Pro-life health professionals in conflict between conscience and career

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  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    May 16, 2012 11:13 p.m.

    Hospitals in NYC requiring all medical professionals to assist in abortions.
    Professional associations seeking to require all OB/GYN students to be trained in performing abortions.

    There was a group in California seeking to install a ethics code that would drive all attorneys from the profession that did not believe in Gay Rights.

    In the old USSR they declared people with the guts to stand up to them to be mentally ill.

    Thomas Jefferson said; "I Have Sworn Upon the Altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."

    Pro Choice supporters feel that they are being marginalized because they perform abortions? I see nothing wrong with that.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 16, 2012 5:16 p.m.


    Is it also murder if you participate in the murder of people by our military?

    Your taxes pay the military salary, farmers produce the food that the military eats, and millions of workers make the planes, tanks, bombs and bullets to kill people.

    The violent killing of a grown up person is just as much a murder as killing an unborn baby.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    May 16, 2012 12:07 p.m.

    Abortion is murder and when you stand before the Lord to be judged you will have blood on your hands if you have any part of abortion - as a doctor or a nurse or a politician or the mother or father of the child. Cut n dried.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 16, 2012 7:09 a.m.

    Religious freedom in America does not include the imposition of one persons personal beliefs upon another. Nor does it include the right of religious organizations to force it’s members to abide by the dictates of the religious organization.

    Personal freedom in America does not include the right of anyone, or group, to unlawfully restrict or diminish the rights and freedoms of others.

    A commercial business operation has the right to create and enforce it’s own laws and rules within it’s sphere of control so long as the business stays within the bounds of civil law.

    A person must make his own decisions within the bounds of both sets of laws and rules. If he cannot abide the American laws, he should give up his American citizenship or more likely his freedom. If he cannot abide the rules of the employer he must give up his employment with that employer.

    Religious edicts are applied hypocritically, a person who opposes killing unborn babies seems to have no concern about working for a business engaged in killing people with bombs, guns and bullets.

  • hoggityboo Carthage, IL
    May 15, 2012 6:03 p.m.

    Life doesn't begin at conception. It continues. At not time is there any inanimate or inert material. Father and mother do not "beget" a dead lump of flesh, but a living human entity and should have full rights of being just like every one else.

  • hoggityboo Carthage, IL
    May 15, 2012 6:00 p.m.

    This is how it works: Small incremental intrusions into your rights are tested out at the big government layer. If the populace is passive enough, "reasonable" enough, docile enough, the next layer of rights intrusions occur. The point is not whether abortion is right or wrong. The point is, we have our conscience to follow. The government is content to allow you to believe that you will be permitted your conscientious objection, but their actions will work against it. See how their actions speak louder than their rhetoric?

  • IDC Boise, ID
    May 15, 2012 2:56 p.m.

    You can get a ticket or a dirty look for throwing away a plastic bottle but a 20 week old baby in the womb can be killed because he or she is inconvenient.

  • Sabrecat South Jordan, UT
    May 15, 2012 11:26 a.m.


    Whether talking about Womens health services or selling videos the principal is the same. People must not be forced to participate in any acts they consider immoral whether legal or not.

    The fact that we are talking about health services here makes no difference. If I am refused an elective process by a health care provider of any sort the responsibility lies soley on me to find a health care provider that is willing to perform the procedure.

  • SME Kearns, UT
    May 15, 2012 6:52 a.m.

    When it comes to gay marriage the percentage of millenials, young people, supporting gay marriage is mentioned as proof of being "on the right side of history".

    The percentages of millenials supporting at least restrictions on abortion was not brought up. It is very high. The "right side of history" in this case is reducing abortion, particularly since most abortions are for convenience sake. The prevelence of sonograms has made it clear that what is being aborted is a baby and not a simple collection of cells. I believe that is what is changing attitudes for the young.

    The reason that medical and nursing schools began attempting to force applicants to support abortion is that those who are pro-abortion (the only choice supported is to abort) saw they were losing. Thus the resort to force everyone to support their postion.

  • Flying Finn Murray, UT
    May 14, 2012 3:27 p.m.

    During WWII Hitler decided to eliminate the Jewish population in what became known as the The Holocaust. Adolf Eichmann came up with the "Final Solution" that took the lives of 6 million men, women ...... and children. Those who participated justified their involvement because they were just following orders.

    There is no way to justify taking the life of a viable unborn infant where it's health or the health of the mother. In cases of rape the appropriate time to terminate life is immediately upon discovering that the mother is pregnant.

    Unborn children deserve the same compassion as the convicted killer sitting on death row.

  • msp58 Rexburg,, ID
    April 9, 2012 10:20 a.m.

    Once we remove conscience from our considerations we are in serious trouble. It is those who have a conscience that keeps society in tact.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 21, 2012 7:49 p.m.

    @ Riverton Cougar: There are many definitions of "life" and what it means to be alive. Yes - the "life cycle" begins with conception and moves through many different steps - but depending on how you define "being alive" life begins - and may end - at various points along the cycle. This is what the debate is about - and the debate is scientific, religious, and philosophical.

    You may hold that being alive can be defined by cells joining. But does that mean that death occurs when that activity no longer occurs?

    Does life occur when cells start dividing and thus end when they stop dividing?

    Is life autonomous movement? Is it breath? Is it learning? Growth? Feeling?

    What does it mean to be alive? And what does it mean for life to end?

    You have your feelings and beliefs on these and so do other people - and their feelings and beliefs may disagree with yours. You are demanding that your beliefs and feelings are given greater consideration than those of others.

    Why should they?

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    March 19, 2012 9:22 p.m.


    Only 5-10% of abortions occur in hospitals. The vast majority of abortions are performed in clinics.

