Assembly finds and declares that people and organizations hold different beliefs about whether certain health care services are morally acceptable. It is the public policy of the State of Illinois to respect and protect the right of conscience of all persons who refuse to obtain, receive or accept, or who are engaged in, the delivery of, arrangement for, or payment of health care services and medical care whether acting individually, corporately, or in association with other persons; and to prohibit all forms of discrimination, disqualification, coercion, disability or imposition of liability upon such persons or entities by reason of their refusing to act contrary to their conscience or conscientious convictions in refusing to obtain, receive, accept, deliver, pay for, or arrange for the payment of health care services and medical care. (Source: P.A. 90-246, eff. 1-1-98.) (745 ILCS 70/3)

 
Sec. 2. Findings and policy.

The General Assembly finds and declares that people and organizations hold different beliefs about whether certain health care services are morally acceptable. It is the public policy of the State of Illinois to respect and protect the right of conscience of all persons who refuse to obtain, receive or accept, or who are engaged in, the delivery of, arrangement for, or payment of health care services and medical care whether acting individually, corporately, or in association with other persons; and to prohibit all forms of discrimination, disqualification, coercion, disability or imposition of liability upon such persons or entities by reason of their refusing to act contrary to their conscience or conscientious convictions in providing, paying for, or refusing to obtain, receive, accept, deliver, pay for, or arrange for the payment of health care services and medical care. It is also the public policy of the State of Illinois to ensure that patients receive timely access to information and medically appropriate care.
(Source: P.A. 90-246, eff. 1-1-98.)

Sec. 3. Definitions.

 
(745 ILCS 70/3) (from Ch. 111 1/2, par. 5303)
Sec. 3. Definitions.

As used in this Act, unless the context clearly otherwise requires:

 

As used in this Act, unless the context clearly otherwise requires:

(a) "Health care" means any phase of patient care, including but not limited to, testing; diagnosis; prognosis; ancillary research; instructions; family planning, counselling, referrals, or any other advice in connection with the use or procurement of contraceptives and sterilization or abortion procedures; medication; or surgery or other care or treatment rendered by a physician or physicians, nurses, paraprofessionals or health care facility, intended for the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of persons;

 

(a) "Health care" means any phase of patient care, including but not limited to, testing; diagnosis; prognosis; ancillary research; instructions; family planning, counselling, referrals, or any other advice in connection with the use or procurement of contraceptives and sterilization or abortion procedures; medication; or surgery or other care or treatment rendered by a physician or physicians, nurses, paraprofessionals or health care facility, intended for the
physical, emotional, and mental well-being of persons;

(b) "Physician" means any person who is licensed by the State of Illinois under the Medical Practice Act of 1987;

 

(b) "Physician" means any person who is licensed by the State of Illinois under the Medical Practice Act of 1987;

(c) "Health care personnel" means any nurse, nurses' aide, medical school student, professional, paraprofessional or any other person who furnishes, or assists in the furnishing of, health care services;

 

(c) "Health care personnel" means any nurse, nurses' aide, medical school student, professional, paraprofessional or any other person who furnishes, or assists in the furnishing of, health care services;

(d) "Health care facility" means any public or private hospital, clinic, center, medical school, medical training institution, laboratory or diagnostic facility, physician's office, infirmary, dispensary, ambulatory surgical treatment center or other institution or location wherein health care services are provided to any person, including physician organizations and associations, networks, joint ventures, and all other combinations of those organizations;

 

(d) "Health care facility" means any public or private hospital, clinic, center, medical school, medical training institution, laboratory or diagnostic facility, physician's office, infirmary, dispensary, ambulatory surgical treatment center or other institution or location wherein health care services are provided to any person, including physician organizations and associations, networks, joint ventures, and all other combinations of those organizations;

(e) "Conscience" means a sincerely held set of moral convictions arising from belief in and relation to God, or which, though not so derived, arises from a place in the life of its possessor parallel to that filled by God among adherents to religious faiths; and

 

(e) "Conscience" means a sincerely held set of moral convictions arising from belief in and relation to God, or which, though not so derived,  arises from a place in the life of its possessor parallel to that filled by God among adherents to religious faiths; and

(f) "Health care payer" means a health maintenance organization, insurance company, management services organization, or any other entity that pays for or arranges for the payment of any health care or medical care service, procedure, or product.

 

(f) "Health care payer" means a health maintenance organization, insurance company, management services organization, or any other entity that pays for or arranges for the payment of any health care or medical care service, procedure, or product; and

   

(g) "Undue delay" means unreasonable delay that causes impairment of the patient's health.

