Project Logo

Protection of Conscience Project

www.consciencelaws.org

Service, not Servitude
US flag

Michigan

Senate Bill 972

Conscientious Objector Policy Act

Check the status of this bill at the Michigan Legislature
February 10, 2004

Introduced by Senators PATTERSON, BIRKHOLZ, GILBERT, BROWN, KUIPERS, McMANUS, GARCIA, CROPSEY, GOSCHKA, HARDIMAN, JELINEK and ALLEN

Referred to the Committee on Health Policy.

A bill to provide standards for personnel policies to protect the right of conscience of health care providers who conscientiously object to providing or participating in certain health care services under certain circumstances; to provide for protection from certain liability; and to provide for penalties and remedies.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN ENACT:

Sec. 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "conscientious objector policy act".

Sec. 3. As used in this act:

(a) "Health facility" means a health facility or agency as defined in section 20106 of the public health code, 1978 PA 368, MCL 333.20106, a private physician office, or a public or private institution, teaching institution, pharmacy, corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship that provides a health care service to an individual.

(b) "Health care provider" means a person licensed or registered under article 15 of the public health code, 1978 PA 368, MCL 333.16101 to 333.18838, a student of a health facility, or another person who is employed by or under contract to a health facility and directly participates in the provision of a health care service.

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

(d) "Medical director" means that term as defined in section 20906 of the public health code, 1978 PA 368, MCL 333.20906.

(e) "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 material or physical assistance in a health care services.

Sec. 5.

(1) A health care provider may assert as a matter of conscience an objection to providing or participating in a health care service that conflicts with his or her sincerely held religious or moral beliefs.

(2) A health care provider shall notify his or her employer in writing of a conscientious objection described in subsection (1).

(3) A health care provider may assert his or her conscientious objection under any of the following conditions:

(a) Upon being offered employment.

(b) At the time the health care provider adopts a religious or moral belief system that conflicts with participation in a health care service.

(c) At any other time the health care provider considers it necessary to assert a conscientious objection.

(d) Within 24 hours after receiving notice that he or she may be asked or scheduled to participate in a health care service to which he or she conscientiously objects. If the health care provider is given less than 24 hours' notice that he or she has been scheduled to participate in an objectionable health care service, the health care provider shall assert an objection, either orally or in writing, as soon as it is practicable.

Sec. 7.

(1) An employer shall retain a health care provider's written objection filed under section 5 for the duration of the health care provider's employment. The written objection is valid for the duration of the health care provider's employment or until rescinded by the health care provider in writing.

(2) After receiving a written objection pursuant to section 5, an employer shall not require the objecting health care provider to provide or participate in the objectionable healthcare service.

(3) If a health care provider asserts an objection under section 5 less than 24 hours prior to the scheduled health care service, the employer shall make a reasonable effort to exclude the health care provider from participating in the health care service or find a replacement for the health care provider.

(4) An employer shall not refuse employment or staff privileges to a health care provider who has exercised his or her right to assert an objection to providing or participating in a health care service under section 5, unless participation in that health care service is indicated as a part of the normal course of duties in the posting of the availability of the position for employment or staff privileges.

(5) A medical school or other institution for the education or training of a health care provider shall not refuse admission to an individual or penalize that individual because the individual has filed in writing with the medical school or other institution a conscientious objection to participating in a health care service under this act.

Sec. 9.

Except as provided in section 11, a health care provider's objection to providing or participating in a health care service as described in section 5 shall not be the basis for 1 or more of the following:

(a) Civil liability to another person.

(b) Criminal action.

(c) Administrative or licensure action.

(d) Termination of employment or refusal of staff privileges at a health facility.

(e) An involuntary change in terms or conditions of employment or other disciplinary action, including, but not limited to, termination of employment, by the health care provider's employer.

Sec. 11.

(1) The protections afforded to a health care provider under this act do not apply under any of the following circumstances:

(a) A health care provider shall not assert an objection to a health care service if a patient's condition, in the reasonable medical judgment of an attending physician or medical director, requires immediate action to prevent the death of that patient.

(b) A health care provider shall not assert an objection to providing or participating in a health care service based on the classification of a patient or group of patients protected under the Elliot-Larsen civil rights act, 1976 PA 453, MCL 37.2101 to 37.2804, or based on a disease or other medical condition.

(c) A health care provider shall not make an objection known to or in the presence of a patient who is or may be the subject of the health care service to which the health care provider is objecting.

(2) If a health care provider asserts an objection to a health care service that at the time the objection is asserted constitutes a regular or substantial portion of the health care provider's current and defined position, the employer may give the health care provider not less than 6 months' notice of the termination of his or her employment. As used in this section, "regular or substantial portion" means that 10% or more of the health care provider's daily or weekly hours of duty consist of providing or participating in that health care service.

(3) This act does not relieve a health care provider from a duty that exists under another statute or other law pertaining to current standards of acceptable health care practice and procedure to inform a patient of the patient's condition, prognosis, and risks or receiving health care services for the condition. However, this subsection does not impose a duty on a health care provider to counsel, recommend, or refer a health care service to which the health care provider has asserted an objection as described in section 5.

Sec. 13.

(1) A civil action for damages or reinstatement of employment, or both, may be brought against a person, including, but not limited to, a governmental agency, health facility, or other employer, for penalizing or discriminating against a health care provider, including, but not limited to, penalizing or discriminating in hiring, promotion, transfer, a term or condition of employment, licensing, or granting of staff privileges or appointments, because that health care provider has asserted an objection to participating in a health care service under section 5. Civil damages may be awarded equal to 3 times the amount of proven damages and attorney fees. A civil action filed under this subsection may include a petition for injunctive relief against a person alleged to have penalized or discriminated against a health care provider as described in this subsection.

(2) A person who violates this act is responsible for a state civil infraction and may be ordered to pay a fine of not more than $1,000.00 for each day the violation continues or a fine of not more than $1,000.00 for each occurrence.

 

Subscribe to me on YouTube
-->