Press Release

Nurses Oppose Trump Administration Plan to Discriminate Against Patients Under Cover of ‘Moral Objection’

Nurses with banner

Today, National Nurses United criticized the Trump Administration's plan to create a new division within the Health and Human Services Department that would promote discrimination by medical workers against a patient’s right to receive medical care under the cover of “moral or religious beliefs.”

“Nothing is more basic to the professional practice of nursing, and nurses’ bond with the public, than the commitment to protect and advocate for the rights of patients to receive the medical care they need, when and where they need it,” said NNU Co-President Jean Ross, RN.

“With this plan, the Trump Administration is actively promoting discrimination against transgender individuals and others people based on their sexual orientation, and on the ability of women to terminate a pregnancy even when their life may be in danger. That is morally repugnant,” Ross said.

NNU concurs with many medical professionals who have said the plan would directly violate the oath many medical professionals take, as well as some legal statues, that require basic care be delivered to those who need it.

“This is particularly a vital issue for RNs,” Ross continued.

For 16 consecutive years, nurses have topped an annual Gallup poll on how Americans rate the honesty and ethical standards of 22 major professions.

“Nurses year after year are viewed as the most trusted profession,” Ross said, “precisely because patients have confidence that when a patient is ill, injured, and in need of medical care they can depend on a registered nurse to advocate for them.”

“With this plan, the Trump administration directly targets that trust, as well as fuels further anxiety for patients when they are at their most vulnerable that they will be able to receive proper care from RNs and other healthcare workers. That is disgraceful,” Ross continued.

NNU, Ross concluded, “has long embraced the basic philosophy that healthcare is a right, not a privilege. No one should be denied the right to care based on their sexual orientation, gender, race, national origin, or ability to pay. And that extends to political philosophy as well.”