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Dr. Joe Thompson Discusses Concerns About Medical Conscience Objections Law

March 31, 2021

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ACHI staff

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On KUAF Radio’s “Ozarks at Large” today (March 31), ACHI President and CEO Dr. Joe Thompson discussed his concerns about a new Arkansas law that allows healthcare providers to refuse to provide non-emergency care to patients for religious, moral, or ethical reasons.

“This is really a law that has broad reach and no safeguards for the patient,” Thompson said of the Medical Ethics and Diversity Act.

The law allows a doctor to refuse to care for a patient without disclosing to the patient the specific service to which the doctor has an objection, Thompson noted.

“That leads to the real … possibility that doctors could discriminate, without disclosing what medical therapies are available,” he said. “This law is very broad and has the potential to cause, I think, a lot of harm.”