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Ethics workshop to examine matters of conscience for, and rights of, health care workers

The Pacific Center of Health Policy and Ethics will host a workshop on April 8 on “What Conscience Rights for Healthcare Workers?” featuring Laila Muderspach, associate professor and chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Fr. Juan Velez, a priest and a physician board-certified in internal medicine.

Alexander Capron, the Scott H. Bice Chair in healthcare law, policy and ethics, Gould School of Law and Keck School of Medicine, will moderate the event, which will be from noon to 1 p.m. at the East Room of the Norris Medical Library basement.

The event will discuss the Obama Administration’s pledge to void federal regulations approved last year that aim to protect health care workers’ “right of conscience.”

The stated aim of the regulation is to clarify and strengthen existing provisions on professionals’ conscience rights in the face of cases of firing and other disciplinary measures against providers who objected, in particular, to any involvement in contraception and abortion.

Critics argue, however, that the new rule unjustifiably broadens the scope of previous provisions and could limit research and deny individuals in need access to essential health care services.

The Q&A panel will examine this issue, which has ramifications far beyond reproductive medicine: What does it mean to be a professional? How should the moral and religious views of those who work in health care affect the rights and welfare of those who seek such care?

To RSVP or for more information, e-mail pacificworkshops@hotmail.com. Additional information is also available by calling (818) 450-4720.

Ethics workshop to examine matters of conscience for, and rights of, health care workers

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