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Protection of Conscience Project

www.consciencelaws.org

Service, not Servitude

Repression of Conscience in Health Care


2010-2014

 

RCOG faculty bars prolife doctors from receiving its degrees and diplomas
(United Kingdom: 2014)

  •  Dr. Peter Saunders* |  Doctors and nurses who have a moral objection to prescribing 'contraceptives' which act by killing human embryos are to be barred from receiving diplomas in sexual and reproductive health even if they undertake the necessary training according to new guidelines. . .
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Swedish nurse takes a stand on conscience rights
If soldiers can object to using weapons, why can't health professionals refuse to assist at abortions?
(Sweden: 2013)

  • Mariola O'Brien | . . .Out of the 47 member states in the European Council, Finland and Sweden are the only two which do not uphold freedom of conscience in practice.  Ellinor Grimmark, 37, is the first midwife in Sweden to report a hospital to the Discrimination Ombudsman (DO) concerning abortion. . .  Newly-graduated, she was fired from her position last summer because she refused to assist abortions. . .
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  • Carolyn Moynihan |  Because of its welfare state and gender equity policies Sweden has become a beacon of progressiveness in everything that affects women. But there is one kind of woman the Scandinavian state seems to have no time for: a health professional who objects to abortion.
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Midwife fired for refusing to assist in abortion
Lost her job in the Knin hospital: "They fired me because I would not participate in abortions"
Hrvatski Ponos (Croatian Pride) Hospital, Knin, Croatia (14 June, 2013)

  • Slobodna Dalmacija | Doctors and nurses in Croatia may call upon conscientious objection in situations when their religious beliefs prevent them from participating in medical procedures contrary to the postulates of their faith. One such situation is the deliberate termination of a pregnancy.  The conscientious objector, however, cannot be a midwife, at least not at the general hospital "Hrvatski Ponos (Croatian Pride)" in Knin because, like Jaga Stojak, they could lose their job. . .
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ECLJ to the Council of Europe:
Spain violates conscientious freedom of medical practitioners
(Spain: July, 2011)

  • ECJL | . . .In Spain, health professionals suffer structural and systemic violations of their rights. Doctors, nurses, and other medical staff that object to performing or assisting with abortion procedures are coerced and suffer career-crippling sanctions or are legally prosecuted for attempting to exercise this fundamental right, which is recognized by both European and international law. . .
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Equality legislation used to defend conscientious objection to abortion
(United Kingdom: 2011)

  • John Smeaton* | The two nurses . . .were employed at a hospital for ordinary nursing duties. They were then allocated to work once a week at an abortion clinic in the hospital. The abortion process did not involve surgical abortion but the increasingly common process of "early medical abortion" . . .When they became aware that they were participating in abortion they told their management that they did not want to continue but were then told that they had no choice in the matter. . .
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Nurses who refused to assist in abortion disciplined
(New York, USA: 2010)

  • Pete Sheehan | Eight nurses who refused to participate in an abortion at Nassau University Medical Center here March 31 are resisting disciplinary action levied on them by hospital officials. . .
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Illinois HB2354 to nullify Health Care Right of Conscience Act
(Illinois, USA: 2009-2010)

  • Sean Murphy* | Illinois has a broadly worded protection of conscience law for health care workers, one of the most comprehensive in the United States.  There seems to be no evidence that the law has caused any problem in the state. Perhaps for this reason, those who want to suppress freedom of conscience have not tried torepeal or amend the existing law.  Instead, they have introduced a bill that will effectively nullify the Health Care Right of Conscience Act.
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Nurse forced to assist in late term abortion
Cenzon-DeCarlo v. The Mount Sinai Hospital

(New York, NY, USA: May, 2009)

  • ADF | Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund filed suit on behalf of Catherina Cenzon-DeCarlo, a nurse who was forced to assist in the abortion of a 22-week-old preborn child despite her longstanding religious objections.
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2005-2009

Medical student charged by professor with "abandonment" for no abortion referral
(USA: 2008)

  • Freedom2Care.org | Brief examples that demonstrate the often subtle, sometimes flagrant and increasingly pervasive discrimination faced by pro-life, faith-based and conscience-driven individuals in the healthcare professions.
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Family medicine physician forced out over contraceptives for unmarried patients
(USA: 2008)