    According to the American Hospital Association, there were 5,801 hospitals in the United States in 2001. However, a 2001-2002 study by the Guttmacher Institute identified only 603 hospitals which provided abortions in 2001.

    Contraceptives and education are the key to reducing the number of abortions.

  • Where's Momo? Sandy, UT
    March 19, 2012 4:20 p.m.

    I feel so bad for this nurse. I can't even imagine the trauma of taking part in something so horrific. 22 weeks, really? How barbaric can you possibly get? All under the guise of women's health. What a lie.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    March 19, 2012 3:52 p.m.


    You claimed "Truthseeker: You claim that nurses who oppose abortion should not work at hospitals where abortions are performed. If the Obama administration has its way, there won’t be any hospital that doesn’t provide abortions – free of charge!"

    I would love to see what part of the "obamacare" law your get this from... is it same section with the death panels in it too? I too am against abortion, but were not going to advance the cause when the arguments are based on falsehoods and distortions. If the cause is just, honesty will prevail.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    March 19, 2012 3:15 p.m.


    My two facts were:
    1) Fact: Abortion is taking life away from a living being.

    Sorry, but I think science has proven this enough times that I thought it was generally known to be true. Sorry if you were left out of the loop on that one. A search will quickly confirm that life begins at conception (or fertilization).

    2) Fact: About 1% of abortions are done because the mother's life is in jeopardy, or cases of incest and rape.

    A simple Google search was very enlightening. According to the Johnston Archive, they estimate the following reasons for abortion:
    Rape: 0.3%
    Incest: 0.03%
    Physical life of the mother: 0.2%
    Physical health of the mother: 1.0%
    Fetal health: 0.5%
    "Personal choice": 98%

    Note that there is a difference between mother's health and the mother's life being in jeopardy, as I cited earlier.

    Conclusion: I did a fact check, and I was indeed correct. Do you have a problem with that? If so, it's your problem, not mine. I know facts tend to get in the way for those pro-choice folk.

  • John20000 Cedar Hills, UT
    March 19, 2012 1:09 p.m.

    We have unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and your rights to these things can't limit my rights to these things. So, a pregnant woman has the right to life. If her pregnancy threatens her life, she can defend herself (e.g. abortion). A pregnant woman has the right to liberty. If her pregnancy was forced (e.g. rape), then she has the right to be liberated from a forced pregnancy. A pregnant woman has the right to pursue happiness. If she believes that her pregnancy is taking away her right to pursue happiness, she can remove it.

    Unless, you believe the unborn person has the same rights because then you would be limiting the unborn person's unalienable rights with an abortion. So, what happens when my rights limit your rights?

    Here is how I have worked it out for me. I choose the mother's rights over the unborn person's rights for life and liberty, but I choose the unborn person's rights over the mother's rights for pursuit of happiness. One person's right to pursue happiness doesn't seem to outweigh another person's right to life.

  • ksampow Farr West, Utah
    March 19, 2012 11:35 a.m.

    Truthseeker: You claim that nurses who oppose abortion should not work at hospitals where abortions are performed. If the Obama administration has its way, there won’t be any hospital that doesn’t provide abortions – free of charge! Doctors and nurses will have to forget their Hippocratic Oath. This is one example of the extreme anti-religious views of the Obama administration. A woman’s right to kill her unborn child does not give her the right to force someone who disagrees to participate in the procedure or to pay for it.

  • Jeromeo Salt Lake City, UT
    March 18, 2012 11:34 p.m.

    Riverton Cougar:

    PLeeeeezzz. Fact check. Freedom of speech need not be factual. Please do not try to play the F-card. (smile)

  • Jeromeo Salt Lake City, UT
    March 18, 2012 11:17 p.m.

    Hawkeye 79.

    By definition, all analogies are false. (thus the term "analogy".. look it up) Your analogy is beyond ludicrous. Video stores/health care? Please, think about it.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    March 18, 2012 7:09 p.m.


    Suggesting that a person's right to choose trumps a person's right to live is VERY dangerous thinking. Hitler thought along those lines. Being "burdened"; with a child is a consequence of the "right to choose". Taxes for supporting someone else's child? If that is the case, it's better to support life than murder.


    The death penalty is very different from abortion. The death penalty is only given to people who, after rigorous trials, are deemed worthy of such a fate due to their actions (usually an action in which they took another's life, ironic when comparing it to abortion).

    Also, there is a difference in opposing health care and universal health care. Republicans want health care to be available for everyone, but they believe that the government socializing it is a bad way of doing that.

    "Forced births"... HA! What about "forced prison time"? It's merely a consequence of actions. Freedom to choose does NOT imply freedom of consequence! Anyway, why do you support "forced healthcare" if you guys are champions of "right to choose"?

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    March 18, 2012 7:08 p.m.

    I find it interesting that the only people who support abortion have already been born.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    March 18, 2012 5:53 p.m.


    The Catholic church wants universal healthcare because they're government subsidized. I'm not against healthcare. Universal healthcare promotes dependency and entitlement We need a more responsible healthcare plan, and not one that enslaves us.

  • Jeromeo Salt Lake City, UT
    March 18, 2012 5:14 p.m.

    Thank you D.N. for this thorough and thought provoking piece. I support a woman's right to choose. I also support a health care worker's right to choose a career path which is not likely to place them in a religious or philosophical conflict. Here is the slippery slope: In this battlefield where abortion doctors and workers are targeted for death, harm and mayhem... isn't it also possible for anti-abortion groups to tactically place workers in positions so as to obstruct? I sense that the service providers are not merely ignoring this complex situation, but are instead correctly seeking court decisions over pressure from groups with differing positions.

  • sportsfan21 OREM, UT
    March 18, 2012 4:32 p.m.

