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Protection of Conscience Project

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Service, not Servitude

Death With Dignity Act  [ORS 127.800]

127.885 s.4.01. Immunities; basis for prohibiting health care provider from participation; notification; permissible sanctions.

Except as provided in ORS 127.890:

(1) No person shall be subject to civil or criminal liability or professional disciplinary action for participating in good faith compliance with ORS 127.800 to 127.897. This includes being present when a qualified patient takes the prescribed medication to end his or her life in a humane and dignified manner.

(2) No professional organization or association, or health care provider, may subject a person to censure, discipline, suspension, loss of license, loss of privileges, loss of membership or other penalty for participating or refusing to participate in good faith compliance with ORS 127.800 to 127.897.

(3) No request by a patient for or provision by an attending physician of medication in good faith compliance with the provisions of ORS 127.800 to 127.897 shall constitute neglect for any purpose of law or provide the sole basis for the appointment of a guardian or conservator.

(4) No health care provider shall be under any duty, whether by contract, by statute or by any other legal requirement to participate in the provision to a qualified patient of medication to end his or her life in a humane and dignified manner. If a health care provider is unable or unwilling to carry out a patient's request under ORS 127.800 to 127.897, and the patient transfers his or her care to a new health care provider, the prior health care provider shall transfer, upon request, a copy of the patient's relevant medical records to the new health care provider.

(5)(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a health care provider may prohibit another health care provider from participating in ORS 127.800 to 127.897 on the premises of the prohibiting provider if the prohibiting provider has notified the health care provider of the prohibiting provider's policy regarding participating in ORS 127.800 to 127.897. Nothing in this paragraph prevents a health care provider from providing health care services to a patient that do not constitute participation in ORS 127.800 to 127.897.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (1) to (4) of this section, a health care provider may subject another health care provider to the sanctions stated in this paragraph if the sanctioning health care provider has notified the sanctioned provider prior to participation in ORS 127.800 to 127.897 that it prohibits participation in ORS 127.800 to 127.897:

(A) Loss of privileges, loss of membership or other sanction provided pursuant to the medical staff bylaws, policies and procedures of the sanctioning health care provider if the sanctioned provider is a member of the sanctioning provider's medical staff and participates in ORS 127.800 to 127.897 while on the health care facility premises, as defined in ORS 442.015, of the sanctioning health care provider, but not including the private medical office of a physician or other provider;

(B) Termination of lease or other property contract or other nonmonetary remedies provided by lease contract, not including loss or restriction of medical staff privileges or exclusion from a provider panel, if the sanctioned provider participates in ORS 127.800 to 127.897 while on the premises of the sanctioning health care provider or on property that is owned by or under the direct control of the sanctioning health care provider; or

(C) Termination of contract or other nonmonetary remedies provided by contract if the sanctioned provider participates in ORS 127.800 to 127.897 while acting in the course and scope of the sanctioned provider's capacity as an employee or independent contractor of the sanctioning health care provider. Nothing in this subparagraph shall be construed to prevent:

(i) A health care provider from participating in ORS 127.800 to 127.897 while acting outside the course and scope of the provider's capacity as an employee or independent contractor; or

(ii) A patient from contracting with his or her attending physician and consulting physician to act outside the course and scope of the provider's capacity as an employee or independent contractor of the sanctioning health care provider.

(c) A health care provider that imposes sanctions pursuant to paragraph (b) of this subsection must follow all due process and other procedures the sanctioning health care provider may have that are related to the imposition of sanctions on another health care provider.

(d) For purposes of this subsection:

(A) "Notify" means a separate statement in writing to the health care provider specifically informing the health care provider prior to the provider's participation in ORS 127.800 to 127.897 of the sanctioning health care provider's policy about participation in activities covered by ORS 127.800 to 127.897.

(B) "Participate in ORS 127.800 to 127.897" means to perform the duties of an attending physician pursuant to ORS 127.815, the consulting physician function pursuant to ORS 127.820 or the counseling function pursuant to ORS 127.825. "Participate in ORS 127.800 to 127.897" does not include:

(i) Making an initial determination that a patient has a terminal disease and informing the patient of the medical prognosis;

(ii) Providing information about the Oregon Death with Dignity Act to a patient upon the request of the patient;

(iii) Providing a patient, upon the request of the patient, with a referral to another physician; or

(iv) A patient contracting with his or her attending physician and consulting physician to act outside of the course and scope of the provider's capacity as an employee or independent contractor of the sanctioning health care provider.

(6) Suspension or termination of staff membership or privileges under subsection (5) of this section is not reportable under ORS 441.820. Action taken pursuant to ORS 127.810, 127.815, 127.820 or 127.825 shall not be the sole basis for a report of unprofessional or dishonorable conduct under ORS 677.415 (2) or (3).