The above definitions include not only the traditional combinations and forms of these persons and organizations but also all new and emerging forms and combinations of these persons and organizations. (Source: P.A. 90-246, eff. 1-1-98.) (745 ILCS 70/4)

 

The above definitions include not only the traditional combinations and forms of these persons and organizations but also all new and emerging forms and combinations of these persons and organizations.
(Source: P.A. 90-246, eff. 1-1-98.)

Sec. 6. Duty of physicians and other health care personnel.

 
(745 ILCS 70/6) (from Ch. 111 1/2, par. 5306)
Sec. 6. Duty of physicians and other health care personnel.

Nothing in this Act shall relieve a physician from any duty, which may exist under any laws concerning current standards, of normal medical practices and procedures, to inform his or her patient of the patient's condition, prognosis and risks, provided, however, that such physician shall be under no duty to perform, assist, counsel, suggest, recommend, refer or participate in any way in any form of medical practice or health care service that is contrary to his or her conscience.

Nothing in this Act shall be construed so as to relieve a physician or other health care personnel from obligations under the law of providing emergency medical care. (Source: P.A. 90-246, eff. 1-1-98.) (745 ILCS 70/7)

 

Nothing in this Act shall relieve a physician from any duty, which may exist under any laws concerning current standards, of normal medical practice or care practices and procedures, to inform his or her patient of the patient's condition, prognosis, legal treatment options, and risks and benefits of treatment options, provided, however, that such physician shall be under no duty to perform, assist, counsel, suggest, recommend, refer or participate in any way in any form of medical practice or health care service that is contrary to his or her conscience.

Nothing in this Act shall be construed so as to relieve a physician or other health care personnel from obligations under the law of providing emergency medical care.
(Source: P.A. 90-246, eff. 1-1-98.)

   
(745 ILCS 70/6.1 new)
Sec. 6.1. Access to care and information protocols.

All health care facilities shall adopt written access to care and information protocols that are designed to ensure that conscience-based objections do not cause impairment of patients' health and that explain how conscience-based objections will be addressed in a timely manner to facilitate patient health care services. The protections of Sections 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 of this Act only apply if conscience-based refusals occur in accordance with these protocols. These protocols must, at a minimum, address the following:

   

(1) The health care facility, physician, or health care personnel shall inform a patient of the patient's condition, prognosis, legal treatment options, and risks and benefits of the treatment options in a timely manner, consistent with current standards of medical practice or care.

(2) When a health care facility, physician, or health care personnel is unable to permit, perform, or participate in a health care service that is a diagnostic or treatment
option requested by a patient because the health care service is contrary to the conscience of the health care facility, physician, or health care personnel, then the patient shall either be provided the requested health care service by others in the facility or be notified that the health care will not be provided and be referred, transferred, or given information in accordance with paragraph 3.

   

(3) If requested by the patient or the legal representative of the patient, the health care facility, physician, or health care personnel shall:

   

(i) refer the patient to, or

(ii) transfer the patient to, or

(iii) provide in writing information to the patient about other health care providers who they reasonably believe may offer the health care service the health care facility, physician, or health personnel refuses to permit, perform, or participate in because of a conscience-based objection.

   

(4) If requested by the patient or the legal representative of the patient, the health care facility, physician, or health care personnel shall provide copies of medical records to the patient or to another health care professional or health care facility designated by the patient in accordance with Illinois law, without undue delay.

   
(745 ILCS 70/6.2 new)
Sec. 6.2. Permissible acts related to access to care and information protocols.
   

Nothing in this Act shall be construed to prevent a health care facility from requiring that physicians or health care personnel working in the facility comply with access to care and information protocols that comply with the provisions of this Act.

Sec. 9. Liability.

 
(745 ILCS 70/9) (from Ch. 111 1/2, par. 5309)
Sec. 9. Liability.

No person, association, or corporation, which owns, operates, supervises, or manages a health care facility shall be civilly or criminally liable to any person, estate, or public or private entity by reason of refusal of the health care facility to permit or provide any particular form of health care service which violates the facility's conscience as documented in its ethical guidelines, mission statement, constitution, bylaws, articles of incorporation, regulations, or other governing documents.

Nothing in this act shall be construed so as to relieve a physician or other health care personnel from obligations under the law of providing emergency medical care. (Source: P.A. 90-246, eff. 1-1-98.) (745 ILCS 70/10)

 

No person, association, or corporation, which owns, operates, supervises, or manages a health care facility shall be civilly or criminally liable to any person, estate, or public or private entity by reason of refusal of the health care facility to permit or provide any particular form of health care service which violates the facility's conscience as documented in its ethical guidelines, mission statement, constitution, bylaws, articles of incorporation, regulations, or other governing documents.

Nothing in this Act shall be construed so as to relieve a physician, health care personnel, or a health care facility from obligations under the law of providing emergency medical care.
(Source: P.A. 90-246, eff. 1-1-98.)

     
     

 

 

 

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