Arkansas legislature passes bill to allow EMTs & doctors refuse to treat LGBTQ people.

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Arkansas legislation is being called one of the most extreme and deadly anti-LGBTQ healthcare bills seen in years and it is heading to the governor’s desk. S.B. 289, dubbed as the “Medical Ethics and Diversity Act,” seeks to give medical workers a right to refuse providing healthcare to someone because of the worker’s “religious, moral or ethical” beliefs. That could open the door for LGBTQ people to face denial from life-saving service from doctors, nurses, or EMTs. The bill was previously rejected by the Arkansas House Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee over criticism that it was too broad before it passed. The bill lists protected health care professionals including doctors and nurses and any individual who furnishes or assists in the provision of a healthcare service including social workers and pharmacists. Now, the proposal goes to Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s desk. His office has written in statements that he is “neutral” on the law at the moment, so whether it goes into effect or not may depend on if he applies his signature to it. Watch this space.

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