Moving People



Conscience in healthcare: 2019

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Faith Steps' Jonathan Imbody collaborated with Dee Allsop, Ph.D. and Erin Norman (pictured above)  of Heart and Mind Strategies in 2019 to conduct a nationwide poll on the impact of conscience protections on faith-based U.S. healthcare professionals.

2019 survey: Key Findings

  • Faith-based health professionals need conscience protections to ensure their continued medical practice.

  • Conscience-driven health professionals care for all patients.

  • Religious professionals overwhelmingly support a biological—not ideological--definition of sex.

  • Religious health professionals face rampant discrimination.

  • Access for poor and medically under-served patient populations depends on conscience protections.

2019 Survey

Key Findings

Conscience in healthcare: 2009

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Faith Steps' Jonathan Imbody collaborated with Kellyanne Conway (left) and The polling company, inc. on a 2009 nationwide, scientific poll on the potential impact of removing conscience protections from U.S. healthcare professionals.

Jonathan led a coalition, Freedom2Care, which presented the results at a press conference at the National Press Club.

2009 survey: Key Findings

  • Being able to adhere to their principles and values is important for a majority of respondents.

    • In fact, 91% of survey respondents said they either strongly or somewhat agreed with the statement “I would rather stop practicing medicine altogether than be forced to violate my conscience.” 

    • Ninety-two percent of medical professionals who practice full-time in poor and medically-underserved areas, 93% whose patient base is majority-low-income, and 92% who operate mainly in rural areas also agreed, demonstrating that should the conscience protection rule be rescinded, areas with pre-existing limited access could face an even greater shortage. 

  • Faith-based medical professionals surveyed place high value on protecting the right of medical professionals to abstain from practices they believe are morally objectionable.

    • When asked to assess the importance of “[making] sure that healthcare professionals in America are not forced to participate in procedures or practices to which they have moral objections, ”100% of respondents said it was imperative (98% “very” and 2% “somewhat”).  

  • Ninety-eight percent of survey respondents reject rules obliging doctors to act against their moral and ethical codes.  

    • Among the more than 2,800 respondents who participated in the survey, nearly all (98%) strongly or somewhat opposed any types of regulations that “require medical professionals to perform or provide procedures to which they have moral or ethical objections.”  

  • Respondents have witnessed growing hostility toward those medical professionals with strong moral and religious beliefs.  

    • Nearly two-thirds (66%) of respondents felt that “the number of doctors being asked to compromise their moral, ethical, or religious beliefs in the capacity of their work” increased during the course of their professional experience; just 7% thought it has stayed the same while a paltry 1% believed it has decreased.  Though respondents with 20+ years of experience were especially likely to believe that the number of instances has grown, even those who are relatively “new” to the profession have witnessed an upward trend in this type of discrimination:

2009 poll