NFFV Action Request


Upcoming Health and Human Services Committee Hearing

Friday, February 10, 2023

9:30 AM, Room 1510

Support

LB810 the Medical Ethics and Diversity Act

What is LB810?


LB810 gives medical providers the ability to opt out of health care practices that go against their beliefs. More specifically: "As the right of conscience is fundamental, no medical practitioner, health care institution, or health care payer should be compelled to participate in or pay for any medical procedure or prescribe or pay for any medication to which such person or entity objects on the basis of conscience, whether such conscience is informed by religious, moral, or ethical beliefs or principles".

What is the Hippocratic Oath and can it still be used?


The Hippocratic Oath is an oath of ethics that emphasizes the importance of ethical and professional standards in medicine. The oath has historically been taken by physicians but really applies to all healthcare providers. It is one of the most widely known Greek medical texts. It's also one of the oldest. Partial fragments of the oath date to around 275 AD.


So the question is who defines what is and what is not ethical? Until recent times, that decision was left up to the healthcare provider however that is changing rapidly. With the acceleration of new medical diagnoses, treatments, and big-pharma, medical decisions are being taken away from individual providers and are being made by large entities, some with limited to no medical background. Though opinion may vary about the drivers behind this shift, unimaginable money (healthcare is one of the biggest economies in the world) and nefarious cultural dividing initiatives ranks among the top.

How are decisions being taken from individual providers?


There is not one answer to that question; but following are three examples of how it's happening.


  1. Required medical protocols. Medical protocols are not a bad thing, in fact they can be helpful in leading providers through a diagnoses. It's when they become "required" and the provider has no ability to deviate from them, that is when they become problematic. Here is just one of many examples of how that's happening.
  2. Insurance Companies. Having medical insurance is a great thing. It helps cover the cost of healthcare. Most largescale insurance companies, even though they may be designated as non-profit, are profit driven and thus dictate what items they will and will not provide coverage. We probably all have personal examples of this. Did you know "The survey of 600 doctors found the 89% said they no longer have adequate influence in the healthcare decisions of their patients". That's astounding! Read more.
  3. Big Pharma. In 2013 Johnson & Johnson spent $17.5 billion on sales and marketing, that more than doubled the $8.2 billion they spent on actual research and development. The mind numbing fact is Big Pharm spends a lot more on doctors than consumers. Research shows this kind of money influences their medical decisions. It's widely known that opioid manufacturers were paying physicians huge sums of money - the more opioids a doctor prescribed, the more money he or she made. Read more.

Back to Ethics?


It's hard to imagine in the almost 2,000 years since the Hippocratic Oath's origin, a time where medical ethics is so polarized. Recent topics such as abortion, gender affirming care, and Covid-19 have put medical providers in unquestionably difficult situations though older issues still remain prevalent. You can read a few of those here. It is always important to remember 'ethical' is not the same as 'lawful'. Something can be unethical but perfectly legal. In many cases legal does not keep up with ethical and what is believed to be ethical is not universal. That's why LB810 is so important.

How Can I help?


Take action, your voice is powerful make it heard. LB810 committee hearing is scheduled for Friday February 10, 2023.


How to be heard? Here are three ways:


  • Most Effective: Testify in person. Going to the Committee hearing and sharing YOUR story with committee member Senators is very impactful. For first time in person testifier here are some help hints
  • Very Effective: Submit written testimony. If you can't be there in person then submit written testimony. Not sure how to do that, click here. Note; written testimony needs to be submitted by noon the day before the committee hearing.
  • Effective: Email your position letter to edupl@leg.ne.gov and CC each committee member Senator. For a listing of Health and Human Services Senators click here. Note; emails need to be sent by noon the day before the committee hearing. It's not guaranteed these emails will be included in the official meeting documents.

Not sure what to say?


Listed below are thought starters. Build your story around one or two of them. Quantity is not as important as a short heart felt personal story.

 

Here are three strong arguments for supporting this legislation.


Medical providers should not be forced into unethical practices


There is an alarming trend of medical providers being canceled over offering differing medical opinions. We saw this with covid-19 as well as with gender affirming care. These cancelations are causing distrust in a once highly trusted industry.


Big Pharms has a history of paying out massive lawsuits


If you search "The Largest Class-Action Legal Settlements In U.S. History" number 2 on the list is the Opioid Epidemic. Prescription opioids such as OxyContin and Vicodin, and illicit drugs such as heroin and fentanyl, are linked to more than 500,000 deaths in the United States since 2000, the AP reported. The Pharmaceutical industry has a long history of paying out massive lawsuits. Are these the companies who should be dictating medical practices?


The centralization and monetizing of healthcare


Healthcare has long been a monetary business, however in recent times the magnitude of money flowing through the business is unrivaled. When healthcare profits are prioritized over patients outcomes, patients loose 100% of the time. In addition through consolidations more decisions are being made by few entities. Similarly, its becoming a select few who determine what institutions get funding for research.

NEBRASKANS FOR FOUNDERS' VALUES
Board of Directors Team
www.nffv.org