Survey of Nurses Rights In Abortion - page 3

WITHOUT STARTING A FLAME WAR, OR A HOLY CRUSADE!! The thread in OB/GYN nursing got me wondering. Does a nurse have a right to refuse to participate in certain procedures, if s/he feels those... Read More

  1. by   karenG
    This is an interesting ethical discussion- no flames either!! I'm impressed!!

    ok My tuppenceworth..........

    I'm a nurse, I became a nurse to look after people. Does the desire to look after people give me the right to impose my beliefs on people? I dont think so. My flat mate had to have a termination when she was told the baby was abnormal- incompatable with life was how the doctor put it. she went through hell because of the attitude of the nurses on the ward. Did any of them consider the consequences of their actions or ask her why she was doing this thing? If your beliefs are such that some areas of nursing are not for you, then dont work there. Because I think that to impose our beliefs and moral judgements on the people we are caring for at a truaumtic time in their lives is wrong. its unprofessional even. that goes for anything that is happening be it a termination, blood transfusion, whatever.

    I will work anywhere- my morals are my morals and I try not to let them affect how I care for people. And yes, as an NP I have referred women for terminations of pregnancy. I may not personally agree with it but I would hate to put a woman through the trauma of an unwanted pregnancy.. and the years of childrearing that she did not want. I sometimes wonder how many abused children are unwanted. Maybe if adoption was considered an option it would be easier.

    have strayed from the topic.........sorry!!

    Karen
  2. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    A nurse has the right to refuse, however he/she should keep in mind that the possibility of being asked to help might arise in that line of work.
  3. by   karenG
    Quote from LPN2Be2004
    A nurse has the right to refuse, however he/she should keep in mind that the possibility of being asked to help might arise in that line of work.
    my question would then be........... as a nurse with strong moral values, are you able to put them to one side to care for your patients?? Its something I have thought long and hard about.

    Karen
  4. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    I, myself, will be able to put my own feelings aside and do my job.
  5. by   RedSox33RN
    This is an intersting thread. It reminds me of the article I read this week, with pharmacists refusing to dispense the medications to prevent implantation, and those to terminate pregnancy (I forget the names of each, but I know the first is the mega-dose b/c pills). There is a big debate over whether they have the right to refuse to dispense the meds, and I believe several have been fired.

    It's not quite as black and white as it is with nurses, since nurses have the option of not working on particular units that may have proceedures they don't agree with. Pharmacists don't have that option.

    Personally, I don't think I would back away from any procedure, but not being an RN yet, I can't say for sure. But I do believe in a woman's right to choose for herself - it is not my business to tell her what she can and cannot do with her body, just as I don't want anyone, including the government, telling me what to do with mine.

    This is a great read, and I'm really impressed with the civil discussion. Everyone is making valid points - it's very educational.
  6. by   fergus51
    I think the only way I would participate in a procedure I personally didn't agree with is if I was the only nurse able to. If there are no nurses willing to participate in the snipping of little boys, then I would because it is still legal and the parents' choice. Otherwise, I'll steer clear.

    As an aside, several pharmacies do not stock the morning after pill. To me, dispensing a med is different than participating in an abortion, but that's just me.
  7. by   RedSox33RN
    Quote from fergus51
    I think the only way I would participate in a procedure I personally didn't agree with is if I was the only nurse able to. If there are no nurses willing to participate in the snipping of little boys, then I would because it is still legal and the parents' choice. Otherwise, I'll steer clear.

    As an aside, several pharmacies do not stock the morning after pill. To me, dispensing a med is different than participating in an abortion, but that's just me.
    I think it's different also, but I just found it interesting that so many are refusing to dispense them. I mean, where do the pharmacies draw the line? Do they let a pharmacist refuse to dispense to an HIV/AIDS patient, or a pt. with an STD because they feel the pt could have prevented it? They don't know the circumstances behind the reason for the drug, which only the doc/nurse and pt. know, but are refusing anyway. Some of these may be rape victims, incest victims, and yes, others.

    Well, this is probably for another thread or something anyway. Off-topic! LOL
  8. by   ktwlpn
    If we are allowed to refuse to care for patients on the basis of our moral convictions then the patients will openly demand the right to be cared for by nurses whose morals they do not object to....We saw what happened in Philadelphia recently when the patient and her significant other wanted to select their nurses according to race. We have debated transexual nurses,homosexual nurses and nurses with body piercings and tatoos....Fat patients,fat nurses....Where does it stop? And who decides what is politically correct this week?
  9. by   moia
    I really, really don't want to be involved in a profession that only offers help to those that meet rigid moral and ethical standards.

    Can I refuse care for anyone who does something I find morally reprehensible?
    Drunk drivers, child molesters, rapists and murderers , I would love to refuse care.
    How about certain religious or political leaders I oppose?
    Or maybe those people who have offended me in the past?

    If I accept that providing abortion care is impossible for you where do I draw the line?
    You will accept post abortion patients but not pre.
    I won't care for a drunk or a crack addict.
    He doesn't want to feed the 95 year old demented patient.
    No one wants to run a code on the brain dead guy.

    If we allow nurses the option to choose we won't be able to stop allowing choice.

    I think we just need to offer our skills to anyone who needs them and keep our personal beliefs personal.
  10. by   fergus51
    Actually, we can and do draw limits. When talking about abortion participation, you are talking about commiting an overt act against your religious/moral beliefs. That's very different than caring for someone with a lifestyle you disagree with.
  11. by   movealong
    It's tricky, isn't it?


    I myself would assist in an abortion procedure, if need be. I don't have to worry about it much, in my current job, that just will not happen.

    But over the years, I have been a party to some actions that I had moral problems with. One has been mentioned, which was a patient who wanted to be a DNR, he had voiced it early that day, papers had not gotten signed that day before he coded. The doctor ran a full code, and the patient was placed on life support. I felt it offended me morally, knowing this elderly gentleman wanted no part of what we did. It happened, oh probably 15-20 years ago. That's how much it affected me, I can still remember it clearly. I still feel it was wrong to this day. It bothered me because I felt I went against that person's wishes. Witholding an abortion would be the same.
  12. by   edib1
    Quote from moia
    I really, really don't want to be involved in a profession that only offers help to those that meet rigid moral and ethical standards.

    Can I refuse care for anyone who does something I find morally reprehensible?
    Drunk drivers, child molesters, rapists and murderers , I would love to refuse care.
    How about certain religious or political leaders I oppose?
    Or maybe those people who have offended me in the past?

    If I accept that providing abortion care is impossible for you where do I draw the line?
    You will accept post abortion patients but not pre.
    I won't care for a drunk or a crack addict.
    He doesn't want to feed the 95 year old demented patient.
    No one wants to run a code on the brain dead guy.

    If we allow nurses the option to choose we won't be able to stop allowing choice.

    I think we just need to offer our skills to anyone who needs them and keep our personal beliefs personal.
    I agree with you 100%, People forget why they became nurses in the first place, that was to help people. Not to judge and refuse to treat pts because they are fat , ugly, stink or because of decisions made....... Most of our pts are unpleasant but its not up to us to refuse the care they need. Its none of our business, its our job to do what needs to be done, to make sure the patient is safe and comfortable and receives the best care no matter what.
  13. by   fab4fan
    Just a point of clarification: Not all Jehovah's Witness nurses refuse to give transfusions. It is a conscience matter that is up to the individual.

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