HHS’s 2024 Final Rule on Health Care Refusals: What Health Advocates Need to Know

Executive Summary

Federal health care refusal laws, such as the Weldon Amendment and the Church Amendments, govern when and how covered health care entities, providers, and professionals can refuse to deliver or provide information to patients on medically necessary health care that they find objectionable on the basis of their religious or personal beliefs. This issue brief provides an overview of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights’ (OCR) 2024 final rule, “Safeguarding the Rights of Conscience as Protected by Federal Statutes,” which rescinds the most harmful components of the Trump Administration’s unlawful, unethical, and discriminatory 2019 health care refusal regulations.

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