A Catholic operating room nurse sued the hospital that she worked for after she was forced to assist in the abortion of a 22-month fetus while on shift duty. The nurse, Catherina Cenzon-DeCarlo, shared that the entire experience has caused her to have recurring nightmares and that her employers bullied her into doing what she felt was religiously wrong.
Even after she complained to the nurses union at her job, she experienced further hostility on the part of her employer including a request to sign a document that she would fulfill her nursing duties when on-call even if it meant assisting an additional abortion, with the hospital knowing that the procedure violates her belief systems which are protected constitutional rights.
“Not in my job description” takes on new meaning as health care workers receive constitutional protection from participating in medical procedures that violate their religious beliefs. Back in May, the Trump Administration issued a new rule via Health and Human Services, protects the conscience of individuals who feel that they violate their religious beliefs.
This rule is specifically for nurses, doctors and other health care personnel who fear the loss of their jobs, licenses, and potential liability when on duty when confronted with jobs that require them to assist in abortions.
Office of Civil Rights Director, Roger Severino stated in a written statement, “This rule ensures that healthcare entities and professions won’t be bullied out of the health care field because they decline to participate in actions that violate their conscience, including the taking of a human life.”