(7) No provision of ORS 127.800 to 127.897 shall be construed to allow a lower standard of care for patients in the community where the patient is treated or a similar community. [1995 c.3 s.4.01; 1999 c.423 s.10]

Note: As originally enacted by the people, the leadline to section 4.01 read "Immunities." The remainder of the leadline was added by editorial action.


Oregon Revised Statutes (Family planning & abortion)

435.215 Right to refuse services protected.

The refusal of any person to accept family planning and birth control services shall in no way affect the right of such person to receive public assistance or any other public benefit and every person to whom such services are offered shall be so advised initially both orally and in writing. Employees engaged in the administration of ORS 435.205 to 435.235 shall recognize that the right to make decisions concerning family planning and birth control is a fundamental personal right of the individual and nothing in ORS 435.205 to 435.235 shall in any way abridge such individual right, nor shall any individual be required to state the reason for refusing the offer of family planning and birth control services. [1967 c.491 s.3; 1971 c.779 s.66; 1987 c.158 s.81]

435.225 Refusal by employee to offer services.

Any employee of the Adult and Family Services Division may refuse to accept the duty of offering family planning and birth control services to the extent that such duty is contrary to the personal or religious beliefs of the employee. However, such employee shall notify the immediate supervisor in writing of such refusal in order that arrangements may be made for eligible persons to obtain such information and services from another employee. Such refusal shall not be grounds for any disciplinary action, for dismissal, for any interdepartmental transfer, for any other discrimination in employment, or for suspension from employment, or for any loss in pay or other benefits. [1967 c.491 s.4; 1971 c.779 s.67]

435.235 Construction of ORS 435.205 to 435.235.

ORS 435.205 to 435.235 shall be liberally construed to protect the rights of all individuals to pursue their religious beliefs, to follow the dictates of their own consciences, to prevent the imposition upon any individual of practices offensive to the individual's moral standards, to respect the right of every individual to self-determination in the procreation of children, and to insure a complete freedom of choice in pursuance of constitutional rights. [1967 c.491 s.5]

435.435 Effect of refusal to consent to termination.

The refusal of any person to consent to a termination of pregnancy or to submit thereto shall not be grounds for loss of any privilege or immunity to which the person is otherwise entitled nor shall consent to or submission to a termination of pregnancy be imposed as a condition to the receipt of any public benefits. [1969 c.684 ss.7,12; 1983 c.470 s.5]

435.475 Refusal to admit patient for termination.

(1) Except as provided in subsection (3) of this section, no hospital is required to admit any patient for the purpose of terminating a pregnancy. No hospital is liable for its failure or refusal to participate in such termination if the hospital has adopted a policy not to admit patients for the purposes of terminating pregnancies. However, the hospital must notify the person seeking admission to the hospital of its policy.

(2) All hospitals that have not adopted a policy not to admit patients seeking termination of a pregnancy shall admit patients seeking such termination in the same manner and subject to the same conditions as imposed on any other patient seeking admission to the hospital.

(3) No hospital operated by this state or by a political subdivision in this state is authorized to adopt a policy of excluding or denying admission to any person seeking termination of a pregnancy. [1969 c.684 s.9; 1983 c.470 s.2]

435.485 Medical personnel not required to participate in termination.

(1) No physician is required to give advice with respect to or participate in any termination of a pregnancy if the refusal to do so is based on an election not to give such advice or to participate in such terminations and the physician so advises the patient.

(2) No hospital employee or member of the hospital medical staff is required to participate in any termination of a pregnancy if the employee or staff member notifies the hospital of the election not to participate in such terminations. [1969 c.684 ss.10,11; 1983 c.470 s.3]


Insurance Code

(The following provisions from HB 2700, 9 March, 2007, have been incorporated into the Oregon Revised Statutes, 750.055 and 750.333. The bill was signed by the Governor on 31 May, 2007)

(1) A prescription drug benefit program, or a prescription drug benefit offered under a health benefit plan as defined in ORS 743.730 or under a student health insurance policy, must provide payment, coverage or reimbursement for:

(a) Prescription contraceptives; and
(b) If covered for other drug benefits under the program, plan or policy, outpatient consultations, examinations, procedures and medical services that are necessary to prescribe, dispense, deliver, distribute, administer or remove a prescription contraceptive.

(2) The coverage required by subsection (1) of this section may be subject to provisions of the program, plan or policy that apply equally to other prescription drugs covered by the program, plan or policy, including but not limited to required copayments, deductibles and coinsurance.

(3) As used in this section, 'contraceptive' means a drug or device approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration to prevent pregnancy.

(4) A religious employer is exempt from the requirements of this section with respect to a prescription drug benefit program or a health benefit plan it provides to its employees. A 'religious employer' is an employer:

(a) Whose purpose is the inculcation of religious values;
(b) That primarily employs persons who share the religious tenets of the employer;
(c) That primarily serves persons who share the religious tenets of the employer; and
(d) That is a nonprofit organization under section 6033(a)(2)(A)(i) or (iii) of the Internal Revenue Code