  • Freedom2Care.org | Brief examples that demonstrate the often subtle, sometimes flagrant and increasingly pervasive discrimination faced by pro-life, faith-based and conscience-driven individuals in the healthcare professions.
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Medical student afraid to pursue Ob-Gyn career due to abortion pressure
(USA: 2008)

  • Freedom2Care.org | Brief examples that demonstrate the often subtle, sometimes flagrant and increasingly pervasive discrimination faced by pro-life, faith-based and conscience-driven individuals in the healthcare professions.
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State of Victoria, Australia demands referral, performance of abortions
Abortion Law Reform Act 2008
(Australia: October, 2008)

  • Sean Murphy* | The Abortion Law Reform Act 2008 legalized abortion in the State of Victoria, Australia.  It demands that physicians who object to abortion for reasons of conscience refer a woman to a colleague who has no such objections in order to facilitate the procedure, and requires physicians to perform abortions if necessary "to preserve the life of the pregnant woman."
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Oxford Division Motion for British Medical Association
(United Kingdom: July, 2008)

  • Sean Murphy* |A motion considered at the annual general meeting of the British Medical Association would have compelled physicians who object to abortion for reasons of conscience to facilitate the procedure by referring patients to more willing colleagues.  The motion failed by a narrow margin.
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American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists continues attacks on freedom of conscience
The Limits of Conscientious Refusal in Reproductive Medicine
ACOG Committee on Ethics Opinion No. 385
(USA: November, 2007)

  • Sean Murphy* | . . . Perhaps recognizing that a 2005 letter had failed to make an ethical case for mandatory referral, the ACOG Committee on Ethics released an opinion in November, 2007 that purported to do so. The opinion, particularly when read in conjunction with a new bulletin from the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG), poses a significant threat to freedom of conscience for American physicians specializing in obstetrics and gynaecology. . .
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Assisted suicide bills require objectors to facilitate assisted suicide
(Wisconsin, USA: April, 2007)

  • Sean Murphy* | Two assisted sucide bills lack protection of conscience clauses.  On the contrary: an objecting physician would be required to initiate transfer the patient to a willing colleague.
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Nurse practitioner terminated over abortion referral
(USA: 2006)

  • Freedom2Care.org | Brief examples that demonstrate the often subtle, sometimes flagrant and increasingly pervasive discrimination faced by pro-life, faith-based and conscience-driven individuals in the healthcare professions.
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American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Demands Compulsory Referral for Abortion
Letter to American Senators from the President of the ACOG
(USA: August, 2005)

  • Sean Murphy* | A letter from the President of the ACOG to US Senators included a number of statements concerning matters unrelated to freedom of conscience, but also asked that lawmakers force conscientious objectors to abortion to facilitate the procedure by referral.  The ACOG was unable or unwilling to explain the ethical basis for its demand.
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Philippines bill launches attack on freedom of conscience
House Bill 3773 would punish conscientious objection with imprisonment
(Philippines: April, 2005)

  • CFAM | . . .the bill requires all employers, not excluding the Catholic Church, to provide free of charge, "reproductive health care services and devices to the workers" [including] voluntary sterilization  [and] prohibits persons "to act from conscience" because it threatens up to six months imprisonment for "any health care service provider who shall . . . refuse to perform voluntary sterilization and ligation" . . .
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Ob-Gyn intern loses privileges for refusing to perform abortions
(USA: 1989-2008)

  • Freedom2Care.org |  Brief examples that demonstrate the often subtle, sometimes flagrant and increasingly pervasive discrimination faced by pro-life, faith-based and conscience-driven individuals in the healthcare professions.
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Draft Code of Ethics for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians
Ontario College of Pharmacists
(Ontario, Canada: March, 2005)

  • Sean Murphy*| Concerned pharmacists who would have objected to a provision in a draft code of ethics adverse to freedom of conscience were unaware that the regulator was contemplating it and were not consulted about it. Similarly, igroups representing the interests of religious believers who might be adversely impacted by the recommendation were not notified or consulted.
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Missouri Senate Bill 458 Threatens Pharmacists
(Missouri, USA: February, 2005)

  • SB458 | Bill would impose a duty on objecting pharmacists to dispense prescriptions if not accommodated by an employer.
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New Jersey Senators Attack Freedom of Conscience for Pharmacists
(New Jersey, USA: January, 2005)

  • Senate No. 2178 | Bill prohibits pharmacist from refusing to dispense medication solely for philosophical, moral or religious reasons
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2000-2004

