Arizona Gov. signs Conscience Protection Bill

Prevents discrimination against those who won’t participate in assisted suicide

By Dave Andrusko

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey

Editor’s note. My family and I will be on vacation through August 25. I will occasionally add new items but for the most part we will repost “the best of the best” — the stories our readers have told us they especially liked over the last ten months.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has signed Senate Bill 1439 which gives additional legal protections to health care providers and institutions opposed to assisted suicide. SB 1439 “aims to help ensure doctors and nurses aren’t fired for their beliefs if the practice is ever legalized,” CNA News reported.

Earlier this month the Senate approved the bill on a 16-14 vote. On March 21, the House “passed the bill along party lines on a 32-24 vote,” according to the Associated Press. Gov. Ducey signed the bill last Friday.

State Sen. Nancy Barto sponsored the bill to make sure that the jobs of physicians who decline to participate in “end of life treatment” are “not at stake and that they are not discriminated against at work.”

Proponents of the bill “say it would build off of existing laws excusing health care providers from criminal or civil liability for refusing to comply with patient requests when it violates their personal conscience,” the AP’s Clarice Silber reported.

The bill reads in part

The bill would prohibit the state from taking or threatening any adverse action against a health-care provider for declining to provide, assist in providing, or facilitate in providing any health-care service for the purpose of causing or assisting in causing the death of any individual, such as by assisted suicide, euthanasia, or mercy killing.

The bill prohibits a health-care entity from being held liable in any civil, criminal or administrative action for declining to provide any health-care item or service for the purpose of causing or assisting in causing the death of any individual.