Florida Governor Ron DeSantis this week signed several important bills into law that protect medical freedom and conscience rights in the Sunshine State, positioning Florida as the “national leader for medical freedom.”
On Thursday, May 11, 2023, Gov. DeSantis signed four pieces of legislation that protect Floridians from medical tyranny, empower doctors and prohibit gain of function research. The bills include SB 252, HB 1387, SB 1580 and SB 238.
Together, the bills:
- Prohibit globalized public health institutions, such as the World Health Organization, from dictating policy in Florida
- Provide permanent protections against forced COVID-19 testing, masking and vaccinations. Also protect against any mandate regarding mRNA vaccines and vaccines authorized for emergency use.
- Ban discrimination in providing medical care or procedures due to COVID-19 vaccination status.
- Safeguard the free speech of doctors.
- Allow doctors to collaborate with patients to prescribe alternative treatments and protect medical professionals who choose not to use a certain treatment based on their moral, ethical or religious convictions.
- Forbid dangerous research that artificially mutates viruses (like the Wuhan lab).
“Our early actions during the pandemic protected Floridians and their freedoms,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “We protected the rights of Floridians to make decisions for themselves and their children and rejected COVID theater, narratives, and hysteria in favor of truth and data. These expanded protections will help ensure that medical authoritarianism does not take root in Florida.”
Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo also issued a statement, saying,
“Governor DeSantis has been a pinnacle for freedom, and today we advance the cause of public health and individual autonomy in medical decisions. From empowering patients to safeguarding children in schools, Florida continues to enshrine individual liberty and lead with common sense.”
Specifically regarding Gov. DeSantis’ signing of SB 1580 – the “Protections of Medical Conscience” bill – the nonprofit organization Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) issued a statement praising the bill’s passage and signing.
“Americans shouldn’t be forced to violate their ethical and religious beliefs,” said ADF Legal Counsel Stephanie Nichols. “SB 580 is a strong step in outlining comprehensive protections in Florida law for medical conscience and freedom of speech for medical providers.”
The legislation ensures that medical professionals aren’t compelled to breach their oath to “do no harm” by being required to participate in procedures or treatments that violate their conscience.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans saw government authorities use the crisis to weaponize government against people of faith.
Consider the 1,000 U.S. Marines who were fired for refusing to take a COVID-19 vaccination because of their religious beliefs.
Or how about former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s arbitrary and discriminatory in-person worship restrictions that singled out churches for particularly stringent capacity restrictions.
And that’s to say nothing about the harm done to children, who’s educational and psychological development were irreparably harmed due to government mandates.
Leftist and pro-abortion groups also used the crisis to force the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to make the abortion pill more widely available, through telemedicine appointments an “by mail” abortions.
All told, leftist organizations and politicians were not about to let a good crisis go to waste, using the COVID-19 pandemic to push their ideological agenda.
That’s why it’s important for lawmakers to codify laws protecting medical freedom and conscience rights, so that religious and medical freedoms are protected the next time a pandemic strikes.
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