Pro-Life Health Care Workers in Canada


#1

Instead of derailing the Pregnant Mommies thread, which I lurk on, I thought I would start my own thread about this issue… There is a discussion going on about whether or not it would be moral to work in a hospital that provides abortions, and there are several posters saying that the devil must be tempting this person to work in a hospital that provides abortions. Perhaps it’s different in the States, but here in Canada, we don’t have a huge amount of choice in the matter: if you want to be a Health Care Provider(HCP), you will be working within a system that does support abortion, even if you didn’t have anything to do with actually performing them yourself. Following the logic from the other thread, are you saying that all pro-life HCPs in Canada should quit, even if they never have anything to do with an actual abortion?
I really want to work in the children’s hospital, but one small section of it does provide abortions, gynecological surgery. I don’t have to work in that area. I have rights as an RN to conscientious objection, and I can hand off the care of a patient having an abortion to another nurse, if there is one available. I can also be there with patients considering abortions, and explain to them the TRUTH of what they are considering, unlike what other HCPs might tell them. I can spread a pro-life attitude, hopefully, through my actions and attitude. I can also just do my job and support my family, which will hopefully contain kids someday that me and my DH will raise to be pro-life.
So, is it the ‘devil’ that is tempting me to learn how to care for people and work as a nurse, just so I can work in a health care system that provides abortions? Or is God calling me to make a difference in that same system?


#2

pumpkin I'm a nurse and have asked the same questions........it's hard.

Jill Stanek, who you probably have heard of as a nurse who exposed hospitals doing live birth abortions when she was an OB nurse and now a huge champion of the pro life movement, was faced in a very real way with this very question and she decided she had to stay in her job, to possibly counsel the women, to hold the babies who were left to die, and to expose the truth of what was going on behind closed doors. Her testimony was instrumental in passing the born alive infant protection act. So, clearly her staying did make a difference, so that is one perspective.

I think within the confines of your health care system and government it would be harder to be effective on that scale, but certainly on a person to person basis you could have a profound effect. And that is what we as nurses are called to do, I believe.

I don't know if there is a right answer in your case. You're a nurse, you also don't have to work in a hospital. I don't, i burn out quick in NICU/PICU. There a re a lot of opportunities out there for nurses outside of a hospital setting.

Also taken this argument too far, you could argue that you working at all and paying taxes into a government system that funds abortions is wrong so you shouldn't work at all. I dunno if that is realistic.......:shrug: Very tough question. Prayers that you find an answer you can be at peace with.


#3

If you’re working in an area that is not performing abortions or working with embryonic stem cells, I don’t see why there would be an objection. (I haven’t read the other thread.)


#4

[quote="pumpkinbeast, post:1, topic:187692"]
Instead of derailing the Pregnant Mommies thread, which I lurk on, I thought I would start my own thread about this issue... There is a discussion going on about whether or not it would be moral to work in a hospital that provides abortions, and there are several posters saying that the devil must be tempting this person to work in a hospital that provides abortions. Perhaps it's different in the States, but here in Canada, we don't have a huge amount of choice in the matter: if you want to be a Health Care Provider(HCP), you will be working within a system that does support abortion, even if you didn't have anything to do with actually performing them yourself. Following the logic from the other thread, are you saying that all pro-life HCPs in Canada should quit, even if they never have anything to do with an actual abortion?
I really want to work in the children's hospital, but one small section of it does provide abortions, gynecological surgery. I don't have to work in that area. I have rights as an RN to conscientious objection, and I can hand off the care of a patient having an abortion to another nurse, if there is one available. I can also be there with patients considering abortions, and explain to them the TRUTH of what they are considering, unlike what other HCPs might tell them. I can spread a pro-life attitude, hopefully, through my actions and attitude. I can also just do my job and support my family, which will hopefully contain kids someday that me and my DH will raise to be pro-life.
So, is it the 'devil' that is tempting me to learn how to care for people and work as a nurse, just so I can work in a health care system that provides abortions? Or is God calling me to make a difference in that same system?

[/quote]

From my understanding of Canada, not every hospital performs abortions or has the equiptment to do so, so if there is a hospital near you that does not, you can always choose that hospital or even move closer to an area with one such hospital. Morally I would say that you are in the clear since you object to abortions and have made your objections known and have those protections so that you can get out of those abortion procedures. To be morally culpable for abortion you have to support it morally/legally and/or help a woman obtain one. You cannot be blamed for the actions of others morally. Even if you job also comes with simple information couseling on all choices to include abortion, I believe you would be in the clear morally since you are not pressuring or helping them choose abortion, simply giving them information on medical procedures that are available. Both prochoice and prolife medical workers have to be careful not to make that bias known to the patient one way or the other when giving out medical fact, so not to violate the patients rights to objective medical care that they freely choose, but this is in the context of your work and in no way violates your conscience rights to be able to protest or vote for prolife laws in your personal life.


#5

Hiyas:)

I hope others have put your mind and spirit at ease, here.

