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Arkansas House panel advances bill that would allow doctors to refuse to treat patients based on beliefs

The bill says health care workers have the right to not participate in non-emergency treatments that violate their conscience.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — An Arkansas House panel has advanced legislation to permit doctors to refuse to treat someone because of moral or religious objections.

On Thursday, the House Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee endorsed the reworked bill that opponents say would allow discrimination against patients. 

The bill says health care workers have the right to not participate in non-emergency treatments that violate their conscience.  

Supporters say it protects workers from being forced to perform something that violates their conscience. 

Opponents say it would allow providers to use personal beliefs to turn LGBTQ patients away.

RELATED: Arkansas lawmakers OK transgender sports, treatment limits

RELATED: Near-total abortion ban signed into law in Arkansas

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