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New Jersey

Assembly Bill 2016 (2006)

Check the status of this bill at the New Jersey State Legislature

STATE OF NEW JERSEY
212th LEGISLATURE
PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2006 SESSION
Sponsored by

 Assemblyman SEAN T. KEAN, District 11 (Monmouth)

Synopsis

Permits health care professionals to refuse to perform or assist in health care services that violate their religious, moral, or ethical convictions.

Current Version of Text
As introduced.

An Act concerning health care professionals and amending P.L.1974, c.111.


Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

1. Section 1 of P.L.1974, c.111 (C.2A:65A-1) is amended to read as follows:

1. [No person] a. A health care professional shall not be required to counsel, advise, provide or assist in providing, perform or assist in [the performance of] performing, refer or admit for:

(1) an abortion or sterilization; or

(2) any health care service with respect to which the health care professional states that counseling, advising, providing or assisting in providing, performing or assisting in performing, referring, or admitting for that health care service would violate that person's religious, moral, or ethical convictions.

b. As used in this section:

"Health care professional" means a person licensed or otherwise authorized pursuant to Title 45 or Title 52 of the Revised Statutes to practice a health care profession that is regulated by the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs or by one of the following boards: the State Board of Medical Examiners, the New Jersey Board of Nursing, the New Jersey State Board of Dentistry, the New Jersey State Board of Optometrists, the New Jersey State Board of Pharmacy, the State Board of Chiropractic Examiners, the Acupuncture Examining Board, the State Board of Physical Therapy, the State Board of Respiratory Care, the Orthotics and Prosthetics Board of Examiners, the State Board of Psychological Examiners, the State Board of Social Work Examiners, the State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, the State Board of Examiners of Ophthalmic Dispensers and Ophthalmic Technicians, the Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Committee, the State Board of Marriage and Family Therapy Examiners, the Occupational Therapy Advisory Council, and the Certified Psychoanalysts Advisory Committee.

"Health care service" means any phase of medical or other health care, treatment, or procedure, including: patient referral or counseling; therapy; testing, diagnosis, or prognosis; research or instruction; prescribing, dispensing, or administering a device or prescription drug; surgery; or any other care or treatment rendered by health care professionals within or outside of a licensed health care facility.

(cf: P.L.1974, c.111, s.1)

2. Section 3 of P.L.1974, c.111 (C.2A:65A-3) is amended to read as follows:

3. a. The refusal by a health care professional to counsel, advise, provide or assist in providing, perform or assist in [the performance of, or provide] performing, refer, or admit for abortion services [or], sterilization procedures, or any health care service as defined in section 1 of P.L.1974, c.111 (C.2A:65A-1) with respect to which the health care professional states that counseling, advising, providing or assisting in providing, performing or assisting in performing, referring, or admitting for that health care service would violate that person's religious, moral, or ethical convictions, shall not constitute grounds for civil or criminal liability, disciplinary action, or discriminatory treatment.

b. A health care professional who is aggrieved as a result of a violation of the provisions of subsection a. of this section may commence a civil action against the person or entity who committed the violation to obtain appropriate relief, including actual damages, equitable relief, and reasonable attorney's fees and court costs. The court may award punitive damages when the violation evidences intentionally malicious conduct by the person or entity who committed the violation.

(cf: P.L.1974, c.111, s.3)

3. This act shall take effect on the 180th day after the date of enactment.

 

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