Healthcare workers protest in Dallas and Fort Worth against COVID-19 vaccination mandate

MSN News

Anthony Wood

Nurses and health care workers from Fort Worth’s Texas Health Harris Methodist hospital, and Baylor Scott & White in Dallas came out in protest against their establishments’ COVID-19 vaccination requirements.

“I’m here today to reestablish a healthcare worker’s right to choose and to be exempted from any medical procedure they feel violates their conscience,” Dallas nurse Sabrina Vallecillo said per NBCDFW.

This sentiment of losing their individual right to choose was echoed by protesters in Fort Worth.

“Regardless if you believe in the vaccine or not, it should never be mandated,” nurse Keli Culver said per CBS. . .continue reading

‘An assault on those who are pro-life’: Legal group responds to DOJ dropping conscience complaint

The Catholic Telegraph

Matt Hadro

Washington D.C., Aug 5, 2021 / 11:15 am Members of Congress and a conservative legal group this week criticized the Justice Department for dropping its conscience rights lawsuit against a Vermont hospital.

In December 2020, the Justice Department sued the University of Vermont Medical Center after a nurse there was allegedly coerced into helping with an abortion in 2017, against her stated conscientious objection to doing so. The agency alleged a “pattern” at the hospital of other health care workers being discriminated against for refusing to perform abortions out of religious or moral objections.

On July 30, 2021, however, the agency quietly filed a notice of voluntary dismissal in a federal district court in the case of United States of America v. University of Vermont Medical Center.

Long before the initial lawsuit, the nurse at the center of the case had filed a conscience complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in May 2018. The agency’s civil rights office then ruled in August 2019 that the hospital had violated federal conscience laws, and later referred the case to the Justice Department for enforcement.

An HHS spokesperson told CNA in a statement on Thursday that the agency withdrew its initial referral of the case to the Justice Department for enforcement, following “a detailed evaluation of the underlying legal theory” behind the original referral. The agency further requested that the Justice Department dismiss the case, and also withdrew its own notice of violation issued to the hospital.

“It’s plainly political in nature,” said Matthew Clark, senior counsel for digital advocacy at the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), in an interview with CNA on Thursday. The ACLJ had represented the nurse at the center of the case who had alleged she was coerced into helping with an abortion. . . continue reading

Freedom of conscience and nursing in Manitoba

Sean Murphy*


For the most part, the codes of ethics and standards of Manitoba’s nurse regulators provide little insight into the regulators’ approach to freedom of conscience for nurses, and frequent failure to distinguish between “care” and “treatment” often impairs discussion of conscientious objection. The College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Manitoba code and standards appear inclined to separate personal and professional integrity, giving priority to the latter at the expense of the former. This encourages the view that nurses must leave their personal integrity in the parking lot when they report for work.

The regulators’ views about freedom of conscience for nurses are most clearly demonstrated in the joint publication Duty to Provide Care (2019). They recognize conscientious objection only to providing a service. They fail to recognize (or are unwilling to admit) that one can legitimately refuse to encourage or facilitate a service for reasons of conscience. Consistent with this, they demand that objecting nurses provide effective referral for all morally contested procedures, including euthanasia and accepted suicide. This would be unacceptable to anyone who believes that it is immoral to facilitate what one believes to be immoral.

Unlike earlier guidelines for euthanasia and assisted suicide, Duty to Provide Care (2019) fails to clearly distinguish between “care” and procedures or interventions, and it does not acknowledge the duty of employers (and regulators) to accommodate nurses in the exercise of freedom of conscience. . . [Full text]

Freedom of conscience and nursing in Alberta

Sean Murphy*


Nursing has often been described as a “caring profession.” For historical reasons associated with the development of nursing, it appears that most nursing guidance documents use the terms “care” or “nursing care” with respect to all nurse-patient interactions, including interventions or treatments ordered by attending physicians.

This puts objecting nurses at a rhetorical disadvantage. Objections are made to treatments or interventions, not to caring. However, in a nursing context this is more readily perceived or characterized as “refusing to care.”

The failure to distinguish between “care” and “treatment” can introduce uncertainty into guidance about conscientious objection, which, for example, may insist that an objecting nurse continue to provide “care” for a patient until relieved, without specifying that the care does not include the treatment or intervention to which the nurse objects…[Full text]

Northern Ireland: Hundreds of medical professionals will refuse to provide abortion services, doctor warns

Northern Irish GP’s warning comes after abortion decriminalised in Northern Ireland


Maya Oppenheim

Hundreds of healthcare professionals in Northern Ireland will refuse to be involved in services which carry out abortions, a doctor has warned.

Abortion has long been illegal in Northern Ireland in almost all circumstances – including rape and incest – but the procedure was decriminalised in Northern Ireland on Tuesday.

Andrew Cupples, a Northern Irish GP who is strongly opposed to the liberalisation of abortion laws, has said a number of healthcare professionals have personally told him they would leave their jobs if they were made to carry out an abortion. . . [Full text]