Survey of Nurses Rights In Abortion - page 4

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   edib1
    Quote from 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.
    Just a question, are you a jehovah witness, I had a patient tell me that the reason they do not take blood is because it is no longer sacred when it leaves the body is this true?
  2. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    The blood is considered dirty once it leaves the body.


    I have a booklet sitting here on my desk about it, when i have the time i'll find an lonine link to this explaination.
  3. by   moia
    Actually the Jehovah/blood thing is strange but fascinating. They believe they must appear before Jehovah intact..they interpret "intact or whole" as arriving with all the same parts they were born with. Some jehovahs will strangely accept donor organs though so it is not as rigid as it first appears...some jehovahs refuse cell saver blood as foreign others think it's fine. I have had jehovah patients that have contributed their own bank blood but I have also had some that categorically refused to donate. Even stranger I have had jehovahs demand that all IV lines, chest tubes and bloody linen remain with the patient because they contain the deceased blood.

    I guess in twenty years when the nursing shortage is at it's peak employers will agree to anything a nurse asks for. It is going to be sad to see.
  4. by   smk1
    Quote from moia
    Actually the Jehovah/blood thing is strange but fascinating. They believe they must appear before Jehovah intact..they interpret "intact or whole" as arriving with all the same parts they were born with. Some jehovahs will strangely accept donor organs though so it is not as rigid as it first appears...some jehovahs refuse cell saver blood as foreign others think it's fine. I have had jehovah patients that have contributed their own bank blood but I have also had some that categorically refused to donate. Even stranger I have had jehovahs demand that all IV lines, chest tubes and bloody linen remain with the patient because they contain the deceased blood.

    I guess in twenty years when the nursing shortage is at it's peak employers will agree to anything a nurse asks for. It is going to be sad to see.
    i think to get an official answer ion "why" witnesses abstain from blood its best to go to the source (as a lot of people are not true "practicing" jehovah's witnesses though they may still not want a transfusion.) anyway their official website may have answers for those confused by the blood thing. www.watchtower.org some things are slightly ambiguous and left up to the individual (accepting organs and blood parts and certain treatments.) In any case just ask the individual patient what they will accept and go from there.
  5. by   Riseupandnurse
    Many years ago, when I was a pretty new nurse, I had to care for a young girl who was a Jehovah's Witness. I was on night shift and she was a few hours post-op from having an operation for her scoliosis. She bled out pretty bad, Hmgl. went down to 5 something, and she just about died. But she was of legal age to refuse blood transfusions and so we all had to honor that request. Luckily, she did not die but eventually recovered. The surgeon decided he would no longer do operations like that on JWs.

    Why should surgeons have the right to refuse to participate in something they have moral issues with (putting a patient at risk with an elective operation), and nurses not have the right to refuse to participate in elective procedures like abortion where the whole point is to take someone else's life, in the view of the pro-life person? Is it ok for a surgeon to have a conscience but not a nurse? Are we really that expendable? I went into nursing not to do whatever a patient wanted, but to form a bond with a patient whereby we would work together on mutual goals. That is the purpose of nursing. If it becomes something else, you can add one more nurse to the nursing shortage figures.
  6. by   Roland
    Actually, this question may not be as REMOTE as many are suggesting. Here is a recent article concerning a medical school STUDENT flunking for not participating in abortions. In addition, I have read articles concerning how there is a PUSH to make being trained (and thus performing at least a few) to perform abortions a REQUIREMENT to be board certified in ob/gyn for doctors. To the nearly half of the United States citizens who consider abortion to be the killing of unborn children, this is a real issue. Yes, I know that the Supreme Court says that it is legal. Just remember that the same court once ruled that is was legal to own humans/slaves as property. As a nurse I have no right to "condemn" someone within the scope of my practice. However, that shouldn't mean that we should be compelled to participate in acts that we consider to be murder.
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    BRAVE NEW SCHOOLS
    Med student flunks for saying no to abortion
    University senior denied degree because of Christian, pro-life stand

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    Posted: March 23, 2004
    1:00 a.m. Eastern



    2004 WorldNetDaily.com


    A student in his senior year at a Canadian medical school will not be permitted to graduate because of his Christian, pro-life stand against abortion.

    According to Toronto-based LifeSiteNews.com, the student, who has requested anonymity, was given a failing grade in obstetrics and gynecology because he refused to perform abortions or to refer patients out for any abortive procedure.

    Three different appeals to the medical school over the past six months have failed to have the student reinstated. The most recent challenge, said the report, was March 3, when the student appeared before faculty of medicine's highest appeal committee.

    Friday, the student learned his appeal had been turned down.

    WND contacted the university's dean for the medical faculty, Dr. Brian K.E. Hennen, for comment, but as of publication no response had been received.

    The university's associate dean, Dr. Brian Magwood, told Winnipeg's CJOB Radio News the school's policy requires students to inform patients of all treatment options within the medical standard of care, said LifeSiteNews.

