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Reporting Healthcare Conscience Discrimination

The website instructs professionals experiencing discrimination to contact counsel before filing a complaint with the government.

Bioethics Defense Fund is part of the Freedom2Care Healthcare Rights of Conscience coalition. Contact us with conscience rights inquiries. Our contact info is at the legal organizations link.


Before filing a complaint with the government, it is strongly recommended that you first seek legal counsel such as offered by the conscience-supporting legal organizations associated with Freedom2Care. Counsel from non-profit, public interest legal foundations is often provided without cost to the individual. These experts in conscience law can provide with you advice and cautions that can prove crucial in protecting your rights and winning your case.

Step 1: Seek initial counsel, without obligation, from a Freedom2Care coalition-participating legal organization. The Legal Help for Victims page provides a description of the services offered and contact information for these groups.

Step 2: Based on the advice of your legal counsel, you can click here to report discrimination to the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services

Note: The HHS web site summary of conscience laws inaccurately minimizes the true reach of the Church Amendments, emphasizing only the part of that federal law that covers performing abortions or sterilizations. In fact, part (d) of the Church Amendments contains much broader statutory language on the exercise of conscience in health care:

(d) Individual rights respecting certain requirements contrary to religious beliefs or moral convictions
“No individual shall be required to perform or assist in the performance of any part of a health service program or research activity funded in whole or in part under a program administered by the Secretary of Health and Human Services if his performance or assistance in the performance of such part of such program or activity would be contrary to his religious beliefs or moral convictions.”

For a summary of federal laws protecting conscience rights, see Conscience Laws and Reg at a Glance – handout

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