Family medicine physician deemed "too Catholic" for medical license
(USA: 2004)

  • Freedom2Care.org |  Brief examples that demonstrate the often subtle, sometimes flagrant and increasingly pervasive discrimination faced by pro-life, faith-based and conscience-driven individuals in the healthcare professions.
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'Pro-choice' groups attack freedom to choose
(USA: November, 2004)

  • Summary | The Abortion Non-Discrimination Act was added by congressmen Henry Hyde and Dave Weldon as an amendment to an omnibus spending bill, which passed the House of Representatives in November, 2004.  The amendment, which might be said to protect freedom of choice for health care workers, was attacked by ostensibly 'pro-choice' groups. Ttheir statements are reproduced here, with commentary by the Project.
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Attack on freedom of conscience in US House of Representatives
(USA, November, 2004)

  • Congressional Record | Ms. Pelosi's attack on protection for health care workers who choose not to participate in abortion is no less extraordinary, coming, as it does, from someone who purports to value freedom of choice.
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South African nurse denied position
(Vereeniging, South Africa: 2004)

  • Sean Murphy* | It appears that hospital management decided to deal with the 'problem' posed by Sister Charles by holding a meeting of theatre staff . . . The real point of the meeting was  to suppress the exercise of Sister Charles' freedom of conscience.  . . .
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Ambulance attendant fired
ACLJ Files Lawsuit Against Illinois Ambulance Service
(Elmhurst, Illinois, USA: 2004)

  • ACLJ | . . .once Adamson confirmed that her assignment was to transport the patient for an elective abortion, she told her employer that transporting the patient to an abortion clinic violated her religious beliefs. After a second crew was sent to transport the patient, Adamson's supervisor immediately fired her . . .
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Should doctors be forced to abandon their faith?
(Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: 2004)

  • Terry O'Neill | . . .The male Christian student received a failing grade after completing his hospital rotation in obstetrics and gynecology because of differences with his teachers on abortion and related issues, says Sean Murphy, administrator of the Protection of Conscience Project based in Powell River, B.C. . .
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Secretary refused employment by county because of abortion stance
(USA: 2003)

  • Freedom2Care.org |  Brief examples that demonstrate the often subtle, sometimes flagrant and increasingly pervasive discrimination faced by pro-life, faith-based and conscience-driven individuals in the healthcare professions.
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Testimony of Pharmacist Re: Wisconsin Assembly Bill 63
Before the Assembly Labour Committee
(Wisconsin, USA: 2003)

  • Susan Grosskreuz, R.Ph. | Although there is an extremely high demand for pharmacists in our state, I have had to be very selective as to where I am willing to work because I cannot go against my conscience. . . Although pharmacy jobs in the retail sector were generally plentiful . . . I accepted a position at a newly created pharmacy . . .that served only nursing home patients. . . . I actually would have preferred working in the retail sector but I didn't feel I had any protection if I requested to refrain from filling prescriptions that had abortifacient potential.
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Re: Wisconsin Assembly Bill 67
Testimony before Wisconsin Senate Committee
(Wisconsin, USA: October, 2003)

  • Beth LaChance, R.N. | . . . I . . . experienced an onslaught of disciplinary reprimands, retaliation, criticism and ostracism. . . I was no longer assigned to train or mentor new nurses despite my credentials and qualifications.  . . .I was denied career advancement to clinical nurse three status, as the research project which qualified me for advancement, was resigned to another nurse without my prior knowledge or consent. I was grilled as a "second class nurse" or "nobody". . .
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The Campaign to Force Hospitals to Provide Abortion USA
(USA: September, 2003)

  • US Conference of Catholic Bishops | Forty-five states and the federal government protect the right of health care providers to decline involvement in abortion. Pro-abortion groups seek to abolish these legal protections.
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Testimony of Pharmacist Re: Wisconsin Senate Bill 21
Before the Senate Labour Committee
(Wisconsin, USA:  March, 2003)

  • Yvonne Klubertanz R.Ph. |. . .The physician was adamant that I had to fill whatever he prescribed, even though I explained my conscience would not allow me to do that. He threatened that my supervisor would find out about this, and I feared that my job could be in jeopardy. I was harassed for my beliefs, and my dignity as a person was attacked. . .
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Ob-Gyn physician reamed out over refusal to perform abortion
(USA: 1989-2008)

