Arkansas governor signs bill allowing medical workers to refuse treatment to LGBTQ people | PBS NewsHour

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  jbb  •  3 weeks ago  •  22 comments

By:   PBS NewsHour

Arkansas governor signs bill allowing medical workers to refuse treatment to LGBTQ people | PBS NewsHour
The new law won't take effect until late this summer. The measure is among several targeting transgender people advancing through Arkansas' legislature.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



Politics Updated on Mar 26, 2021 5:29 PM EDT — Published on Mar 26, 2021 5:09 PM EDT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Friday signed into law legislation allowing doctors to refuse to treat someone because of religious or moral objections, a move opponents have said will give providers broad powers to turn away LGBTQ patients and others.

The measure says health care workers and institutions have the right to not participate in non-emergency treatments that violate their conscience. The new law won't take effect until late this summer.

Opponents of the law, including the Human Rights Campaign and the American Civil Liberties Union, have said it will allow doctors to refuse to offer a host of services for LGBTQ patients. The state Chamber of Commerce also opposed the measure, saying it sends the wrong message about the state.

Hutchinson opposed a similar measure in 2017 that failed before a House committee. But he said the law he signed was narrower and limits the objections to particular health care services, not treating specific types of people.

"I support this right of conscience so long as emergency care is exempted and conscience objection cannot be used to deny general health service to any class of people," Hutchinson said in a statement released by his office. "Most importantly, the federal laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, sex, gender, and national origin continue to apply to the delivery of health care services."

Opponents have said types of health care that could be cut off include maintaining hormone treatments for transgender patients needing in-patient care for an infection, or grief counseling for a same-sex couple. They've also said it could also be used to refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control, or by physicians assistants to override patient directives on end of life care

"There is no sugarcoating this: this bill is another brazen attempt to make it easier to discriminate against people and deny Arkansans the health care services they need," ACLU of Arkansas Executive Director Holly Dickson said in a statement. The ACLU did not say whether it planned any legal action to try and block the law before it takes effect.

The law is among several measures targeting transgender people that have easily advanced through the majority-Republican Legislature this year. Hutchinson on Thursday signed a law that will prohibit transgender women and girls from playing on sports teams consistent with their gender identity.

A final vote is scheduled Monday on another proposal that would prohibit gender confirming treatments and surgery for minors.

The Human Rights Campaign announced Friday that it would air a television ad in Arkansas during the Arkansas-Oral Roberts game in the NCAA Tournament on Saturday night denouncing measures such as the transgender athlete restrictions in Arkansas and other states.

"Trans kids are kids. They don't deserve this cruelty," the 30-second spot says.

The bills are advancing as a hate crimes measure backed by Hutchinson has stalled in the Legislature after facing resistance from conservatives. The bill would impose additional penalties for committing a crime against someone because of their characteristics, including their sexual orientation or gender identity.

By — Andrew DeMillo, Associated Press 


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JBB
PhD Principal
1  seeder  JBB    3 weeks ago

Can the gop or those in it go even lower? You betcha!

 
 
 
Ender
PhD Principal
1.1  Ender  replied to  JBB @1    3 weeks ago

Religious dogma, a gun in every hand and making it harder to vote.

The gop trinity.

 
 
 
cjcold
PhD Quiet
1.2  cjcold  replied to  JBB @1    3 weeks ago

Used to be a paramedic and would have never considered not treating one in need.

 
 
 
cjcold
PhD Quiet
1.2.1  cjcold  replied to  cjcold @1.2    3 weeks ago

The doctor who delivered me taught me about the Hippocratic Oath.  

 
 
 
Ender
PhD Principal
2  Ender    3 weeks ago

Ah conservatives...

The get government out of my healthcare crowd is putting religion into healthcare.

A hell of a lot of a worse choice Imo.

 
 
 
JBB
PhD Principal
2.1  seeder  JBB  replied to  Ender @2    3 weeks ago

Under Old Jim Crow bigots could legally discriminate against people based on race. Under the damn gop's James Crowe laws bigots can legally discriminate against anyone they want based on their feelings...

As in, "I believe you are a sinner thus I can deny you".

 
 
 
cjcold
PhD Quiet
2.1.1  cjcold  replied to  JBB @2.1    3 weeks ago

Thankfully: we are all sinners.

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Masters Guide
2.2  Thrawn 31  replied to  Ender @2    3 weeks ago

If you want to make anything worse, inject religion into it.

 
 
 
cjcold
PhD Quiet
2.2.1  cjcold  replied to  Thrawn 31 @2.2    2 weeks ago

God sez you might just be right

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
3  Tacos!    3 weeks ago

I can’t think of a legitimate religious ground for not treating someone.

 
 
 
Hallux
Freshman Expert
3.1  Hallux  replied to  Tacos! @3    3 weeks ago

You could ask Lazarus.

 
 
 
cjcold
PhD Quiet
3.1.1  cjcold  replied to  Hallux @3.1    2 weeks ago

You thought of the one exception.

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Masters Guide
3.2  Thrawn 31  replied to  Tacos! @3    3 weeks ago

Well now you are into the area of defining what is or is not a legitimate religious belief.

 
 
 
Dulay
Professor Principal
3.2.1  Dulay  replied to  Thrawn 31 @3.2    3 weeks ago

Which every single RFRA and now these 'religious conscience' laws avoid and in fact make it as subjective as possible. 

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
3.2.2  Tacos!  replied to  Thrawn 31 @3.2    3 weeks ago

Yeah, and that’s generally been a place that courts have not wanted to go. Still, you would think we could at least ask one of these “Christians” to point out the medical section of the Bible where it says don’t give a trans patient his hormones (or whatever else it is they don’t want to do). I see no reason why we can’t at least have a Rational Basis type test for claims of religious conviction.

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Masters Guide
3.2.3  Thrawn 31  replied to  Tacos! @3.2.2    3 weeks ago

The courts are wise not to go there because ultimately if a branch of government starts declaring certain beliefs legitimate and others illegitimate they are in essence creating a state sponsored religion. The founders kinda had a thing about that.

I do agree though, if you want to refuse service or whatever because of a religious belief the. You should have to show specifically in your religious texts where it says that. And I mean specifically that, they had shops and shit back in the day. 

 
 
 
cjcold
PhD Quiet
3.2.4  cjcold  replied to  Thrawn 31 @3.2    3 weeks ago
legitimate religious belief.

Does one exist?

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
4  Gordy327    3 weeks ago
The measure says health care workers and institutions have the right to not participate in non-emergency treatments that violate their conscience. The new law won't take effect until late this summer.

As despicable as this law is, how can any healthcare worker morally or ethically refuse treatment to someone in need. Non-emergency treatments is quite a large umbrella.

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Masters Guide
4.1  Thrawn 31  replied to  Gordy327 @4    3 weeks ago

Seems that it would be in violation of their oath, and I would think helping people and saving lives is why motivated them to get into the field in the first place.

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Masters Guide
5  Thrawn 31    3 weeks ago

I am becoming more and more convinced that those who are STILL trying to have the LGBT community treated as second class citizens or otherwise allow for them to be treated as lesser are LGBT themselves and hate themselves for it. 

 
 
 
cjcold
PhD Quiet
5.1  cjcold  replied to  Thrawn 31 @5    2 weeks ago

Interesting how folk hate in themselves what they hate in others.

 
 
 
bbl-1
PhD Quiet
6  bbl-1    3 weeks ago

So, taken at face value 'this legislation' gives cover to the Never Trumper Doctor to refuse treatment to a patient wearing a MAGA hat?  

Damn. Gotta love them GOPERS.

 
 
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