SENATE BILL No. 975

 

 

February 16, 2012, Introduced by Senators MOOLENAAR, JANSEN, KAHN, COLBECK, GREEN, PROOS, SCHUITMAKER, WALKER, BOOHER, HILDENBRAND, MARLEAU, KOWALL, PAVLOV, BRANDENBURG, MEEKHOF, CASPERSON, EMMONS, HUNE, NOFS, ROBERTSON, ROCCA, PAPPAGEORGE and HANSEN and referred to the Committee on Health Policy.

 

 

 

     A bill to protect religious liberty and rights of conscience

 

in the areas of health care and medical and scientific research as

 

it pertains to employment, education and training, and providing or

 

participating in health care services and to the purchasing of or

 

providing for the purchase of health insurance; to provide immunity

 

from liability; and to prescribe penalties and provide remedies.

 

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN ENACT:

 

     Sec. 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the

 

"religious liberty and conscience protection act".

 

     Sec. 3. As used in this act:

 

     (a) "Conscience" means religious beliefs, moral convictions,

 

or ethical principles sincerely held by an individual or entity.

 

For purposes of this act, the conscience of an entity shall be

 

determined by reference to its existing or proposed religious,


 

moral, or ethical guidelines, mission statement, constitution,

 

bylaws, articles of incorporation, or regulations.

 

     (b) "Health care payer" or "payer" means an individual,

 

entity, or employer that purchases, contracts for, pays for, or

 

arranges for the payment of, in whole or in part, any health care

 

service, including, but not limited to, health maintenance

 

organizations, health plans, insurance companies, or management

 

services organizations.

 

     (c) "Health care service" or "service" means any of the

 

following:

 

     (i) A phase of patient medical care, treatment, or procedure,

 

including, but not limited to, patient referral, therapy, testing,

 

diagnosis or prognosis, research instruction, prescribing, surgery,

 

dispensing or administering a device, drug, or medication, or other

 

medical care rendered by a health provider or health facility.

 

     (ii) Medical or scientific research directed toward developing

 

a therapeutic means of treating an illness, disease, or health

 

condition.

 

     (d) "Health facility" means any of the following:

 

     (i) A clinical laboratory, as defined in section 20104 of the

 

public health code, 1978 PA 368, MCL 333.20104.

 

     (ii) A county medical care facility, as defined in section

 

20104 of the public health code, 1978 PA 368, MCL 333.20104.

 

     (iii) A freestanding surgical outpatient facility, as defined in

 

section 20104 of the public health code, 1978 PA 368, MCL

 

333.20104.

 

     (iv) A home for the aged, as defined in section 20106 of the


 

public health code, 1978 PA 368, MCL 333.20106.

 

     (v) A hospital, as defined in section 20106 of the public

 

health code, 1978 PA 368, MCL 333.20106.

 

     (vi) A hospice, as defined in section 20106 of the public

 

health code, 1978 PA 368, MCL 333.20106.

 

     (vii) A hospice residence, as defined in section 21401 of the

 

public health code, 1978 PA 368, MCL 333.21401.

 

     (viii) A nursing home, as defined in section 20109 of the public

 

health code, 1978 PA 368, MCL 333.20109.

 

     (ix) A facility or agency listed in subparagraphs (i) to (viii)

 

located in a university, college, or other educational institution.

 

     (x) The private practice office of a physician. As used in

 

this subparagraph, "physician" means an individual licensed or

 

otherwise authorized to engage in the practice of medicine or

 

osteopathic medicine and surgery under article 15 of the public

 

health code, 1978 PA 368, MCL 333.16101 to 333.18838.

 

     (xi) A medical clinic that provides health care services.

 

     (xii) A public or private institution that provides health care

 

services.

 

     (xiii) A teaching institution that provides health care

 

services.

 

     (xiv) A pharmacy that provides health care services. As used in

 

this subparagraph, "pharmacy" means that term as defined in section

 

17707 of the public health code, 1978 PA 368, MCL 333.17707.

 

     (xv) Any other person or legal entity that provides health care

 

services.

 

     (e) "Health provider" means any of the following:


 

     (i) An individual employed, contracted, or granted privileges

 

to provide or assist in the provision of a health care service.