I think it's cOOl that you want to work with kids:)


#6

Pumpkinbeast, I think we all have to look at our personal circumstances and see how we best serve the Lord in them.

There is certainly a need for pro-life nurses in any children’s hospital.

It seems to me that if you have the choice to work in a pro-life versus a “pro-choice” hospital then your very choice of place of employment is a vote for the Truth. (–and a capitalistic way of promoting that Truth.) But if the circumstances are such that you cannot chose between hospitals, I would think the solution is not to abandon them all but to be a witness there, at least until such time as the institution throws you out.


#7

[quote="SMHW, post:6, topic:187692"]
Pumpkinbeast, I think we all have to look at our personal circumstances and see how we best serve the Lord in them.

There is certainly a need for pro-life nurses in any children's hospital.

It seems to me that if you have the choice to work in a pro-life versus a "pro-choice" hospital

While you can find many hospitals in Canada that don't perform abortions, I wonder how often this is due to pro-life policies? It's getting more and more difficult to find physicians willing to perform them.

One province, albeit the smallest one, offers no abortion services in the province at all. It does, however, fund abortions performed for its citizens in hospitals in other provinces thus conforming to the Canada Health Act which says provinces must provide abortions as part of 'comprehensive care'.

then your very choice of place of employment is a vote for the Truth. (--and a capitalistic way of promoting that Truth.) But if the circumstances are such that you cannot chose between hospitals, I would think the solution is not to abandon them all but to be a witness there, at least until such time as the institution throws you out.

When I trained to be a nurse we were instructed that in Canada we had freedom of conscience in that we could refuse to prepare a patient for an abortion and to assist at an abortion. We could not refuse to care for a post-abortion patient any more than we could refuse to look after any other patient requiring post-op care. I think most hospitals would consider a nurse discussing her views on abortion with a patient in the hopes of changing her mind to be unprofessional conduct and subject to discipline.

[/quote]


#8

Yay, I'm not crazy! :p After all the devil comments on the other thread, I was wondering if I had missed something in Church teaching...

[quote="Phemie, post:7, topic:187692"]
When I trained to be a nurse we were instructed that in Canada we had freedom of conscience in that we could refuse to prepare a patient for an abortion and to assist at an abortion. We could not refuse to care for a post-abortion patient any more than we could refuse to look after any other patient requiring post-op care. I think most hospitals would consider a nurse discussing her views on abortion with a patient in the hopes of changing her mind to be unprofessional conduct and subject to discipline.

[/quote]

I wouldn't 'try to change a patient's mind', but I would definitely tell them the truth of what an abortion is: killing a unique human being. I wouldn't tell the patient that they were a horrible person for considering it or anything like that; most women who are considering abortion/had an abortion are very vulnerable people who are in a really tough spot in their lives. I would never, ever judge them like that. But I would tell them the truth, from a purely biological, scientific standpoint, not my 'views' from a religious standpoint. If they fire me for that, well, I definitely don't want to work in a place where I can't ensure that my patients are given the correct information about procedures, that's a violation of the Code of Ethics.


#9

[quote="pumpkinbeast, post:8, topic:187692"]
Yay, I'm not crazy! :p After all the devil comments on the other thread, I was wondering if I had missed something in Church teaching...

I wouldn't 'try to change a patient's mind', but I would definitely tell them the truth of what an abortion is: killing a unique human being. I wouldn't tell the patient that they were a horrible person for considering it or anything like that; most women who are considering abortion/had an abortion are very vulnerable people who are in a really tough spot in their lives. I would never, ever judge them like that. But I would tell them the truth, from a purely biological, scientific standpoint, not my 'views' from a religious standpoint. If they fire me for that, well, I definitely don't want to work in a place where I can't ensure that my patients are given the correct information about procedures, that's a violation of the Code of Ethics.

[/quote]

I don't see how they could fault you for telling the truth.

I remember not having a problem with abortion before I went to nursing school. I knew the Church was against it but I honestly didn't understand why and since it was legal, why not? Then our first term in school there was a display of fetuses at all stages of development. Wow! I think it was at that point that I really saw what abortion was all about and became a pro-life person, albeit probably not enough of an 'in your face' one.


#10

While you can find many hospitals in Canada that don't perform abortions, I wonder how often this is due to pro-life policies? It's gettiing more and more difficult to find physicians willing to perform them.

This tends to be the case in the United states too.

When I trained to be a nurse we were instructed that in Canada we had freedom of conscience in that we could refuse to prepare a patient for an abortion and to assist at an abortion. We could not refuse to care for a post-abortion patient any more than we could refuse to look after any other patient requiring post-op care. I think most hospitals would consider a nurse discussing her views on abortion with a patient in the hopes of changing her mind to be unprofessional conduct and subject to discipline.

I was actually thinking more along the lines of witnessing to other hospital employees. And even that is probably best done in an, "I believe..." rather than a, "You should believe," fashion.


#11

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