    Carolee Neufeld, a family friend handling media calls, said the student has always maintained high grades and high approval ratings from clinical supervisors, the report added.

    Training the next generation

    In a special edition on abortion last year, WND's monthly Whistleblower magazine profiled several medical doctors who explained why they quit doing abortions. One of them, David Brewer, M.D., who performed abortions for 10 years as a military physician in Ft. Rucher, Ala., described his medical-school abortion training this way:


    I can remember ... the resident doctor sitting down, putting the tube in, and removing the contents. I saw the bloody material coming down the plastic tube, and it went into a big jar. My job afterwards was to go and undo the jar, and to see what was inside.
    I didn't have any views on abortion; I was in a training program, and this was a brand new experience. I was going to get to see a new procedure and learn. I opened the jar and took the little piece of stockingette stocking and opened that little bag. The resident doctor said, "Now put it on that blue towel and check it out. We want to make sure that we got it all." I thought, 'That'll be exciting - hands-on experience looking at tissue.' I opened the sock up and put it on the towel, and there were parts of a person in there.

    I had taken anatomy, I was a medical student. I knew what I was looking at. There was a little scapula and an arm, I saw some ribs and a chest, and a little tiny head. I saw a piece of a leg, and a tiny hand and an arm and, you know, it was like somebody put a hot poker into me. I had a conscience, and it hurt. Well, I checked it out and there were two arms and two legs and one head and so forth, and I turned and said, "I guess you got it all." That was a very hard experience for me to go through emotionally.

    Here I was with no real convictions, caught in the middle. And so I did what a lot of us do throughout our life. We don't do anything. I didn't talk with anybody about it, I didn't talk with my folks about it, I didn't think about it. I did nothing. And do you know what happened? I got to see another abortion. That one hurt too. But again I didn't do anything, and so I kept seeing abortions. Do you know what? It hurt a little bit less every time I saw one.

    Then I got to sit down and do an abortion. Well, the first one that I did was kind of hard. It hurt me again like a hot poker. But after a while, it got to where it didn't hurt. My heart got calloused. I was like a lot of people are today -- afraid to stand up. I was afraid to speak up. Or some of us, maybe we aren't afraid, but we just don't have our own convictions settled yet.

    One particular abortion changed Brewer's life.


    I remember an experience as a resident on a hysterotomy (a late-term abortion delivered by caesarean section). I remember seeing the baby move underneath the sack of membranes as the caesarean incision was made, before the doctor broke the water.
    The thought came to me, "My God, that's a person." Then he broke the water. And when he broke the water, it was like I had a pain in my heart, just like when I saw the first suction abortion. And then he delivered the baby, and I couldn't touch it. I wasn't much of an assistant. I just stood there, and the reality of what was going on finally began to seep into my calloused brain and heart.

    They took that little baby that was making little sounds and moving and kicking, and set it on the table in a cold, stainless steel bowl. And every time I would look over while we were repairing the incision in the uterus and finishing the Caesarean, I would see that little person kicking and moving in that bowl. And it kicked and moved less and less, of course, as time went on. I can remember going over and looking at that baby when we were done with the surgery and the baby was still alive. You could see the chest was moving and the heart beating, and the baby would try to take a little breath like that, and it really hurt inside, and it began to educate me as to what abortion really was.

    As for the University of Manitoba senior being failed for trying to "opt out" of abortion, he is reportedly considering an appeal to the school's senate.

    He is also receiving the public support of several Manitoba doctors. One of them, Dr. Frederick Ross, told CJOB radio that many doctors have sworn to protect human life "from the moment of conception" when they've taken the Hippocratic Oath, according to LifeSiteNews.com.

    Ross urged the university to be flexible enough to give the student a "conscience" exemption from its policy.
  7. by   Roland
    For those of you who believe that nurses should be "compelled" to perform these procedures let me ask you this question. If you lived in a country (ie a good part of Islamic Africa) where is was common to perform, elective, genital mutilation of little girls would you feel it was appropriate to compel medical workers to do THAT procedure? Perhaps, a better example is India where it is COMMON to abort female, but not male children. What if you were a medical worker in China where it is not uncommon to FORCE condemned inmates to donate their organs. Would you feel it correct to be compelled to participate in those procedures (understanding that it would be legal within THAT society). I agree if someone takes a job in an abortion clinic, then don't be surprised when you are called on to perform an abortion. However, for those nurses and medical health professionals that work in more general areas, it is completely inappropriate.

