Nebraska psychologist opposes freedom of conscience

Dr. William Spaulding, a former president of the Nebraska Psychological Association, has criticized the proposed Health Care Freedom of Conscience Act because it does not force health care workers to refer for services or procedures to which they object for reasons of conscience.  The bill requires an objector to disclose that moral or religious beliefs prevent him from providing treatment so that the patient can seek assistance elsewhere, but does not force them to assist patients to find someone willing to provide the contested service.

Spaulding claims that an objector may refuse to treat a distraught patient who is involved in homosexual activity or who has homosexual inclinations by saying, “I have a religious belief against you and you have a moral problem.”

He refuses a compromise by which patients are provided a general list of alternative practitioners without specific referral to someone willing to affirm and support homosexuality, asserting, “Compromising on prejudice is not a compromise.” [Star Herald]



Twin protection of conscience bills introduced in Tennessee

Senate Bill 514 and House Bill 1185, identical bills that have been introduced in the Tennessee General Assembly, provide protection for students in post-secondary psychology, social work or counselling programmes who, by reason of religious beliefs, are unable to provide a client with the kind of counselling or therapy being sought.  The bills require objecting students to refer clients to another counsellor.