Alabama Health Care Rights of Conscience Act 2014 (HB 31)
This law was last updated on Dec 9, 2016
HB 31 would allow health-care providers to refuse to participate in a health-care service that violates their conscience if the health-care provider has objected in writing prior to being asked to provide that service. The bill also would immunize health-care providers from civil and criminal liability based on their refusal to participate, except when their refusal would immediately endanger the life of a patient.
The bill would prevent any kind of discrimination or retaliation against health-care providers who refuse to participate in health-care services that violate their conscience. The bill would also allow students to refuse to participate in health-care services and would prohibit penalizing a student if that student “subscribes to a particular position on one or more of the four health-care services [abortion, human cloning, human embryonic stem cell research, and sterilization].”
The bill states that in a life-threatening situation, where no other health-care provider is available or capable of providing or participating in a health-care service, a health-care provider must participate in that health-care service until an alternate health-care provider becomes available.
The bill defines “conscience” as “the religious, moral, or ethical principles held by a health care provider.”
The bill defines “health care service” as “any phase of patient medical care, treatment or procedure that is limited to abortion, human cloning, human embryonic stem cell research, and sterilization, and is related to: patient referrals, counseling, therapy, testing, diagnosis or prognosis, research, instruction, prescribing, dispensing or administering any device, drug, or medication, surgery, or any other care or treatment rendered or provided by health care providers.”