    I would also make a distinction between caring FOR women who have had abortions and PARTICIPATING in the procedure. Someone, above basically said that we have to care for people we find offensive all the time (child molesters, drug abusers ect). However, there is a difference between caring for a child molester or drug user and ASSISTING them in abusing a child or abusing drugs. I would care for Hitler and Satan themselves if they needed nursing care to the very best of my abillity, but I wouldn't HELP them commit the evil acts that they are known for. Furthermore, I WOULD assist if the abortion was to preserve the LIFE or LEGITMATE health of the mother (depression or possible impared fertility wouldn't cut it I mean serious risk to basic health, bigtime risk of death or disability type situations.)
    Last edit by Roland on Apr 7, '04
  8. by   wjf00
    Quote from kmchugh

    I work in the ICU, caring for very sick patients. I accepted that position, knowing that while it might present me with some ethical dilemmas (and it did), I would not, as an ICU nurse, be expected to participate in abortions. Suppose I came in one shift, and was told our census was low, and I was being floated to the pregnancy termination clinic, as they had had two call ins. I would not be expected to participate in the actual abortions, but would be there to prep the women for the procedure, start IV's etc. Would I have the right to refuse that float based on my moral belief that abortion was wrong, and it would be morally wrong for me to even participate in preparing women for the procedure?



    Kevin McHugh
    If you made it clear when you were hired that you would not participate in such a procedure then you have an absoloute right to refuse. I made my intention clear about not participating in abortions, when I was hired. I see no ethical dilemna here because my moral beliefs won't allow me to take part in abortions. To me, some things are worth getting fired for, and this is one I would have no problem getting fired for.
  9. by   fergus51
    Roland, this student didn't just refuse to perform abortions, he refused to refer women to someone who would or even discuss them. If he is incapable of discussing a procedure his patients have a RIGHT to know about and refer them if they want it, he should be failed. He crossed the line by imposing his beliefs on patients. He has no business going into medicine if he can't understand that.
  10. by   purplemania
    even though I am a nurse I am also a person who, thank God, lives in America. I have the same working rights as any other worker or any other American.
  11. by   Roland
    Quote from fergus51
    Roland, this student didn't just refuse to perform abortions, he refused to refer women to someone who would or even discuss them. If he is incapable of discussing a procedure his patients have a RIGHT to know about and refer them if they want it, he should be failed. He crossed the line by imposing his beliefs on patients. He has no business going into medicine if he can't understand that.
    Fergus, I think I would agree with your perspective IF he was intending to specialize in OB/GYN medicine. However, someone who just wants to be a Dr. shouldn't be forced to participate in something that they find to be reprehensible. On the other hand were I in his situation I probably would have told the client/patient "Look, I don't believe in abortion except to protect the health and life of the mother, therefore if that is something you might want to consider I need to set you up with a different resident/intern."
  12. by   fergus51
    Quote from Roland
    Fergus, I think I would agree with your perspective IF he was intending to specialize in OB/GYN medicine. However, someone who just wants to be a Dr. shouldn't be forced to participate in something that they find to be reprehensible. On the other hand were I in his situation I probably would have told the client/patient "Look, I don't believe in abortion except to protect the health and life of the mother, therefore if that is something you might want to consider I need to set you up with a different resident/intern."
    He isn't being forced to participate in anything, he's made to refer those patients who want abortions. Discussing and performing are very different, and he needs to be capable of discussing all the medical options his patients have or he isn't being a good doctor. If he thinks it is ethically acceptable to NOT inform patients of all their options, he has no business being a doctor.

    It doesn't matter if he doesn't want to be an OB/GYN, as GPs face this kind of thing as well. Plus no matter what type of doctor he wants to be, he still has to pass all his rotations in medical school. I couldn't fail my psych rotation and still become a nurse, even though I knew I was NEVER going to work psych. Those are just basic requirements of the profession. If he can't do it, he needs to look for another job.
  13. by   Roland
    Yes, but with issues where the world is so clearly divided there should be some "wiggle room". After all as a NURSE or a DOCTOR you can choose to work in one of the MANY facilities (most Catholic for instance) that don't utilize abortion. Those of us who oppose abortion believe it is every bit as EVIL as was slavery or the murder of minorities during the Second World War (except under certain exceptions such as medical necessity to save the life of the mother). Also, I thought that freedom of Religion was a fundamental right under the Constitution (at least in America). In the same way that an employer cannot force someone to work on Sunday or eat pork they shouldn't be able to force them to advocate positions that are directly contrary to their fundamental beliefs. Let me turn the question around. IF somehow conservatives were SUCESSFUL in outlawing all abortion (except under very limited circumstances) would you advocate barring health professionals from "referring" women who wanted the procedure to places like Canada where the procedure was still legal? What if an Orwellian government (some would say the Bush administration has just those sort of ambitions) came to power which mandated that all those of Middle Eastern decent be referred to "special" treatment facilities for observation. Would you think it proper to force medical personnel to participate in such procedures? What if they passed laws that mandated (as some have sought to do) Dr's participate in captial punishment via lethal injection (and be trained to do so)? Force health professionals to participate in abortion (via referral or otherwise) and you may some day regret the ramifications of such power being placed in the hands of authority. Fundamental freedoms must be preserved if the concept of liberty is to mean anything. I'll make you a deal. I won't attempt to pass laws that force physicians and nurses to instruct nurses about the potential complications (short term, long term and otherwise) if you don't try and force me to partake in the practice of the procedure.
    Last edit by Roland on Apr 7, '04

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