    Reality Chequers,

    I hate to break it to you, but there are plenty of stores that have similar attitudes to the one you suggested we wouldn't stand for. Whole foods markets and Jewish owned markets limits what they offer and we are just fine letting them do that. No business is forced to offer any service. There are plenty of medical practices that only do a few procedures (such as oral surgeons only doing wisdom teeth and plastic surgeons only working with cleft pallets and burn victims).

    You need to open your eyes and read the article. The decision of which services are offered depends on what the employer wants. If the employer chooses to offer abortions but assures one of the nurses that he/she won't have to assist, he/she has no right to go back on that agreement.

    You said "Isn't it odd that people have such a drive to force others to follow the beliefs of others."

    So, we have a doctor who is referring a woman to another doctor for an abortion and a woman demanding that that particular doctor do a surgery he is opposed to. Which party sounds like they're being forced?

  • K Mchenry, IL
    March 18, 2012 4:10 p.m.

    There is a law of conscience and there will continue to be such a law.

  • Reality Chequers Kennesaw, GA
    March 18, 2012 3:58 p.m.

    I refuse to sell you any food, other than vegetables from my store. You are too fat and it's against my religion to allow you to be gluttonous and risk many health problems as a result. How many of you would allow this to occur? Oddly enough, women are the only gender to get pregnant, yet it seems at society feels they have the right to intervene and decide when life is in danger. Let the women decide and let the medical professionals do the job they are trained to do. If they refuse, the should be terminated from their place of employment.

    Isn't it odd that people have such a drive to force others to follow the beliefs of others. Allow me my beliefs, and I will gladly allow you, yours. Now do your job or we will easily find someone else who will.

  • bluejean Farmington, UT
    March 18, 2012 3:43 p.m.

    There is plenty of precident law to support the right of a person to avoid, not participate in or exemptions provided when a law is in direct opposition to a person's religious beliefs. So why not in the health profession?

    Surely, any morally sound person will allow themselves to provide care in the case of life threatening emergency but in the story, DeCarlo's career was threatened in a non-emergency. This is where the morality of the situation falls short and why a person's religious beliefs should be protected by law.

    The liberal mind always balks at the idea of supply and demand. If health care providers can legally refuse to provide abortions based on their beliefs then the risk of not enough readily available care is real. If there is a disproportionate number of women seeking abortion to those who will provide it to her then she might have to get in line or travel some distance. For those of us who feel a moral and religious obligation to protect the life of the unborn but living fetus, it wouldn't bother us when a woman who desires to terminate an unwanted but avoidable pregnancy is slightly inconvenienced.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 18, 2012 12:40 p.m.

    Re: atl134 12:24 p.m. March 18, 2012
    "Republicans don't care about "right to live" "

    Suggesting that everyone in either party thinks the same as everyone else in that party is an indication of a shallow thought process. Many Republicans, but not all of us, believe that a viable, living, human being with a heart beat and brain waves deserves the same rights as any convicted murderer sitting on death row. I don't think a sentence of execution should be carried out without an appeal, and I think infants should be granted the same rights.


    12:24 p.m. March 18, 2012

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 18, 2012 12:24 p.m.


    Republicans don't care about "right to live", they're just cool with taking away access to healthcare from people. At least the Catholic church supports universal healthcare so they're consistent.If you cared about life you'd support universa healthcare... and oppose the death penalty. If you don't then you don't support right to life... you support forced births.

  • wjalden Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 18, 2012 11:14 a.m.

    I believe you start from the presumption of unlimited freedom, then take away only that which is necessary to maintain a civil society. In a country where there are hundreds of thousands of doctors, nurses, and pharmacists, there is absolutely no reason - none - to force individual medical professionals to violate their consciences in this manner.

    There are other issues going on here, however. Do Vanderbilt and Mt. Sinai, as private institutions, have the right to require acts that would violate the consciences of students and employees? Maybe.

    Or, as recipients of probably large amounts government money, are they subject to government regulation on this matter? Maybe.

    If so, why should the government have the right to tie up distribution of public funds, increasingly necessary for even private hospitals and universities to operate, in regulations unrelated to the purpose of their distribution?

    One thing's for certain: as more and more of us (even doctors) become mere direct or indirect employees of the government, or of mega-corporations and near monopolies that grow frighteningly larger by the day, our rights to freedom of conscience, freedom of worship, and freedom of speech will dissipate to the point of nonexistence.

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    March 18, 2012 11:08 a.m.

    A nurse must have basic nursing skills prior to working in OR, which means that the nurse has worked in other areas of the hospital. Nurses in the OR are then rotated to and from the surgical suite, PACU, and Pre-Op. Sometimes, as a nurse gets older, they do not want the rigorous routine of the OR, or the wearing of the heavy lead(necessary where radiation is involved). Staff management knows who, in the hospital, at any given time, has the OR experience and will be able to jump into a situation and know just what to do.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    March 18, 2012 11:01 a.m.


    A woman needs to be responsible for the choice she made, and not expect taxes to pay for it. Yes, she'll spend part of life caring for the child. Murder is not an option.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    March 18, 2012 10:54 a.m.

    DeCarlo wasn't terminated. We don't have enough facts. Were there other nurses available to assist? Perhaps DeCarlo was the only nurse prepped and scrubbed at that moment and the Drs didnt want to delay for some reason, related to medical issues or merely the convenience of the Drs. If the abortion was due to a medical emergency, DeCarlo's moral objections could result in life threatening consequences.

    Question: Do hospitals cross-train nurses for the OR? My impression, having worked in hospitals, is that nurses are not "floated" to all areas. For example, you wouldn't have a floor nurse working in the OR, but you might cross train an orthopedics nurse for an oncology area.

