Catholic Nurse Sues Duke University Hospital After Refusing to Assist with Abortions - page 4

Sara Pedro, a Catholic nurse, moved from New York City in August 2016 to take a job at Duke University Hospital. Soon after she began work at Duke, Sara asked for and got an exemption from receiving... Read More

  1. by   Knotanoonurse
    They probably didn't ask her about vaccines and
    Birth control/mtx. Maybe the hospital needs to look at the policy hospital wide, not just for OB. She is probably looking for noterity as much or more than money.

    Surprising to me that a lot of nurses do buy into the vaccines and harmful misinformation which is out there and usually not for religious reasons.
    Last edit by Knotanoonurse on Nov 3
  2. by   morte
    Quote from Julius Seizure
    Devil's advocate - what do we know that she lied about?

    I'm not saying that her views are not extreme, but she may still sincerely hold them.
    by omission, she was hired, she full well knew what parts of the job would be, with no intention of doing them.
  3. by   TriciaJ
    Quote from elkpark
    The link to the actual original article in the Durham newspaper indicates that she was hired to work in the ED (after working, in NY, on neurosurgery and burn units). If you have objections to participating in abortions, administering contraceptives, and administering any vaccines, ED is probably not a good choice. If she had stuck with neuro or burn units, this might have worked out better. Unless, of course, she was looking for an opportunity to complain and file a suit (PTSD?? Really??)
    My thoughts exactly. This smells like a cash grab.
  4. by   herring_RN
    Quote from Knotanoonurse
    I don't agree with her! There are crazy pts and caregivers out there. In the case of the person refusing a C Section, we must go with her wishes because it is her body BUT it also can lead to a neonatal patient who is severely compromised! Religion causes a lot of problems. I do think the nurse in the Duke case is crazy, but she is not alone!

    How about a Jehovah's Witness who won't give blood to a patient? I worked with one almost 30 years ago on a tele floor.
    I worked with a nurse who wouldn't give blood. She was a wonderful colleague otherwise. Sometimes the assignment was changed. Other times another nurse started and observed the transfusion.
    She would always answer lights, help lift and turn patients, and do whatever she could to help her co-workers.

    In another facility I worked with a Jehovah's Witness nurse who would never accept blood or blood products, but did administer them to her patients.

    Once I cared for a patient with pulmonary edema due to CHF and a GI bleed. She would not accept any blood products. Her BP was very low, but giving normal saline caused her lungs to fill up. We called in her son at 3:00 am. He prayed with his Mom. She had to be intubated and on a ventilator, but somehow survived.
    She was very thankful for the care she received.
  5. by   Julius Seizure
    Quote from morte
    by omission, she was hired, she full well knew what parts of the job would be, with no intention of doing them.
    Maybe she didn't realize that working in the ED would involve participating in abortions. I didn't know that was commonplace in the ED.
  6. by   klone
    Quote from Julius Seizure
    Maybe she didn't realize that working in the ED would involve participating in abortions. I didn't know that was commonplace in the ED.
    It's not. The problem is that many conservative Christians have a VERY broad definition of abortion. They consider methotrexate administration for ectopic pregnancy to be abortion. They also consider giving emergency contraception to be abortion.

    EDs typically do not do abortions. It's a surgical procedure. I suspect that she was told that they administer emergency contraception or methotrexate. In HER conservative Christian mind, that = abortion.
  7. by   Ruby Vee
    As a Catholic, I'm ashamed of her. If one doesn't wish to partake in abortions, one shouldn't take a job where such a thing is expected. But I know of no teachings that say Catholics should avoid vaccines.

    And PTSD because she was expected to do her JOB? Sounds like a cash grab to me.
  8. by   FurBabyMom
    Quote from klone
    It's not. The problem is that many conservative Christians have a VERY broad definition of abortion. They consider methotrexate administration for ectopic pregnancy to be abortion. They also consider giving emergency contraception to be abortion.

