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

  1. A Catholic nurse sued Duke University Hospital in Durham, N.C., alleging it discriminated against her religious beliefs by failing to accommodate her objections to abortion, birth control and giving vaccinations.
    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 hospital required vaccines. She also told hospital administration that she was "unable" to assist with abortions as well as administering contraceptives and "any vaccines" based on rulings by the Catholic Church.

    In December 2016, Sara was placed on unpaid leave. She has moved back to New York City and claims she has been unable to return to work as she is suffering from post-traumatic stress.

    The lawsuit contends Duke violated the religious-discrimination section of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by failing to give Pedro a "reasonable accommodation" for her beliefs.
    For more on this story go to
    Catholic nurse sues Duke University Hospital after refusing to assist with abortions, contraception
    Last edit by Brian S. on Nov 3
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  2. 84 Comments

  3. by   amok
    Being allowed to pass off major parts of your clearly outlined duties to your coworkers is not a "reasonable accommodation." That would be allowing a nurse to wear long sleeved scrubs or to cover her hair. And I'm not exactly a church-going Catholic, but last time I checked they objected to the use of aborted fetal tissues in the original development of certain vaccines, but the overall directive is that children should still receive them. This is total nonsense. If I say that touching a naked person of the opposite sex is against my religious beliefs, do I get out of doing pericare? Should I try it?
  4. by   klone
    Sorry, but that pisses me the hell off. She's taking the teachings of her church and completely bastardizing them to fit her needs. ALL vaccines, huh?
  5. by   phalanx
    Post traumatic stress so bad she can't return to work? Really? I should claim post traumatic stress from working for a Catholic employer that wouldn't cover contraceptives even though MY religious belief is that everyone's healthcare decisions are their own.
  6. by   erniefu
    If you have religious objections, then Labour and Delivery may not be for you. There are plenty of areas like Med-Surg, Palliative, Rehab that you can work, and I'm sure Duke would not object to transfer you there.
  7. by   MunoRN
    As far as I can tell, Duke University Hospital does provide elective abortion services, so her claim that her opposition to abortion led to discrimination is a stretch.

    As for the immunizations, there is no religious basis for refusing any and all vaccinations, much less administering them. Her intent to apply her religious/faux religious beliefs to her patients and the treatments they can receive is not religious discrimination, it is however grounds for her to lose her license.
  8. by   3ringnursing
    Maybe find a job elsewhere? Just saying ...
  9. by   Ambersmom
    Wouldnt it seem kind of obvious that if you applied for a job that included tasks you had an objection to for any reason that maybe you shouldnt take that job?
  10. by   Daisy Joyce
    Sounds like there's something we're not being told.
    Catholics can give and receive vaccines.
    There are very few areas of a hospital where abortions/contraception is an issue. She could have worked in another area.
    Article didn't give much information.
  11. by   /username
    Quote from Daisy Joyce
    Sounds like there's something we're not being told.
    Catholics can give and receive vaccines.
    There are very few areas of a hospital where abortions/contraception is an issue. She could have worked in another area.
    Article didn't give much information.
    Yeah, She's an overly religious, anti-vaxxer ***.... That's all you need to know.
    Last edit by traumaRUs on Nov 3
  12. by   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??)
  13. by   klone
    Something doesn't add up. EDs don't provide abortions. The most they do is a) give emergency contraception post-rape, and B) give methotrexate to women who have an emergent ectopic pregnancy. As in, a pregnancy that cannot biologically continue ANYWAY, and will KILL the woman if it isn't stopped post-haste.

    I dislike this woman even more, knowing that it was the ED she was working in. I hope she's reading this thread.
  14. by   klone
    Here's the actual court document:

    https://www.thomasmore.org/wp-conten...ity-et-al..pdf

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