    The bottom line is, people who don't want to participate in or assist with abortions shouldn't choose a position or hospital that puts them in an area where abortions are done. An accountant preparing a tax return for a client who wants him to make fraudulent calculations has the choice to drop the client or commit fraud. No court of law is going to award the accountant damages for emotional distress when he chooses to work with a unethical client.

  • Radically Moderate SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 18, 2012 10:12 a.m.

    Too many false comparisons have been made on this board. A medical professional forced to assist in an elective abortion (as mentioned in the article) cant be compared to police, plastic surgeons, videostore owners, or chiefs. Only instances which actually require or allow the taking of a human life in compliance with existing laws can be considered moral equivalents:

    1- Euthanasia
    2- Execution
    3- Military/Police action
    4- Genocide
    We demand allowances for conscientious objection for the last, and usually allow it for the third. Why not allow everybody to refuse to participate in what they believe to the be the unnecessary destruction of human life? Where is the harm in that?

    At the very least, if we are going to talk about this serious issue in a productive way, we need to compare apples and apples.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    March 18, 2012 9:32 a.m.

    worf says:

    Abortion creates conflict for:

    * people who do not want to pay for it with their taxes
    * a baby's right to live.
    * guilt which will be with the mother through out her life

    This is another result of wrong and weak choices.


    Birth creates conflict for:

    * people who do not want to support someone else's child with their taxes
    * a woman's right to choose.
    * a child that with the mother throughout her life

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    March 18, 2012 9:20 a.m.

    When one is employed now as a nurse in a medical facility, the management's ultimate goal is to have the staff "cross trained". If staff members are off for illness, vacation, or a personal day, a nurse is able to come from a different department and fill in. We nurses know that is the way it is. You become more valuable to a company the more you can do, and the more you are willing to learn.
    This may be the real issue to the large, medical corporation.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    March 18, 2012 9:18 a.m.

    Decopto shouldn't be in a profession she is incapable of perform. It is the patient's choice to have the abortion, not the medical provider's.

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    March 18, 2012 9:09 a.m.

    Obviously this discussion is about abortion, and those who want to avoid having anything to do with it.
    To expand on what may or may not be "correct" in our society, and in the eyes and minds of the commenters, DN could provide discussion on:
    Young,, healthy people sharing their deadly drugs with one another(leading to death). How do their doctors, family and non-druggie friends watch these individuals do this without feeling responsible?
    Hospitals assist the very ill to die, using the administration of Morphine(leading to death). How do medical staff, friends and family members resolve this? Shouldn't "God" be in charge of when an individual dies?
    And.....there are numerous similar questions to ponder.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    March 18, 2012 8:25 a.m.

    Religion, empowered by the politicians it puts into office, hasn't made the provision of women's reproductive health a picnic either. Churches these days are fixated on who gets to have sex with whom, and why.

  • Mick Murray, Utah
    March 18, 2012 8:20 a.m.

    Park city aggie

    You make an argument against assumptions and then go on to assume.

    Well here is another on; perhaps the 22 week old baby was too big to abort at a clinic. It was just 2 weeks away from being able to live outside the womb. This baby would have been around a pound and over a foot in length. All organs are formed and most are functioning.

    Maybe this is why a hospital was needed.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    March 18, 2012 7:39 a.m.

    USA Lover - I have absolutely no idea how in the world you warped my comments into a pro-abortion statement. I have adopted kids for crying out loud. I was referring to those who feel their jobs put them in morally uncomfortable positions.

    It is just as moronic as someone taking a job as a waiter who doesn't believe in drinking taking a job in an establishment that sells wine - and then complaining they have to server alcohol. In the medical profession there are millions of jobs that have nothing to do with abortion. If you are being asked to participate in an act you find immoral, change jobs.

    "Choice" doesn't not just refer to abortions my conservative friends. Life is full of choices, all of which have consequences - some good, some not. Sometimes you do need to make less money in order to make a moral stand - I know I have had to make that decision.

  • Reality Chequers Kennesaw, GA
    March 18, 2012 5:31 a.m.

    She could seek employment at a catholic hospital. She had a choice but is only opting to cause trouble because she is anti-choice.

  • wjalden Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 18, 2012 1:56 a.m.

    "If we allow conscious objections to seep into our legal code than who is to say someone can't discriminate based on race or lifestyle choices such as drinking? Its a bad idea." - Steven Jarvis

    Freedom's such a pain, isn't it? Better to force everyone to do what the government wants and leave it at that.

  • wjalden Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 18, 2012 1:53 a.m.

    "Abortion falls into the category of women's health. If you don't like that, then choose a different type of medical specialty." - Christy

    I didn't realize these laws would only affect people who haven't started college. The 57-year-old with 3 decades as a pharmacist? The ObGyn specialist near the end of her residency? Didn't think it through much, did you?

  • wjalden Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 18, 2012 1:45 a.m.

    What were you people yammering on about again? Ah yes, "choice."

    Choice for the woman who wants an abortion. No choice whatsoever for the professional who does not want to assist her. Instead, government coercion. You people on the left are pathetic. You use the language of liberty and choice only when it suits your purposes.

  • SammyB Provo, UT
    March 18, 2012 12:32 a.m.


    You are the one being judgmental, not the nurse. She explained the situation and said the woman's life was not in danger. I choose to believe she is not a liar.

  • sashabill Morgan Hill, CA
    March 18, 2012 12:18 a.m.

    For secular liberals, an unborn child occupies about the same moral status as a stalk of celery or a half-eaten box of corn flakes. Killing an unborn child is no more significant than tossing a toothpick out your car window.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    March 18, 2012 12:10 a.m.

    "Initially, DeCarlo could've opted to apply for a nursing position in the emergency room, cardiac ward, cancer ward or orthopedic ward or any number of areas if she wanted to be sure she didn't have to assist with a late term abortion."


