Can you be pro-life and an OB/GYN nurse at the same time? - page 2

I think the subject line sums it up... :chair:... Read More

  1. by   bagladyrn
    I don't feel it's my place to judge whether a patient's "reason" for an abortion is valid or not.
    (I'm not trying to be argumentative, just feel strongly enough about this that I have to state this. I'm not out to try to change anyone else's beliefs as long as they don't try to restrict mine or other women's)
  2. by   HazeK
    As a nurse, you have a right to your own belief and values!

    You have a right to restrict your practice to nursing situations that you are morally comfortable with!

    You do NOT have a right to IMPOSE your belief and values on others!

    So this means to me, as a Pro-Life person, that I do not participate in abortions, regardless of whether the abortion is 'medically indicated' or just 'patient preference'.

    It means, I have NO business giving pro-life lectures to patients who choose to have an abortion! ( When pt is ready for discharge, I have discussed her plans for birth control as part of her discharge instructions.)

    It means, I do NOT point fingers at my fellow nurses who do participate in the abortion process! I do NOT run around calling them 'baby killers' or other names. (Actually, it is a relief to me as a charge nurse that there are clinically competent staff who are willing to facilliate the occasional medically-indicated abortions done on our unit! ALL our patients deserve good care!)

    sorry this is so lengthy! I just believe very strongly in the FREE AGENCY TO CHOOSE to practice nursing to the best of OUR ability! I also strongly believe I have no right to judge a patient's situation: "There, but for the grace of God, go I"!

  3. by   anitame
    Very well said Haze. I couldn't agree more.
  4. by   Nighshft
    I have sat down with and given my managers a letter explaining that I would refuse to take care of patients who decide to have a termination,( based on my religious,moral beliefs). I also made it clear that I would not have a problem taking care of a patient who has a stillborn, or a fetal demise. (excluding those patients who had Kcl injectionsin order to cause a fetal demise)
    They made it clear to me that the remote possibility exists that they may have to give me time off (they say that like it is a bad thing!) and bring another worker in who would not have a problem with a termination. I understand this and have agreed to it. We have nurses that don't have a religious or moral objection to terminations, and (unfortunately) we have more than our share of stillborns and losses, so it seems to balance out fairly. I have often offered to take a stillborn labor from someone who has difficulty with the berevement of the patient and the extended family members.
  5. by   mark_LD_RN
    nightshift and hazelK

    that is exactly how i feel and do it. I take care of fetal demises and other difficult patients and situations willingly. i do not judge people and do not impose my beliefs. I just do not participate in abortion for birth control, only one i did was mother was not going to make it if she continued with the pregnancy so I had no problem with that.
  6. by   kimmicoobug
    You know, I am not sure how I would react in the situation. I am pro life, but a very close person to me recently underwent an abortion because of lack of support from everyone including her mom. She did not want to lose the baby, and I don't necessarily think she made the right decision, but it was what she chose to do, so I had to accept that. I do not agree with it as a form of birth control, but this person came home depressed from her facility, crying over what she did. She was given no teaching and no compassion post abortion. Because of this experience in my life, I think I could provide care post abortion to a woman.
  7. by   mother/babyRN
    Of course...Being pro choice doesn't mean you aren't pro life. I am not a drug user. I don't agree with using drugs , however, I am not going to change my mode of care for people who do elect to do so...Whatever the patient has done or whatever choices she has made, in no way detracts from my view that they are patients to be cared for to the best of my abilities...Period
  8. by   mother/babyRN
    Refusing to care for a pt to me, is akin to pt abandonment. I would prefer not to take care of some people but that wouldn't make me a great nurse. It would make me a judgemental one...
  9. by   howie122832
    Whatever happened to to being non-judgemental? I would never have an abortion myself, but I don't believe that it is professional nor ethical to express my beliefs on my patients. Just make sure you never take a job where you would ever be in that situation!
  10. by   Venti Cappucino
    I can understand someone with stong pro-life sentiments refusing to participate in an abortion.

    But, I am curious about the legal aspects of a pro-life nurse refusing to provide post-abortion aftercare. Are there any legal guidelines, or does anyone know of any lawsuits, regarding this?
  11. by   RN2B2005
    My understanding is that you can't refuse to perform your job duties--which means, if the scope of your job responsibility includes AB care, and you refuse to perform that care, then you can legally be terminated. This is not a moral issue--this is job performance issue.

    If you were a secretary, and refused to type out a letter because you thought it was morally wrong to type, you would be fired--not for your moral stance, but for refusing to do your job.

    So if you want to work OB/Gyn, choose a Catholic hospital or some other facility that does not provide abortion services.

    Personally, I consider myself pro-life; I don't believe abortions should be performed after 7 weeks gestation. This is why I support 'medical' abortions--they must be performed before 49 days (7 weeks) gestation; I am in favour of emergency 'morning-after' contraception for the same reason.

    Nonetheless, when I am working at the radiology clinic, prepping patients for ultrasound exam to determine foetal age (so the patient can go to an abortion clinic), I treat them exactly the same as any other patient. They've made their decision, and if I were to go around proselytizing patients, I wouldn't be employed for long. When I graduate nursing school, I'll go into a specialty where I'm not required to care for AB patients.
  12. by   louloubell1
    I don't know what kind of law protects you in situations re: ethical conflicts, but where I work you can fill out a form at the beginning of your employment (or at any time after if you find you have a change of stance) that denotes aspects of care which you would be morally opposed to providing. This could be anything from assisting with the termination of life support to providing post abortion care - could be anything really.
  13. by   Nurse Izzy
    Hi all! First of all, I'm pro-choice. I don't think I could ever have an abortion myself but I can't make that decision for someone else... As for being able to refuse - as long as it is not an emergency situation, I believe you have the right to refuse. In an emergency there is no refusal - stabilize and then ask to swap out with someone. As to whether or not you can be a L/D nurse and be pro-life, sure. There's enough situations out there where you can swap patients with someone (depending on departmental policy) plus most ETOPs are done in a specialized clinic rather than the L/D floor, thank goodness (even being "pro-choice" I can't handle the thought of assisting, either.)

    God bless!