Target: Senator Lamar Alexander, Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Goal: Ban legalized discrimination against LGBT people by medical professionals.
Doctors and other medical professionals can refuse to treat gay people and other members of the LGBT community and not suffer any legal consequences for it. This is a blatant violation of the Hippocratic Oath and should not be allowed. Demand that a federal law is enacted to criminalize discrimination against LGBT people by medical professionals.
The ridiculous nature of this legal right was put on full display in a recent case in Michigan. Krista and Jami Contreras, a same-sex couple and the mothers of a newborn baby girl, made an appointment to take their daughter to her first medical check-up. They meant to see Dr. Vesna Roi, who they had visited before for a prenatal consultation and seemed to get along just fine with.
Once they arrived at the office, though, the family was forced to meet with a different physician, who informed them that Dr. Roi had “prayed on it” and decided that she could not care for the baby because Krista and Jami were in a same-sex relationship. Dr. Roi, because she has the legal right to do this in the state of Michigan, will not face any consequences for refusing to treat a six-day-old infant whose parents happen to both be women.
Only 22 states in the country have laws that criminalize this kind of discrimination from medical professionals to LGBT people—the quickest way to remedy this is by getting a federal law on the books. Sign the petition below to demand that the Senate committee in charge of legislation about healthcare providers introduce a bill to outlaw this discrimination nationwide.
Dear Senator Alexander,
I am writing you today regarding a matter that pertains to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. Currently, in 28 of our nation’s 50 states, doctors and other medical professionals have the legal right to refuse service to LGBT people on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender. This is a travesty.
Doctors swear an oath that says that they are expected to do what they can to help people when they can, because they possess knowledge and expertise that an average person does not. Part and parcel to that oath is the expectation that the doctor will perform their duties equally and without bias regardless of who the patient is. This right that many doctors in the country have to refuse to treat LGBT people has been used time and time again to allow doctors with anti-gay religious beliefs to discriminate against certain people. This obviously undermines the doctors’ oaths and treats LGBT people as second-class citizens.
It’s time for this to end. LGBT people deserve the same right to healthcare as anyone else. I demand that you and your committee introduce legislation that would make it a crime for doctors to discriminate against LGBT people on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Tinton5 via Wikimedia Commons