    The whole point is that she worked there with the assurance from the hospital that she had full legal right to not participate in an abortion due to her belief that it is immoral.


    Fact: Abortion is taking life away from a living being. Fact: About 1% of abortions are done because the mother's life is in jeopardy, or cases of incest and rape. The main reason we are opposed to abortion is not because we believe they are pregnant, unwed teens who made poor decisions. We oppose it because IT IS IMMORAL! Of course most rules have exceptions, but the exceptions are, as usual, extremely rare.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    March 17, 2012 11:51 p.m.

    Abortion creates conflict for:

    * people who do not want to pay for it with their taxes
    * a baby's right to live.
    * guilt which will be with the mother through out her life

    This is another result of wrong and weak choices.

  • ParkCityAggie Park City, Ut
    March 17, 2012 11:44 p.m.

    what bugs me about this story bugs me about why government should get involved in abortions at all. No one shows up to a hospital for an abortion, Women tend to go to a clinic. The gal there to get the abortion obviously had some serious reason for needing to abort, not that it's anyone's business but hers. Many on the "right" of this debate like to portend they know why a woman is getting an abortion, because she was careless or probably unwed. When in reality a majority of Women who do get abortions are in fact, married! Yes do some research. Again, it's not our business why a Woman might want or need an abortion. In this case there probably was a health risk associated with the abortion. Yet the "pro-life nurse probably couldn't care less because in her mind, it was a sin no matter what. She doesn't work in abortion clinic. That is the difference here. She didn't care that the mothers life could have been in danger, to her it probably didn't matter. That is being derelict in your duties, as well as un-compassionate.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    March 17, 2012 11:23 p.m.

    Nurses can work in many different areas of a hospital. Initially, DeCarlo could've opted to apply for a nursing position in the emergency room, cardiac ward, cancer ward or orthopedic ward or any number of areas if she wanted to be sure she didn't have to assist with a late term abortion. She worked at Mt. Sinai in the operating room from 2004 to 2009 without having to assist with an abortion.

    However, she filed a suit alledging that Mt. Sinai had violated her rights by having her assist with the abortion in 2009. "The district court granted summary judgment to Mount Sinai on the ground that Section 300 (of the Church Act) does not provide a private right of action. Section 300 does not explicitly say Appellant has a right to sue. Federal courts have inferred private rights of action, but only when there is explicit evidence of Congressional intent."

    According to a 1993 survey of 150 U.S. and Canadian medical schools, only 14 percent of modern oaths prohibit euthanasia, 11 percent hold convenant with a deity, 8 percent foreswear abortion, and a mere 3 percent forbid sexual contact with patientsÂall maxims held sacred in the classical version.

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    March 17, 2012 10:57 p.m.

    One should never expect much empathy for one's conscience from those whose own consciences have been seared shut.

    That is only one of the side-effects of tolerating (sometimes encouraging) the killing of children for the crime of merely being "unwanted".

  • ? SLC, UT
    March 17, 2012 10:41 p.m.

    I've been to restuarants and other establishments in 2012 where a plaque is posted saying the owner reserves the right to refuse services to anyone. Why shouldn't medical professionals be able to have the same right to withhold services in regard to a procedure in which they believe causes harm?

  • GoldieZ Eureka, UT
    March 17, 2012 10:17 p.m.

    Christie: "Abortion falls into the category of women's health. If you don't like that, then choose a different type of medical specialty."

    What about the unborn babies health?

  • ? SLC, UT
    March 17, 2012 10:09 p.m.

    Also part of the Hippocratic Oath, "I will give no deadly medicine to any one if asked, nor suggest any such counsel; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion."

    Abortion is more than a women's health issue. Elective abortion harms the living, developing baby. To say that one can choose to have sex and then electively choose to kill the life created is to say there is no value or respect to life. Electively killing an unborn baby is not much different than to electively kill a baby once it is born. Both have life.

  • ? SLC, UT
    March 17, 2012 9:34 p.m.

    Maybe part of sex education, if not already, they should be bluntly clear about what happens during an abortion. And it should pointed out that if they don't want a child, they do have a choice to not have sex until they are ready to have one. They would spare themselves a lot of pain and heartache.

  • sportsfan21 OREM, UT
    March 17, 2012 8:15 p.m.

    And to anyone who says that doctors and nurses who don't want to perform abortions should move on to a new profession, maybe you don't realize something. It takes 11-14 years after high school and hundreds of thousands of dollars to become a doctor. Most of them did not agree to perform abortions when they were accepted into medical school. To make them leave something they've sacrificed years of their lives for is pretty harsh. I think a referral system is fine. Just like a cardiologist might refer a patient to a more skilled heart surgeon, an OBGYN should refer patients to a doctor who has performed more abortions and is more skilled at the procedure.

  • sportsfan21 OREM, UT
    March 17, 2012 8:10 p.m.

    Christy, I jnow you're out of comments so I don't want to use this as a cheapshot. However, I think you are missing the point. When ER surgeons take a job they swear to protect life and also agree to the terms that an employer sets. In the story, the hospital was clear that this nurse would not have to assist in abortions. If someone starts their own practice, they are not forced to do any procedure they don't want to unless they would be breaking the hippocratic oath by not performing it. There are many plastic surgeons who only work with burn victims, there are oral surgeons who only do wisdom teeth. It is their choice which services they will provide. Now, it would be wrong for a doctor to say he/she would not perform an abortion if the mothers life was at stake, but even in most critical cases I don't see why another doctor couldn't be brought in who didn't oppose abortion.

  • Mick Murray, Utah
    March 17, 2012 8:00 p.m.


