In the United States many citizens have access to regulated and safe healthcare (though expensive!). Unfortunately, more and more Americans are finding their access to vital and available services limited by the religious beliefs of their providers. We may ostensibly live in a secular society, but we're finding that our healthcare system is become less and less so. From AtheistVoter.org:
Today, nearly 1 in 6 Americans is treated by a health care provider who is affiliated with more than 645 Catholic hospitals in the United States, according to the Catholic Health Association of the United States. All Catholic health care providers are encouraged to abide by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Ethical and Religious Directives, which affects the types and direction of treatment that men and women receive for everything from birth control to vasectomies to cancer to end-of-life care.
American Atheists is working to secure a legal right for patients to know what limits are being placed on us by our providers. By introducing the Model Patient's Right to Know Act, they are hoping to create an environment in which we might be able to better understand our options when we're choosing healthcare. From the American Atheist press release of the proposed legislation:
The proposed legislation would require health care providers to simply provide a list of services they will not perform for religious reason to patients, potential patients, health insurers, and state and federal grant or subsidy programs. The health care providers and insurance issues would them be requied to make that information available online for potential patients.
Join us this Sunday as we speak with Amanda Knief, National Legal and Public Policy director of American Atheists and author of the Model Patient's Right to Know Act.
- American Atheists Press Release of the Model Patient's Right to Know Act
- PDF of the Model Patient's Right to Know Act
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