Morality at the Bedside: How Stronger Enforcement of Physician Opt-Outs Could Impact Patient Care

Morality at the Bedside:
How Stronger Enforcement of Physician Opt-Outs Could Impact Patient Care

Monday, March 26, 2018
Panel from 3:30-4:30 pm, Reception to follow
UC Hastings, College of the Law
Alumni Reception Center (ARC) at 200 McAllister St.


On January 26, 2018, the Trump Administration promulgated a proposed rule to codify, clarify and implement several federal statutes that aim to protect the rights of health care providers to refuse health services based on religious or moral beliefs. These proposed rules, along with previously enacted statutes, arguably pit the religious beliefs of health care providers against the health care interests of patients.

Although focused on abortion, sterilization, and end of life care, the rules would cover a variety of health care services funded by the federal government as well as anyone involved in the provision of those services. Health care providers could deny care based on any number of religious and moral objections, including objections based on a patient’s gender, sexual orientation or racial identity.

Help us welcome panelists Martha Swartz, Kathryn Tucker, Radhika Rao and Dorit Reiss for a discussion of these proposed rules!

Meet the Panelists

Martha Swartz

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Martha Swartz (J.D.), has worked with both institutional and individual health care providers to provide legal advice on regulatory issues. Professor Swartz also teaches a course in health care transactions at the Rutgers-Camden School of Law. Full biography here.


Kathryn Tucker

Kathryn L. Tucker, a graduate of Georgetown University Law School, recently joined UC Hastings as the Executive Director of the End of Life Liberty Project (ELLP), and is recognized as a national leader in spearheading creative and effective efforts to promote improved care for seriously ill and dying patients.
Full biography here.


Radhika Rao

Radhika Rao graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, and has written on abortion, assisted reproduction, cloning, stem cell research, genetic privacy, gene patenting, and property rights in the human body. Currently, Professor Rao teaches constitutional law, comparative constitutional law, property, and the law of the human body, and serves on the California Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Advisory Committee.
Full biography here.

Dorit Reiss

Dorit Reiss received her law degree from Hebrew University and her Ph.D. from the Jurisprudence and Social Policy program at UC Berkeley. Professor Reiss has examined agency accountability on state, national, and international levels, while currently her research focuses on legal issues related to vaccines, including exemption laws and tort liability related to non-vaccination.

Full biography here.