Bill would let doctors conscientiously object

Posted: Wednesday, March 09, 2011

JUNEAU — Medical providers would be allowed to refuse treatment on conscientious grounds under a bill proposed in the Alaska Senate.

The bill, proposed by Republican Sen. Fred Dyson of Eagle River, would allow doctors and pharmacists to object to caring for patients if they base their objection on conscientious grounds and provide it in writing to their employers.

Objections would not be allowed if the situation involved a medical emergency and no one else was able to provide care, or if the objection would pose an “undue hardship” on the employer.

Dyson says he proposed the bill after hearing stories of pharmacists being forced to provide services to people they suspected of abusing prescription medication.

The Senate Health and Social Services Committee heard the bill and held it for further consideration.

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