    Your example about the drunk driver is a poor one. And sadly one I see far to often. We "fix" the drunk driver because he has an injury. He will stand trial and justice will be served.
    An abortion is a consequence of poor choice. Not a life threatening injury. Don't confuse the two.

    What about those medical students who don't want to go into womens health but they are forced to do a rotation with an abortion clinic? I asked to not be put at planned parenthood and was told there was no guarantee. Should my school record, which may determine future residency or job placement, be affected by my beliefs about the sanctity of life?

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    March 17, 2012 7:14 p.m.

    Emergency contraceptive is a misnomer. "Emergency" makes it sound like there is some health risk. The only risk is that the baby will live.

  • Wildcat O-town, UT
    March 17, 2012 6:52 p.m.

    Bravo Christy! Very nicely done! Also kudos to UtahBlueDevil for a very intelligent and cogent point.

    @USAlover, I don't know any person that is pro-abortion. I don't know women that seek to get pregnant just to have an abortion. It's a medical choice that belongs to the woman. Using terms like pro-abortion instead of pro-choice discredits any point you are trying to make.

  • Phillip M Hotchkiss Malta, Mt
    March 17, 2012 6:51 p.m.

    Cathy has my respect we should all stand up for what we belive in. Stand for something or sit through every thing.

  • Mick Murray, Utah
    March 17, 2012 6:29 p.m.

    I would really like to hear Christy's response to this but she has used all of her comments. What about those medical student, nursing students or PA students who have no desire to go into women's health? We all had to do rotations in womens health.

    Should they be black balled for not participating in abortions. This can affect getting into e residency program. I asked not to be placed in a rotation at planned parenthood and was told that that may not be an option.


  • Christy Beaverton, OR
    March 17, 2012 5:59 p.m.

    I like this part of the Hippocratic Oath:

    "I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given to me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God."

    Anyway. Whether you like it or not, abortion is perfectly legal. When a woman goes to a hospital that provides this legal medical procedure, she shouldn't have to worry that she won't be given proper care because certain individuals who are supposed to care for her won't because they don't agree with her choice.

    What if everyone just refused service and/or care based on their own private feelings about something? What if I decided I would withhold care from the drunk driver who just killed a baby? You ESPECIALLY don't go into medicine if you feel you should be able to do that.

    This is my last allowed post.

  • Hawkeye79 Iowa City, IA
    March 17, 2012 5:09 p.m.

    Hi Christy,

    If your interpretation of "first, do no harm" is that a medical professional is obligated to perform any procedure that won't hurt a patient (whether medically necessary or not), then you need to do some research on the hippocratic oath. You do not appear to understand it.

    "I don't think someone should be forced to do a procedure they don't want to do."

    I agree with you completely here, however I would disagree with your next sentence. For example, a plastic surgeon may go into the field with the hopes of treating cleft palates. I believe that somebody who aspires to provide these life-changing corrective surgeries should not be dissuaded from plastic surgery training simply because they are opposed to some optional treatments performed in their field. Why must it be "everything or nothing?"

    "You can certainly shop around for a plastic surgeon, but you don't nurse shop while you're in the hospital, do you?"

    You are assuming that women who seek an abortion are limited to searching within a single hospital only. This assumption does not reflect the options that women have in real life. Care to try again?

  • teleste Provo, UT
    March 17, 2012 5:03 p.m.


    Embryos aren't the main question in this case. For better or worse, abortion is's written law.

    The primary question here is about the freedom of the nurse.

    People should not be obligated to do things they find morally reprehensible (under threat of losing their career) merely because those things are legal and someone else requests it of them.

    What gives you the right to tell a physician or any other medical professional that they have to do do things that run contrary to the dictates of their conscience?

  • isrred Logan, UT
    March 17, 2012 4:56 p.m.

    "Some people are under the opinion that taking the life of a viable human being is morally wrong"

    If you are in a burning building and to your left is a crying infant baby and to your right is a freezer full of 50,000 fertilized, viable, embryos, which are you going to save? Are you going to save the one living human being or the 50,000 potential human beings?

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    March 17, 2012 4:42 p.m.

    As a former EMT, I must say I have been called out to save the lives of countless individuals whose bad judgment resulted in their injury or death. I can't tell you the number of times I have thought these people brought this on themselves, so why should I have to support them in living an immoral life of which I do not approve!

    But that is what it means to be part of a community. You don't get to pick and choose who you will or will not help or support.

    My tax dollars go to support lifestyles with which I do not agree. They go to support dishonest politicians, and lazy welfare recipients who do not take proper care of themselves, and emergency services for people who take too many risks. My tax dollars support roads that are used by people who believe differently than me regarding politics.

    Why should even a moment of my efforts or a penny of my money be taken from me to support people who are different than me and who live lives I don't believe in?!

    Why can't I be a "conscientious objector" to all the lifestyles I find morally reprehensible?

  • Christy Beaverton, OR
    March 17, 2012 4:36 p.m.

    Yes, a plastic surgeon should, first, do no harm. If the breast augmentation won't hurt the woman, then do it.

    I don't think someone should be forced to do a procedure they don't want to do. I don't think you go into plastic surgery if you have a moral aversion to breast augmentation.

    You can certainly shop around for a plastic surgeon, but you don't nurse shop while you're in the hospital, do you?

  • Hawkeye79 Iowa City, IA
    March 17, 2012 4:22 p.m.

    Hi Christy,

    "I'm talking about women's health, not adult videos."

    Isn't it amazing how freedoms operate independent of context? Oh, and I can't help but notice that you failed to address my second example, which just so happened to be a women's health issue (intentionally). Why would you avoid discussing that example when you are clearly so interested in discussing women's health? What do you say: should all plastic surgeons be forced to either perform breast augmentations or get out of their preferred occupational field?

    "And here's another tip -- if you don't like abortion, don't have one."

