As religious liberties are protected by the First Amendment, if a state-supported 'professional assistance program'--intended to restore functional competency of addiction-averse healthcare providers to return to safe practice--requires total abstinence of alcohol "exposure", how can the freedoms of Christian traditions that may include ingestion of communion wine be preserved for these nurses? The implementation of phosphatidylethanol (PEth) assays for alcohol detection can set limits (<20ng/ml cut-off) which such accuracy that a threshold for positive result will not trigger even with a standardized serving of alcohol consumption (12 oz. beer, 5 oz. wine).
Are regulatory state boards openly communicating with nurses, paramedics, EMTs in recovery programs regarding reasonable expectations from what could result as 'incidental alcohol exposure'? Consequently, if communion wine is endorsed as strictly prohibited in a recovery program, does this not present overt First Amendment infringement? As Americans, are we supposed to live in fear of our right to unencumbered religious liberty? Do we have to submit ourselves to state-funded workers and declare the religious rituals we performed in the autonomy of our leisure time? Should healthcare workers in recovery programs that continue to exercise their First Amendment rights be designated as 'non-compliant' and risk their expulsion with subsequent reporting to state-wide regulatory boards? To be philosophically consistent, would the ingestion of communion wine in addiction-prone nurses be sufficiently problematic to cause risk for relapse or acute intoxication? Is it possible that the adherence to 12-step methodologies for some nurses absolutely is actualized by the participation in the Eucharist WITHOUT FEAR or embarrassment or apologies?
Does the ethos of 'abstinence' that encompasses recovery programs sound work like obligatory repression? The safety of the community, patient, and nurse is the highest priority. Notwithstanding, I'm pretty sure as Americans this can be acheived efficaciously with the unrelenting preservation of our Constitutional rights. If even a single nurse out there interprets the 12-step dogma as the need to connect with Jesus Christ through ritualistic communion wine, should we be conscientious to make sure that the state doesn't impose preposterous program conditions? Like, accidental nanoscale skin absorption of the alcohol-based hand-sanitizer that the CDC has formally endorsed as best-practice for attenuating COVID-19 community spread if soap and water aren't available...
I don't know. Just some thoughts for any formidable or casual thinkers out there. I love you all. 😁♥️