 

     (ii) A faculty or staff member or a student of a university,

 

college, or educational institution where a health care service is

 

provided or where education and training regarding the provision of

 

a health care service is conducted.

 

     (f) "Participate in a health care service" means to instruct,

 

advise, provide, perform, assist in, refer to a particular provider

 

or institution for, admit for purposes of providing, conduct

 

medical or scientific research for, or facilitate payment for a

 

health care service.

 

     Sec. 5. (1) A health facility may assert as a matter of

 

conscience an objection to providing a health care service and may

 

decline to provide a health care service that violates its

 

conscience pursuant to this section. If a health facility asserts

 

as a matter of conscience an objection to providing a health care

 

service under this section, the health facility shall apply that

 

objection equally to all patients that it serves, subject to this

 

act.

 

     (2) A health facility shall not assert a matter of conscience

 

objection under subsection (1) under either of the following

 

circumstances:

 

     (a) The objection is based on the patient's or a group of

 

patients' status, or a patient's insurance coverage, ability to

 

pay, or method of payment.

 

     (b) The objection is based on a disagreement with a health

 

provider employed by, under contract to, or granted privileges by


 

the health facility regarding the medical appropriateness of a

 

health care service for a specific patient, the patient has

 

consented to the provision of the health care service, and the

 

health facility routinely allows that health care service to be

 

performed.

 

     (3) A health facility shall provide notice of its assertion of

 

an objection to providing a health care service described in

 

subsection (1) through written public notice or personally in

 

writing at the time an individual seeks to obtain that health care

 

service from the health facility.

 

     (4) A health facility's assertion of an objection as described

 

in subsection (1) to providing a health care service shall not be a

 

basis for any of the following:

 

     (a) Civil, criminal, or administrative liability.

 

     (b) Eligibility discrimination against the health facility in

 

a grant, contract, or program, where providing the health care

 

service is not expressly required as a condition of eligibility for

 

the grant, contract, or program.

 

     Sec. 7. (1) A health care payer may decline to do any of the

 

following:

 

     (a) Pay or arrange payment for, or offer a contract, policy,

 

or product that facilitates payment for, a health care service that

 

violates the conscience of the payer.

 

     (b) Purchase or financially contribute toward the purchase of

 

a contract, policy, or product that includes coverage for a health

 

care service that violates the conscience of the payer.

 

     (2) A health care payer and any person that owns, operates,


 

supervises, or manages a health care payer entity is not civilly,

 

criminally, or administratively liable because the health care

 

payer declines to pay for or arrange for payment of a health care

 

service or declines to purchase or offer a contract, policy, or

 

product that facilitates payment for a health care service, if the

 

health care service violates the conscience of the payer.

 

     (3) A person, public or private institution, or public

 

official shall not discriminate against a health care payer or any

 

person, association, corporation, or other entity operating an

 

existing health care payer or attempt to establish a new health

 

care payer, in any manner, including, but not limited to, denial,

 

deprivation, or disqualification with respect to licensure, aid,

 

assistance, benefit, privilege, or authorization because the health

 

care payer is planning, proposing, or operating a health care payer

 

that declines to pay for or arrange payment of a health care

 

service that violates the conscience of the payer.

 

     (4) A public official, agency, or other entity shall not deny

 

any form of aid, assistance, grants, or benefits to, or in any

 

other manner coerce, disqualify, or discriminate against, a health

 

care payer because the existing or proposed health care payer

 

declines to pay for or arrange for the payment of a health care

 

service that violates the conscience of the payer.

 

     Sec. 9. (1) A health provider may request reasonable

 

accommodation to avoid providing or participating in a health care

 

service to which the health provider objects as a matter of

 

conscience.

 

     (2) A health provider shall request reasonable accommodation


 

described in subsection (1) in writing. The health provider shall

 

give the written request directly to his or her supervisor. The

 

health provider shall include in the written statement an

 

explanation of his or her objection and the health care service or

 

services to which he or she specifically objects to providing or

 

participating in under this section.

 

     (3) A health provider may request reasonable accommodation

 

under any of the following conditions:

 

     (a) Upon being offered employment.

 

     (b) At the time the health provider adopts an ethical, moral,

 

or religious belief system that conflicts with participation in a

 

health care service.