    EDs typically do not do abortions. It's a surgical procedure. I suspect that she was told that they administer emergency contraception or methotrexate. In HER conservative Christian mind, that = abortion.
    I work in the OR (not at Duke either...just for the record, simply stating what specialty I work in). We *are* allowed to opt out of an abortion if we wish. The caveat to that is that there has to be sufficient staffing to allow a switch without impeding patient care. Abortions aren't all that common in a trauma center OR setting - sometimes D&C for missed miscarriages, sometimes exctopic pregnancies not treatable with methotrexate (or patients who prefer not to receive methotrexate for their own religious reasons), and sometimes we have traumas we are able to save mom but lose baby. A situation like that was the only abortion I've participated in - mom was in a rollover MVC and while we were trying to save mom baby was delivered prior to viability.

    I read the whole court document, and it will be interesting to see how this plays out. I have a few thoughts:
    1. The attorneys / law firm representing the nurse in this suit are affiliated with a Catholic charity. This is not inherently a bad thing, but they are obviously biased in their view based on religious grounds. Of course the organization will side with what they feel might "work" to allege something like this of a "big fish" like Duke. Plus, if it gets news coverage it will stir a bit of caca up because of the topic.
    2. This nurse worked in Neuro and Burn ICUs before going to the ED. I think she likely was exposed to care and patient situations which were conflicting with her religious beliefs surrounding sanctity of life as an ICU nurse. That would require that for over 8+ years she was never assigned to a DNR/DNI patient or one whose family chose to withdraw? No patient's family ever refused a g-tube or trach when that would be required for prolonging life?
    3. This nurse knew her convictions and the things she would refuse to do. When it became obvious she wasn't going to be a good fit with the ED, I think she should have requested not just the exemption but transfer to another unit. That is the most likely solution which would have accommodated her convictions without undue hardship on her area of assignment.
    4. She called out but didn't follow the rules for doing so. A doctors note doesn't prevent you from having consequences for failing to meet expectations. Everywhere I've worked it's manager's/director's discretion to discipline or not in situations with extenuating circumstances.
    5. Not receiving payment for the loan program? I'm *certain* there are contingencies with that contract...including agreeing to serve/work for a several year commitment in exchange for loan assistance. That's not all Duke's fault - it's part her for not working (remaining on leave).

    I'm Catholic. I am, however, of the opinion that other people's religious beliefs and their choices (both health care related and not) are their own business. I do not believe in legislating religion. I do not believe in imposing my views on others.

    I agree with others about the PTSD thing. That sounds like a crock. I mean, maybe. I feel like the disparity in mental health care, lack of resources, etc is deplorable. But I also feel that it is also possible that some people might exploit "issues" as mental health problems to alleviate some of their own personal burden. (For the record - I do not believe this is always the case, or even the case in a majority of instances...I am stating I believe it is possible).

    Last but not least and worth consideration in this saga, North Carolina is an "at will" state. Unless you work for several specific places (cough - state or federal entities), there is no burden of proof on employers.
  9. by   elkpark
    I notice a few mentions in the legal filing that this individual was told directly during orientation (and the document identifies by name the person who made the statement(s)) that Duke doesn't allow any personal, religious exemption from participating in abortions. In the first place, I find that kind of hard to believe, since there is existing Federal law that protects individuals' right to not be forced to participate in procedures to which they have a religious objection (law specifically written to protect anti-choice providers). But, in the second place, I wonder if the activist law practice that brought the suit had gotten wind of this and found this nurse in order to pursue a test case in the court system. I wonder if they even found her in NY and sent her to NC to get a job at Duke in a setting that would conflict with her religious views for the purpose of being able to file a suit. It wouldn't be the first time that an activist legal group has gone "shopping" for a defendant to enable a suit that the group has been wanting to file.
  10. by   Knotanoonurse
    You definitely make a good point Elkpark. She may have been a plant. Both ultra liberal and ultra conservative groups do this.
  11. by   morte
    Quote from Knotanoonurse
    You definitely make a good point Elkpark. She may have been a plant. Both ultra liberal and ultra conservative groups do this.
    hrmph, I already said that....the part about being a plant.
    Last edit by morte on Nov 4
  12. by   Knotanoonurse
    New twist on Mystery Shoppers in the Hospital...Mystery Suers!
  13. by   CKPM2RN
    PTSD? Seriously?

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