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(LifeSiteNews) — Conservatives and medical freedom groups are urging Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis to kill a bill forwarded by the state’s Republican-dominated legislature that would extend legal immunity to hospitals that treat COVID-19 patients.

NBC affiliate WFLA explained that SB 7014 would extend a measure passed last year and prevent liability lawsuits against hospitals for claims related to “damages, injury, or death.”

According to The Epoch Times, the bill would make it very difficult for health care providers to be sued “as long as they follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).”

The outlet noted that proponents of the bill, which has already cleared the Senate and the House, “say the measure still is needed to help health care facilities stay solvent during the pandemic.”

However, mRNA pioneer Dr. Robert Malone and many conservative groups are urging Gov. DeSantis not to sign the legislation, arguing that hospitals have failed to render appropriate care for hospitalized COVID-19 patients and ought to be held accountable.

According to the American Freedom Information Institute, 35 groups have thus far signed onto a letter urging DeSantis to veto the bill. 

The letter states that SB 7014 “takes away patient choice and encourages health care providers to keep doing what they want to do.”

Throughout the pandemic, some families have moved to take legal action against hospitals that have denied family members medications like ivermectin, which are not part of the hospitals’ approved COVID regimen. 

One attorney characterized hospitals during the COVID pandemic as “death camps” that have blocked patients from receiving crucial early treatments. 

The Epoch Times observed that the tension between conservative groups calling for accountability for hospitals and the GOP legislators forwarding a bill to shield health care providers puts Gov. DeSantis in “a tricky spot.”

“DeSantis must decide whether to support lawmakers in his own party or listen to conservative groups, setting a powerful example for governors around the country,” the report noted.

The bill has been sent to DeSantis’ desk but as of yet no executive action has been taken.

The Republican governor has signaled support for legislation that would allow doctors to circumvent federal guidelines to prescribe the medications they feel will be most effective.

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