The California Supreme Court recently answered the question whether a physician may invoke religious belief to refuse treatment for a patient protected by a civil rights statute. In that case, a patient was denied fertility services, allegedly on the basis of her sexual orientation. The Court held that a physician may not refuse treatment if it is on a basis protected from discrimination by statute. However, the Court left open the possibility for denying treatment based on a nonprotected status (e.g. unmarried status of parents). North Coast Women’s Care Medical Group, Inc. v. Superior Court, 189 P.3d 959 (Cal. 2008). For further discussion, see Symposium: The Future of Rights of Conscience in Health Care: Legal and Ethical Perspectives in the Fall 2010 issue of the Ave Maria Law Review
Notes: Discriminatory Denials of Care
Note 3. Definition of Disability
The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 overrode Sutton and other narrowing decisions by the Supreme Court. As a result, the definition of disability is consistent again with the legislative history of the ADA. For a discussion of the Act, see Jeannette Cox, "Crossroads and Signposts: The ADA Amendments Act of 2008," 85 Ind. L. J. 187 (2010).
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