    Oddly enough, your sentiment about how freedom works falls perfectly in line with the beliefs of those medical professionals who do not want to be forced to act in violation of their conscience. They would agree with you and add "if you don't like abortion, don't give one."

    Sadly, there will always be those people will argue that they should never be forced to do things that they do not want to do while steadfastly demanding that others be forced to accommodate them by doing things that they do not want to do.

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    March 17, 2012 4:17 p.m.

    For those of you who say, "If you're against abortion and don't want to perform them, don't go into medicine," my response would be, do you really think that attitude is going to encourage people to want to study medicine when already have a shortage of nurses and other medical professionals in this country?

  • Vegas POV Las Vegas, NV
    March 17, 2012 4:12 p.m.

    It should be noted that Frank Church was a Democrat from the state of Idaho.

  • II Las Vegas, NV
    March 17, 2012 4:11 p.m.

    Anesthesiology residents at Utah in the mid-1970's were given the option of opting out of abortion cases.

  • Steven S Jarvis Orem, UT
    March 17, 2012 4:10 p.m.

    If we allow conscious objections to seep into our legal code than who is to say someone can't discriminate based on race or lifestyle choices such as drinking? Its a bad idea.

    While I feel it is perfectly fine for medical professionals to choose what services they will or will not offer (and no one can force them to do something they are uncomfortable with), the idea of the government getting involved worries me. It isn't the governments role.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 17, 2012 4:06 p.m.

    Re: no fit in SG 1:16 p.m. March 17, 2012
    "Simply go into a different medical specialty, should you find women's health to be offensive to you'

    Some people are under the opinion that taking the life of a viable human being is morally wrong. Adolf Eichmann, architect of the Final Solution and otherwise referred to as the Holocaust, justified his actions by saying he was just following orders when he helped take the lives of 6 million Jews.

    I suppose it is all in how you look at it.

  • Christy Beaverton, OR
    March 17, 2012 4:02 p.m.


    I'm talking about women's health, not adult videos.

    And here's another tip -- if you don't like abortion, don't have one.

    Also, don't try to wipe out sex education in school. (Thank you, Governor Herbert.)

  • ? SLC, UT
    March 17, 2012 3:25 p.m.

    We need good medical professionals. They need the best education available to them possible. There are some things that some still view to be sacred. What about the Hippocratic Oath to do no harm? However it almost at times seems that Santorum is right in regard to higher education. Not that higher education is bad. The more education you have is better. But those in education who provide the way for new medical professionals and others to develop their skills can place their students who still view certain things to be sacred in situations where their beliefs are compromised. Then places of employment then require staff to go against these beliefs or be fired or possibly not even hired in the first place if they are unwilling to perform procedures the employee believes brings more harm than good. Some say then don't go into those professions. That's not good when we need them.

  • Hawkeye79 Iowa City, IA
    March 17, 2012 3:12 p.m.

    Hi Christy,

    Let's examine the implications of your suggestion in different fields:

    Adult video falls under the category of video. Does that mean that those consumers who are of age to legally obtain adult videos can force any store that sells videos to carry adult videos too? After all, it would seem to fall within that retailer's specialty. Let me guess: you would just tell the store owner that if they don't want to sell adult videos, they shouldn't have entered the field of video sales in the first place, right?

    Breast augmentation falls under the category of plastic surgery. Does that mean that all plastic surgeons must provide breast augmentation to any customer who seeks it (after all, they do have a right to seek it)? Would you say that anyone who wants to practice plastic surgery must, by default, offer any and all types of plastic surgeries that are performed within their field? If they don't want to do EVERYTHING that is covered by their field, just choose another field, right?

    Sounds silly, right? So it is when forcing anyone to violate their will and conscience.

  • Christy Beaverton, OR
    March 17, 2012 2:59 p.m.

    Abortion falls into the category of women's health. If you don't like that, then choose a different type of medical specialty.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    March 17, 2012 2:58 p.m.

    There is a big difference in laws preventing you from doing something that they claim is immoral and laws that force you to do something that you believe is immoral. I think the fact that they are still willing to let Jehova's Witnesses not participate in or support local governments (such as not paying taxes or not joining the military), yet they are willing to force those in the medical field to perform or assist in an abortion, is a good sign that the moral compass of the left is way off. It almost seems as if their priority is to promote wickedness (it's obviously I higher priority than receiving revenue from JWs). And people wonder why most LDS are conservatives!

  • Hawkeye79 Iowa City, IA
    March 17, 2012 2:51 p.m.

    This article highlights a very interesting and important debate that will have HUGE implications for our freedoms.

    We all enjoy the right to seek an abortion if we so choose, but do we have the right to obtain an abortion from a specific individual? I would suggest that we do not.

    Arguing that a medical patient's right to seek a certain procedure implies that they can force any medical care professional to provide that service (even against their will and conscience) is tantamount to arguing that a shopper can force a store to carry and sell cigarettes and alcohol simply because he or she can legally use them. This is simply not the case.

    A person's right to seek a treatment does not hinge on whether a specific provider will give it to them. Indeed, they are free to obtain the treatment from locations where it is available. I see no reason why the right to seek a service cannot coexist with health care professionals' right to follow their conscience. Neither party's right is more important than the other party's, therefore neither right should be allowed to overrule the other.

  • teleste Provo, UT
    March 17, 2012 2:38 p.m.



    No doctor or nurse should ever be required to act against their conscience in the case of an elective abortion.

    Forcing healthcare workers to act against their conscience infringes their First Amendment rights to the free exercise of religion. It also runs contrary to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: "Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance."


    Selling ice cream is legal...that doesn't mean every restaurant should be forced to provide it. Then again, by your logic, each restaurant should be mandated to sell ice cream if it isn't readily-available enough to a demanding customer. Right?

