From: “Lois Cunningham
Date: April 9, 2009 12:50:39 AM PDT
Subject: Rescission Proposal – Retain the conscience clause
Health and Human Services
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing you on behalf of The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform regarding the Rescission Proposal. We strongly urge you to retain the conscience clause of the December 19, 2008 federal regulation.
It is imperative that health care professionals never be forced to chose between violating their consciences and risking the loss of their jobs. Most of us went into the medical, nursing, and allied health professions to protect and care for humans, not to participate in their destruction. To attempt to force nurses such as I to participate in abortion or physician assisted “suicide” or embryonic stem cell research is unethical and immoral.
The government should protect the rights of health care professionals to do the job they were trained to do without fear of discrimination. No nurse or doctor can effectively perform their duties if they are forced to violate the Hippocratic Oath or his/her own code of ethics.
If ethically sensitive doctors and nurses are forced to leave their professions rather than be forced to violate their consciences, everyone suffers. The state of American health care would quickly denigrate into a situation where poor people are neglected because good doctors and nurses have been forced to change careers. There are countless healthcare professionals who are willing to engage in ethically questionable practices. Finding them is a minor inconvenience when compared with asking a doctor or nurse to provide abortifacient drugs and devices, etc. A sensible balancing test will protect the rights of all.
Lois Cunningham, RN
The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform
PO Box 219
Lake Forest, CA 92629