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Nurse Sues Hospital After Allegedly Being Forced to Assist in Abortion

Keri Mucci, for HealthLeaders Media, August 6, 2009

This ethical dilemma could have been avoided simply by placing an alternate in Cenzon-DeCarlo's role, such as a peer, manager, or physician, according to Miller.

"Ms. Cenzon-DeCarlo should not have been even considered to take part on this case," she says. "If she were on call for the surgical team, an alternative should have been in place. What if [she was] ill during her call time? Who would have covered for her then?"

Cenzon-DeCarlo is still employed at the hospital but filed a complaint with her union after the incident. She says her on-call shifts have since been cut "solely because of her religious objection to assisting in abortion."

According to The Washington Times, hospital officials ordered Cenzon-DeCarlo to sign a form signifying she will participate in future abortions that Mount Sinai considers as emergencies occurring during her shift, but she refused.

Cenzon-DeCarlo requested a court order that Mount Sinai pay her unnamed damages, reinstate her overtime work shifts, and honor her opposition to assisting in abortions. The lawsuit also calls for Mount Sinai to give up federal funding it receives because of its failure to comply with an amendment that protects "the right of conscience of pro-life healthcare workers."


Keri Mucci is an editorial assistant in the nursing and home health market at HCPro, Inc. She maintains www.StrategiesforNurseManagers.com and www.StressedOutNurses.com, and conducts market research within the industry. She can be reached at kmucci@hcpro.com.


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