Local hospitals respond to governor’s medical conscientious objections law

Updated: Mar. 31, 2021 at 8:17 AM CDT
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas’ governor has signed into law a measure that would allow doctors to refuse to treat someone because of moral or religious objections.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Friday signed the legislation, despite objections that it would give medical providers broad powers to turn away LGBTQ patients and others.

The measure says health care workers and institutions have the right to not participate in non-emergency treatments that violate their conscience.

The new law won’t take effect until late this summer.

The measure is among several targeting transgender people advancing through Arkansas’ legislature.

Region 8 News has asked NEA Baptist, St. Bernards, and AMMC in Paragould their stance on this new law.

“NEA Baptist has always ensured protection of patients and their needs above all else, and will never discriminate against a patient who needs care. NEA Baptist recognizes the diversity of viewpoints in the communities we serve and will protect individual’s convictions and beliefs including those of our team members with a sustained focus on providing quality health care in keeping with the three-fold ministry of Christ: healing, preaching, and teaching.”

NEA Baptist CEO, Sam Lynd

St. Bernards released this statement after multiple requests.

Thank you for the request, but we politely decline a comment.

Mitchell Nail, Media relations Manager, St. Bernards Healthcare

AMMC released this statement after multiple requests.

“For over 70 years, Arkansas Methodist Medical Center has provided quality medical care for those who seek our services. We do not expect this law will have any impact on our mission to continue to be a beacon of health, hope and healing,” said Barry Davis, CEO Arkansas Methodist Medical Center.

Tori Gibson Thompson, Director of The Foundation and Marketing Arkansas Methodist Medical Center

Copyright 2021 KAIT. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this story