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Supreme Court of the United States

A Legal Guide for Healthcare Professionals Who Seek to “Do No Harm”

By Sarah Kramer posted on:
October 17, 2017

As medicine continues to advance, healthcare professionals increasingly find themselves having to ask if their personal and professional ethics allow them to take part in particular procedures.

Here are just a few examples of the challenges that healthcare professionals face:

  • Alliance Defending Freedom represented the Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare and the Christian Medical & Dental Associations against a Vermont law that was being interpreted to mean that doctors were required to recommend physician-assisted suicide as a treatment option for six-month terminal patients. Or if they were not willing to do so, they were required to refer their patients to someone who would. Thankfully, the state recently changed the interpretation of the law to allow objectors not to be forced to promote suicide.
  • ADF is currently representing pregnancy centers in California and Illinois that are being forced under state law to post where their patients can receive information on how and where to get an abortion. This amounts to the government forcing these pro-life healthcare professionals to advertise and advocate for abortion, even as their very mission seeks to end abortion. While an Illinois court temporarily halted enforcement of the law as the lawsuit continues, ADF is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the California case.
  • ADF has represented a number of nurses or nursing students that have been told they are required to perform abortions. For pro-life healthcare professionals, this is not something up for compromise. Every life is sacred, and asking them to take a life defies the very oath they took to heal and not harm. Thankfully, courts have recognized that individuals cannot be forced to participate in abortion procedures.

All too often, healthcare professionals are asked to make a choice between their career and their convictions. But they shouldn’t have to make that choice.

Healthcare professionals are free to go about their life-saving work without fear of being forced to violate their conscience, which is why ADF created A Legal Guide for Healthcare Professionals: Conscience Protections for People of Faith. This guide is designed for healthcare professionals who have questions about their rights.

Healthcare professionals should never be forced to violate their conscience. Alliance Defending Freedom stands at the ready to defend their freedom to work according to their convictions and uphold their pledge to heal and not harm.


Download your free copy of this legal guide at the link below.



Sarah Kramer

Sarah Kramer

Digital Content Specialist

Sarah worked as an investigative reporter before joining the Alliance Defending Freedom team.

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