High Impact Practices Student Showcase Spring 2024

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Download Full Text (288 KB)

Download In Favor of SB 1580.pdf (177 KB)

Download Against SB 1580.pdf (127 KB)

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Professor Shemeca Smith

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About the Author

Rishi Nair, Nicholas Mistry, Vishanth Murugesan, Hunter Burtha and Douglas D'Amelio are second-year LEAD Scholars. They thank the Digital Democracy Project and UCF LEAD Scholars Academy for providing the data and resources to make this project a success.

Abstract, Summary, or Creative Statement

In 2023, the Florida Legislature passed Senate Bill 1580 (SB 1580), which enshrined protections of medical providers’ conscience into law. Upon enactment, proponents have hailed the bill’s leadership in enabling providers to uphold their personal values and refuse to provide care on such grounds. Opponents have questioned SB 1580’s ability to ensure accessible healthcare by enabling personal beliefs to potentially overshadow the scientific consensus. We analyzed the benefits and drawbacks of this new law in relation to existing research on the impact of medical conscience on health outcomes. SB 1580 draws upon affirmations of the Hippocratic Oath and moral practices that many providers follow, and strongly permits them to exercise personal judgement without government intervention. SB 1580 also ensures that providers are not professionally punished for publicly offering opinions that contradict with the scientific consensus, thereby enabling more robust free speech in healthcare. However, we suggest that SB 1580’s potential to lengthen wait times in high-demand areas necessitates the creation of a provider-managed database, with the goal of increasing patient knowledge about available providers.


Florida, medical conscience, providers

Impact of Senate Bill 1580: Medical Conscience in Florida