From the Los Angeles Times:
The Bush administration announced its “conscience protection” rule for the healthcare industry Thursday, giving doctors, hospitals, and even receptionists and volunteers in medical experiments the right to refuse to participate in medical care they find morally objectionable.
“This rule protects the right of medical providers to care for their patients in accord with their conscience,” said outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt.
The right-to-refuse rule includes abortion and other aspects of healthcare where moral concerns could arise, Leavitt’s office said, such as birth control, emergency contraception, in vitro fertilization, stem cell research and assisted suicide.
The rule, to be published today in the Federal Register, takes effect the day before President Bush leaves office.