This article provides an overview of the harm to patients caused by refusals to provide health care based individuals’ or institutions’ religious, moral or ethical beliefs.  The article argues that any law or policy allowing health care providers to refuse services to patients must emphasize providers’ duty to their patients.   The article examines existing refusal laws, and describes how they contravene medical ethics and undermine established principles of quality medical care.  The article concludes with recommendations for heightened patient protections which limit the burden of refusals currently imposed on patients.

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