California Health Coalition Advocacy Proposes Groundbreaking Legislation to Protect Personal Rights!

California Health Coalition Advocacy Proposes Groundbreaking Legislation to Protect Personal Rights!

California Health Coalition Advocacy (CHCA) has drafted legislation to protect their right to refuse in California and protect their civil liberties that are in jeopardy during health emergencies and infectious disease outbreaks.

 

 

CHCA legislation will protect the right of citizens to refuse:  “medical treatments or procedures; testing; physical or mental examination; vaccination; experimental procedures and protocols; collection of specimens; participation in tracking or tracing programs; the wearing of masks; the maintaining of measured distance from other humans and animals that is not otherwise unlawful; and the involuntary sharing of personal data or medical information. “

The legislation will also protect the right of persons in quarantine:  “quarantine must be of the least restrictive means possible, include reasonable notice and due process, be protective of the right of the individual to remain in their home, live with family members, friends or significant others at all times, and homes are not required to be altered or renovated such as adding additional bathrooms.  The quarantining of a non-infected person may not be imposed upon an individual multiple times based on third party location data.  Treatment, testing, tracking, or prevention orders must not be imposed as a requirement for the ending of isolation or quarantine of a person.  A person in isolation or quarantine has the right to utilize the health care treatments of their choice and to have a consenting person of their choice with them and attending their needs at all times.  Quarantine may not take away or alter the legal or medical custody of a person who is under a parent or legal guardian.  A minor child may not be forcibly removed from their parent or home.” 

The need for this legislation stems from the fact that broad laws have been passed in many states since 2002 including California, that gave state governments expansive powers in the case of a health emergencies, including in some states the power to do “anything that is necessary” to cope with the health emergency. 

CHCA’s legislation will ensure that limitations are in place and clear on these broad laws, and that civil liberties are protected during a health crisis, and that Governor and health official orders are constitutional and compliant with the “law of the land”.  Read the full draft bill Here.

California would be the second state to pass legislation to limit the breadth of the states police power during emergencies;  In 2002, Minnesota passed a protective law that ensures that even in a state of emergency, Minnesotans reserve the right to their bodily autonomy and have a right to refuse “medical treatment, testing, physical or mental examination, vaccination, participation in experimental procedures and protocols, collection of specimens, and preventive treatment programs.” Click Here to Read MN Law.

Governor orders must always be constitutional.  Since personal autonomy rights are fundamental rights they are primarily protected by the constitution and any infringement of them presents a constitutional law question.  The current corona virus crisis gives us unique opportunities as a nation to discern how to protect our personal liberties during an emergency.

For example, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin recently overturned its Governor’s stay-at-home order with judicial comments reflecting that expansive Governor orders cannot go beyond the constitutional inalienable rights of citizens, even in the case of declared emergencies.  Read Wisconsin court opinion HERE.  

And in Minnesota, the Upper Midwest Law Center announced its federal lawsuit on behalf of multiple Minnesota churches and small business owners and a request for a temporary restraining order to suspend enforcement of Governor Walz’s continuing shutdown of religious services.

NHFC and NHFA support the right to refuse and the work of CHCA. We believe individuals and local communities can work together to find ways to thrive and survive without sacrificing those inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and without running afoul of the constitutional protection of them – even in an emergency.

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