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Publication Title

Northern Illinois University Law Review


During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people who refused to be vaccinated because of their religious or moral beliefs tried to use the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act to block their employers' vaccination requirements. In response, some elected officials argued that the Act was being misinterpreted. They believed it was intended only to protect health care providers who refused to provide certain services to patients, not to allow people to avoid measures taken to ensure public health during a pandemic. Their interpretations were incorrect. The Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act was properly construed as a right to refuse COVID-19 vaccines on religious or moral grounds. And it was properly construed as applying to anyone, not solely to health care providers. Contrary interpretations are inconsistent with the public policy, the statutory language, and the interpretive caselaw. Furthermore, the latest amendment was not a legislative clarification but a substantive change to the law.

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College of Law

Suggested Citation

Matthew Moustis, COVID-19 & The Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act: A Legal Analysis, 43 N. Ill. Univ. L Rev. 1 (2022).

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Law Commons



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