Taxpayers in the state of California are being stung with a $300,000 bill for their elected officials attempts to coerce religious doctors to help kill patients.
The bill comes from a court fight over the state’s attempt to order physicians to offer assisted suicide.
“Our clients seek to live out their faith in their medical practice, and that includes valuing every human life entrusted to their care. Participating in physician-assisted suicide very clearly would violate their consciences,” said Kevin Theriot, a lawyer for the ADF, which worked on the case.
“This is a significant victory for religious and conscientious physicians in California. The government can’t force any health care professional to act against his faith or medical ethics.”
As part of the resolution of the case, California has agreed not to enforce “any criminal or civil punishment, including professional discipline or licensing sanction for a California-licensed physician’s refusal or failure to” document a request, refer, or assist a patient in any way with ending his life, the ADF reported.
The state had tried to require religious medical professionals to participate in assisted suicide programs for patients in violation of their religious convictions.
The state now has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought on behalf of a doctor and the Christian Medical & Dental Associations.
The $300,000 is what the state agreed to pay toward attorneys’ fees and costs in the case.
It had been filed in early 2022 after California lawmakers adopted a law “that required doctors to participate in physician-assisted suicide against their religious convictions and professional ethics.”
While the state has allowed physician-assisted suicide since 2015, it was more recently that lawmakers decided to “force conscientious physicians to participate in the process.”
The settlement came after a federal judge decided the law probably violated the First Amendment rights of religious medical professionals.
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