On January 18, 2018, the US Department of Health and Human Services announced the creation of a Division of Conscience and Religious Freedom in the HHS Office of Civil Rights. The goal of the Division—to “protect” healthcare providers who object to performing medical procedures based on religious or moral grounds—is the latest thinly-veiled assault on LGBTQ access to quality and non-discriminatory patient care by HHS and the Trump Administration. GLMA President Gal Mayer, MD, MS, released the following statement in response:
"The proposed mandate of the Division of Conscience and Religious Freedom amounts to a license to discriminate against LGBTQ patients and women seeking reproductive health services. This is an overly broad and wholly unnecessary measure that stands in direct conflict with the Joint Commission and all major health professional associations, including the American Medical Association, American Nurses Association, and American Psychological Association, who have adopted standards to ensure LGBTQ patients are treated with respect and without bias or discrimination in hospitals, clinics and other healthcare settings.
"Discrimination against LGBTQ patients seeking healthcare already occurs every day, leading to poorer health outcomes for the LGBTQ community. This proposal further endangers the lives of LGBTQ people by allowing healthcare providers to refuse care and is contrary to the values we share as healthcare providers."
What YOU can do to help:
To aid us with our advocacy efforts, GLMA is currently collecting stories from providers of their own experiences with moral and religious objections in patient care and how these objections impact the delivery of care to LGBTQ patients. Please take part in these efforts by submitting your stories here.