 

     (c) Within 24 hours after he or she is asked or has received

 

notice that he or she is scheduled to participate in a health care

 

service to which he or she objects.

 

     (4) An employer shall retain a health provider's written

 

request filed under subsection (2) for the duration of the health

 

provider's employment. The written request is valid for the

 

duration of the health provider's employment or until rescinded by

 

the health provider in writing.

 

     (5) Within 7 days after receiving a written request under

 

subsection (2), an employer shall develop a plan for reasonable

 

accommodation with the health provider to ensure that the health

 

provider will not be scheduled or requested to participate in a

 

health care service to which he or she specifically objects.

 

     (6) An employer shall not ask a prospective employee regarding

 

his or her objection or potential objection to a health care


 

service unless participation in that health care service is a

 

regular or substantial portion of the normal course of duties for

 

the position or staff privileges the prospective employee is

 

seeking.

 

     (7) An employer shall not refuse employment or staff

 

privileges to a health provider because the health provider is

 

known by the employer to have previously requested or is currently

 

requesting reasonable accommodation under subsection (1) unless

 

participation in that health care service is a regular or

 

substantial portion of the normal course of duties for that

 

position or staff privileges.

 

     (8) A medical school or other institution for the education or

 

training of a health provider shall not refuse admission to an

 

individual or penalize that individual because the individual has

 

filed in writing with the medical school or other institution a

 

request for reasonable accommodation under subsection (1).

 

     (9) The protections afforded to a health provider under this

 

section do not apply to a health provider who has submitted to his

 

or her supervisor a written request regarding providing or

 

participating in a certain health care service under any of the

 

following circumstances:

 

     (a) A patient's condition, in the reasonable medical judgment

 

of an attending physician or medical director, requires immediate

 

action and no other qualified health provider is available to

 

provide that health care service.

 

     (b) There is a public health emergency.

 

     (c) The health provider first submits a request


 

contemporaneously to a patient's requiring or requesting the

 

objectionable health care service and no other health provider is

 

available to provide the health care service.

 

     (d) The request is based on a patient's or a group of

 

patients' status or insurance coverage, ability to pay, or method

 

of payment.

 

     (e) The request is made in the presence of a patient seeking a

 

health care service to which the health provider objects.

 

     (10) This section does not relieve a health provider from a

 

duty that exists under any other law pertaining to current

 

standards of acceptable health care practice and procedure to

 

inform a patient of the patient's condition, prognosis, or risk of

 

receiving or forgoing relevant health care services for the

 

condition, including the availability of a health care service to

 

which the health provider objects.

 

     (11) Subject to a collective bargaining agreement, if a health

 

provider submits a request regarding a health care service that at

 

the time the request is submitted constitutes a regular or

 

substantial portion of the health provider's current and defined

 

position, the employer may give the health provider not less than

 

60 days' notice of the termination of his or her employment.

 

     (12) A health provider's objection to providing or

 

participating in a health care service as described in subsection

 

(1) shall not be the basis for any of the following:

 

     (a) Civil liability to another person.

 

     (b) Criminal action.

 

     (c) Administrative or licensure action.


 

     (13) If a health provider is required by his or her employer

 

to participate in a health care service more than 7 days after the

 

health provider has submitted a written request regarding that

 

health care service, the health provider is immune from civil

 

liability in an action arising from his or her participation in

 

that health care service.

 

     Sec. 11. A civil action for damages or reinstatement of

 

employment, or both, may be brought against a person, including,

 

but not limited to, a governmental agency, health facility, or

 

other employer, for penalizing or discriminating against a health

 

provider, including, but not limited to, penalizing or

 

discriminating in hiring, promotion, transfer, a term or condition

 

of employment, licensing, or granting of staff privileges or

 

appointments, solely because that health provider has submitted a

 

request for reasonable accommodation under section 9. Civil damages

 

may be awarded equal to the amount of proven damages and attorney

 

fees. A civil action filed under this section may include a

 

petition for injunctive relief against a person alleged to have

 

penalized or discriminated against a health provider as described

 

in this section.

 

     Sec. 13. A person who violates this act is responsible for a

 

state civil infraction and may be ordered to pay a fine of not more

 

than $1,000.00 for each day the violation continues or a fine of

 

not more than $1,000.00 for each occurrence.