In Coronavirus Emergency, Be Persuasive Not Coercive

Right to Refuse Testing in Peacetime Emergency is Law in Minnesota

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF) releases the following statement regarding COVID-19 by its president and co-founder, Twila Brase:

“During a declared public health emergency, it is important for government agencies and officials to take care with implementing the various enforcement powers that may directly impact individuals.”

“After the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act was introduced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in October 2001, following the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, nearly 40 state legislatures introduced the legislation and 20 states adopted it in whole or in part. Depending on the state, legislators may or may not have enacted the Act’s proposed charge of a misdemeanor for those who refuse examination, testing, treatment, and vaccination.”

“In Minnesota, no individual can be forced to submit to examination, testing, treatment or vaccination without their consent. Furthermore, as Minnesota’s protective law requires, people must be informed that they have a right to refuse. Individuals must also be informed that if they refuse, they can be placed in quarantine or isolation. But they won’t be charged with a misdemeanor.” (MN. Stat. 12.39)

“These hard-fought rights, gained during the 2002 Minnesota legislative session, honor an individual’s right to self-determination within the health care system in the midst of an emergency situation.”

“As the coronavirus continues to sweep across the nation, we are calling on all federal, state, and local officials to avoid coercive tactics, and to focus instead on providing accurate and transparent information to encourage public cooperation in examination, testing, treatment and, when available, vaccination.”

CCHF maintains a patient-centered, privacy-focused, free-market perspective. CCHF has worked in its home state of Minnesota and at the national level for more than 20 years to protect health care choices, individualized patient care, and medical and genetic privacy rights. In 2016, CCHF launched The Wedge of Health Freedom, an online directory of direct-pay practices (

Twila Brase, RN, PHN has been named by Modern Healthcare as one of the “100 Most Powerful People in Health Care.” She is the host of the daily Health Freedom Minute radio program heard by over 5 million weekly listeners on more than 800 radio stations nationwide, and the author of the four-time award-winning book, Big Brother in the Exam Room: The Dangerous Truth About Electronic Health Records.


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