23 November 2021
Opinion number: 2021-070 Applicant: Ingram, Keith M. The Honorable
Could the belief or principle that individuals should be vaccinated against the 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19) meet the definition of conscience under the Ark Medical Ethics and Diversity Act. Code Ann. 17-80-501 et seq.)? Q2) If a doctor, such as a doctor, because of his conscience, refused to see or treat a patient who has not been vaccinated against the 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19), would the doctor be protected? under the law for exercising conscience? Q3) If a doctor is not protected by law, would other laws protect a doctor who refuses to see or treat a patient who has not been vaccinated against the 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19)? ANSWER: The first two questions relate to the term “consciousness” and certain characteristics of the patient. This does not recognize that the “right of conscience” protected under the Medical Ethics and Diversity Act relates to a service that violates the conscience of the practitioner. The belief that individuals should be vaccinated against COVID-19 is unlikely to meet the definition of “conscience” in the law. But even if that were not the case, that belief alone would not be a sufficient basis for an objection under the Act because you have not identified any particular service that violates the belief. In short, these questions miss the point of the Act. The answer to your second question is “no” because you have not identified any particular service that violates this belief or principle. In answer to your third question, I am not aware of any such state laws.
Opinion number: 2021-078 Applicant: Ballinger, Bob the Honorable
What constitutional provision, code provision or judicial precedent establishes the power of a circuit court judge to declare a law inapplicable outside his judicial district? ANSWER: I must respectfully decline to give an opinion on your questions due to an ongoing litigation, as your matter is a matter in court, the outcome of which could directly affect the matter you have raised.
Opinion number: 2021-094 Applicant: Curler, Jessica
Does the Trustee’s decision to post a letter of suspension, termination notice, and certain supporting documentation from a former employee’s personnel file in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request comply with FOIA ? Do certain references to medical information in these files need to be redacted before the files are published? ANSWER: Having reviewed the records at issue, I am of the opinion, based on the definitions and standards discussed below, that the custodian correctly classified the records as former employee appraisal records. The custodian has determined that these valuation records meet the applicable disclosure criteria. In view of the records, I cannot say that this decision is incompatible with the FOIA. As to your question of whether certain medical information should be removed from records, it appears you haven’t made an initial decision regarding these potential deletions. Therefore, I cannot comment on the conformity of your decision with FOIA. However, I can anticipate from the documents that any potential basis for removing such information would be outside the scope of my statutory review.