Attorney traces federal conscience-clause protection to Roe decision
Published: May 26, 2009
NEW YORK (CNS) -- "Signs of erosion" of support for federal conscience-clause protection began to appear about 10 years ago and have continued at the state level, attorney Susan J. Stabile told a group of Catholic health care leaders May 21. She discussed two potential federal threats to conscience claims, and concluded that neither one would specifically repeal conscience protection for health care workers. Stabile, who holds the Robert and Marion Short distinguished chair in law at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis, spoke on "Legal Challenges to Catholic Health Care: The Elimination of the Conscience Clause and Related Concerns." She delivered the address during the 25th Catholic Healthcare Administrative Personnel program May 18-22 at St. John's University in New York. Stabile cited as the first potential threat the Department of Health and Human Services' regulations adopted in December 2008 to ensure that "recipients of department funds do not support coercive or discriminatory practices" in the delivery of health care. She said, however, the regulations did not create new restrictions or grant substantive rights.
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