RFI’s Eric Patterson Speaks at 2022 Religious Freedom Annual Review

RFI’s Executive Vice President Eric Patterson recently spoke at the 2022 Religious Freedom Annual Review (RFAR), an event sponsored by the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at the BYU Law School and the Wheatley Institution to bring together nationally recognized policymakers, scholars, and religious leaders to discuss the role of religion and religious freedom in the United States. 

Patterson spoke in a session titled, “Legislative Initiatives: Problem Solving by Negotiation” and highlighted what’s often called the “MED Act,” which he explained is a legislative approach to protect the medical conscience rights of healthcare providers:

What this legislation is designed to do is protect the fundamental conscience rights of doctors, nurses and mental health professionals in areas like euthanasia, abortion, transgender procedures, mental health services, and down the road, increasing in experimentation in transformative medical procedures.

Patterson emphasized that this is an issue rooted in the concept of human dignity, saying that doctors and nurses should not have to leave their moral convictions at the door before going to work. “It’s not just protecting the dignity of the patient, but it’s also protecting the dignity of that professional,” he said. 

He also highlighted the necessity of citizen action, citing education and the dissemination of information about these challenges to the public as important ways to help the cause. Patterson concluded, “The good news is that legislators in three states have passed this legislation, and I’m optimistic about it in other places. It’s one of the key ways that we can protect the faith convictions of our neighbors and those who serve us.”

Watch the full discussion below: