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Mississippi

Refusal to Provide Medical Services

Mississippi allows certain individuals or entities to refuse to provide women specific reproductive-health services, information, or referrals.

HEALTH-CARE PROVIDER AND HEALTH-CARE INSTITUTION REFUSAL CLAUSES

Mississippi allows certain individuals or entities to refuse to comply with individual health-care instructions or decisions based on conscience.

To whom does the refusal clause apply?  Health-care providers, health-care institutions, and health-care payers.

What does the refusal clause allow?  A health-care provider, institution, or payer may refuse to comply with an individual health-care instruction or decision and may refuse to participate in any health-care service for reasons of conscience. 

No health-care provider, health-care institution, or health-care payer may be held civilly, criminally, or administratively liable for refusing to participate in a health-care service for reasons of conscience.

It is unlawful to discriminate against a health-care provider, health-care institution, or health-care payer for refusing to participate in a health-care service for reasons of conscience.

Does the law require the refusing entity to notify the persons affected?  Yes, under some circumstances.  A health-care provider or health-care institution that refuses to comply with an individual health-care instruction or health-care decision must promptly inform the patient.

Are there circumstances under which a refusal clause may not be exercised?  No.

Does the law require the refusing individual or entity to provide medically and factually accurate information or provide a referral for the requested health services?  No.

Does the law provide a mechanism for women to otherwise obtain specific reproductive-health services, information, or referrals if an individual and/or entity exercises a refusal clause?  Yes, under some circumstances.  A health-care provider or health-care institution that refuses to comply with an individual health-care instruction or health-care decision must (1) inform the patient promptly; (2) make all reasonable efforts to assist in the transfer of the patient to another provider or institution that is willing to comply with the instruction or decision; and (3) provide continuing care to the patent until the transfer is accomplished or until it appears that a transfer cannot be accomplished.

Miss. Code Ann. §§ 41-41-215 (Enacted 1998; Last Amended 1999), 41-107-1 to -13 (Enacted 2004).


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