  • Freedom2Care.org |  Brief examples that demonstrate the often subtle, sometimes flagrant and increasingly pervasive discrimination faced by pro-life, faith-based and conscience-driven individuals in the healthcare professions.
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Alberta Pharmacist Vindicated for Pro-Life Stand
(Calgary, Alberta, Canada: 2000-2003)

  • Mike Mastromatteo | . . ."The complaints were made after a pro-choice organization published on the Internet the name of Bizecki and encouraged the public to make complaints to both her employer and the college (of pharmacists)," Chipeur said. "The complaints have caused Bizecki to incur significant legal expenses that she is currently just beginning to pay off." . . .
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Police Used to Intimidate Objecting Pharmacist
(Menomonie,Wisconsin, USA: July, 2002)

  • Neil Noesen | . . .On July 6, 2002, I made a conscientious objection to participation in refilling a contraceptive order and also in transferring that same contraceptive order to another pharmacy. On July 7, 2002, two police officers accompanied the same patient to the pharmacy but did not take any action other than requesting my current mailing address. I again refused participation in aiding that patient to obtain her hormonal contraceptive. . .
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Doctor's faith under scrutiny:
Barrie physician won't offer the pill, could lose his licence
(Barrie, Ontario, Canada: 2002)

  • Cheryl Canning | . . .Dr. Stephen Dawson faces a discipline committee at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario in April because he refused to prescribe birth control pills to unmarried women. . .
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Traumatised Health Care Professionals
Forced to Take Part in Abortion Procedures
(South Africa: June, 2002)

  • Doctors for Life | The incident at Philadelphia Hospital again highlights the unbearable pressure exerted on healthcare professionals to take part in the Termination of Pregnancy Act against their conscience. The following quotes were collected from traumatized Health Care Professionals. . .
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Do it anyway
More and more Canadian workers are being compelled to violate their own beliefs
(Canada: 2001)

  • Terry O'Neill | . . . a growing number of Canadian workers are being discriminated against on conscience-related issues, and the institutions that should be protecting them are turning a blind eye to their plight. As is becoming increasingly apparent, the double standard seems to be entirely political.
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Testimony of Wang Guoql
(China: 2001)

  • Introduction | Wang Guoql was a doctor at a Chinese People's Liberation Army Hospital who willingly participated in organ harvesting from executed prisoners. However, after a particularly gruesome experience he experienced a conflict of conscience and tried to avoid further involvement in the process. His initial attempt was rejected and he was met with various forms of pressure to continue his participation.
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No Equal Opportunities for Nurse With Pro-Life Views
(Oregon, USA: 2001)

  • John W. Whitehead | . . .According to a federal lawsuit filed by Janice, when the new supervisor-one intolerant of pro-life viewpoints-was assigned to the Women's Clinic, Janice's treatment on the job began to change. Indeed, not only were Janice's religious views no longer accommodated, she was also harassed. . .
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Testimony from the Gynaecological-Obstetrical Frontline
(Belgium: 2001)

  • André O. Devos, MD* | . . .Since a fair amount of their income was the result of contraception, and surgical sterilisation, I refused to join the pool . . . According to my conscience, I could not accept any part of that income. I soon was dismissed, losing hospitalisation and surgical privileges. The letter of dismissal was signed both by our Mother Superior . . . and . . . a Reverend Cannon, who at the same time was one of the secretaries of our Bishop. . .
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Pharmacy colleges quash conscientious objection
(Canada: 2000)

  • Greg Edwards | Pharmacists are critically thinking individuals who integrate their values into their work life-and they are not mere robots who are glorified order-takers for physicians. We should be promoting such thinking, not punishing it.--Nancy Metcalfe, pharmacist. . . .
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Access to Appointments: The Effect of Discrimination on Careers
(United Kingdom: March, 2000)

  • T. Everett Julyan, MBChB BSc * | . . .In March 2000 I was interviewed for a post on a 3 year General Practice Vocational Training Scheme which included a 6 month attachment in obstetrics & gynaecology. When the interview panel learned that not only was I unwilling to perform abortions, but also to prepare women for them I was denied a job, solely on that basis.   . . .
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Medical professor threatened with job loss over embryocides
(USA: 1999-2001)

  • Freedom2Care.org |  Brief examples that demonstrate the often subtle, sometimes flagrant and increasingly pervasive discrimination faced by pro-life, faith-based and conscience-driven individuals in the healthcare professions.
    Full Text

 

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