  • Furry1993 Clearfield, UT
    March 17, 2012 2:37 p.m.

    It's very simple. There are just as many different disciplines in the medical profession as there are in any other profession. If a person doesn't want to deal with the need to provide a certain professional service, then choose an area of the profession where that undesirable service isn't involved. When I was practicing law, the idea that I might represent and win an acqittal for a guilty person was not something I wanted to contemplate. I handled it by not practicing criminal defense work since there were many other attorneys who would not have a qualm doing so. Problem solved.

    The same is true for those in the medical profession who doin't want to have to be involved with termination of pregnancies. Let them find another area of medicine in which to work. Again, problem solved.

    March 17, 2012 2:29 p.m.

    Once more a Deseret News article displays a glaring lack of editorial expertise and a factual error. Senator Frank Church was a Democrat from Idaho, and not a Republican as the article states.

    On another point, the medical arts are about healing, not taking of life. A health care worker has a perfect right to opt out of procedures that exist only to take life. What Cedar Sanai did in this case was heinous and a gross violation of a person's conscience. I hope a suitable penalty is part of the result of this lawsuit. Health care would take a grave turn if only those willing to take life could be in that profession.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 17, 2012 2:03 p.m.

    If there's a viable alternative person in the hospital who can perform the procedure then that should be the route taken. If there isn't then well... you're the only one available and you're going to have to deal with it.

    March 17, 2012 2:00 p.m.

    Strange that the courts will now allow conscientious objections to assisting in abortion, but will allow conscientious objections for prison doctors who refuse to participate in lethal injections (such as in cases in California and North Carolina). Where is the sense in that? Are we now going to say that all doctors must be willing to participate in executions in order to be a doctor?

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    March 17, 2012 1:36 p.m.


    "We aren't forced into a cast system. We have choices. Every choice has a benefit and a cost. If the type of medicine you are working in causes issues, move on to something else. No one can make you do a job you don't agree with - you always either choose to do it, or not to.

    It is a choice."

    We've heard the pro-abortion argument before. Thanks.

    The act of that results in a pregnancy is also a "choice". If you don't want a pregnancy, don't engage in the act. Evidently, you and your Pro-Abortion people are only concerned about choices...and not consequences.

    No one ever talks about what "choice" that embryo has?

  • sportsfan21 OREM, UT
    March 17, 2012 1:36 p.m.


    The difference is that both the police officer and the county clerk swore to uphold the law. Medical professionals swear an oath that their only cause is to save lives and not harm them. Most doctors and nurses don't object to aborting pregnancies when the life of the mother is at stake or in cases of rape and incest. But to force a doctor to break his/her solemn oath (that dates back 2500 years) is wrong. In almost any area in the US it is not hard to find an OBGYN that will perform an abortion. Anyone who wants this procedure to be a requirement is looking for acceptance more than accessibility.

  • JDL Magna, UT
    March 17, 2012 1:32 p.m.

    The sad reality is stated in the last paragraph of this well written and documented article, silence and end all opposition.

  • teleste Provo, UT
    March 17, 2012 1:31 p.m.


    Police officers are sworn in to uphold the law...even if they disagree with it. That is very different from a nurse who was on the books as being opposed to abortion. Beyond that, what might be her responsibility as a healthcare worker to treat a mother whose health is potentially in danger is a NON-ISSUE in this case as the abortion was elective (as I understood it from the article).

    It seems to me that going by your logic all Jews who want to be chefs should be forced to cook and serve pork...right? Or just don't take the job...

    Give me a break.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    March 17, 2012 1:30 p.m.

    How about you don't work for places that force you into the moral problems. Like the officer example who is forced to enforce laws on pot even though he doesn't believe in them.... well my answer is get another job and work where you are not forced to do things you don't believe in. I don't want law enforcement people upholding the law if they don't believe in it..... "sorry, it's my job" doesn't cut it. You chose for it to be your job.

    We aren't forced into a cast system. We have choices. Every choice has a benefit and a cost. If the type of medicine you are working in causes issues, move on to something else. No one can make you do a job you don't agree with - you always either choose to do it, or not to.

    It is a choice.

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    March 17, 2012 1:16 p.m.

    So many avenues to follow in a nursing career!
    Simply go into a different medical specialty, should you find women's health to be offensive to you.

  • annewandering oakley, idaho
    March 17, 2012 12:57 p.m.

    Logan, UT
    What of the police officer forced to arrest someone for Marijuana when the police office believes the law is unjust and immoral to make such a thing criminal and illegal?

    What of the county clerk who feels that EVERYONE should be married and that being forced to deny same-sex couples marriage licenses violates her conscience? "

    If a person believes abortion is killing a person then illegal drugs or not marrying someone is hardly a comparable situation. murder vs recreation or marriage? Just not even close.

  • isrred Logan, UT
    March 17, 2012 12:41 p.m.

    What of the police officer forced to arrest someone for Marijuana when the police office believes the law is unjust and immoral to make such a thing criminal and illegal?

    What of the county clerk who feels that EVERYONE should be married and that being forced to deny same-sex couples marriage licenses violates her conscience?

    Sometimes there are aspects of our jobs that we don't agree with. If they are that unconscionable to you, DON'T TAKE THAT JOB. It's that simple.

  • Laura Ann Layton, UT
    March 17, 2012 12:29 p.m.

    No one should have to do something that violates their beliefs. If you want an abortion, I believe Planned Parenthood is a viable option. I was informed that they make a lot of money performing this procedure, but I could be wrong about this as I have never looked it into myself. I am generally against abortions, except for rape, incest, or endangerment to the mother, but I can't stop someone from choosing to have an abortion. The Supreme Court ruled that it is legal.