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Answers from our Priests for Life Medical Team

Submitted by: K on  6/16/2011
Answered by: Matthew P. Harrison, M.D.
Topic: Nurse Anesthetist Assigned to Immoral Procedures
I am a nurse anesthetist in a fast paced outpatient center, and from day to day, I never really know what surgical cases I will be assigned to do. I have stated that I would not do anesthesia for abortions, also that I will not participate in In Vitro clinic work. Now I may be asked to participate in GYN cases in which contraceptives will be inserted, or tubal ligations will be performed, or even I to refrain from also doing anesthesia for these cases? If so, I will willingly comply with the teachings of the Faith, but I must say that it will definitely make me quite the annoying employee, as my boss will try to figure out how to remove me constantly from cases that are against the teachings of my Faith! Where do I draw the line with my participation in anything related to contraception?
Dear K, Thank you for your bold stance to protect life and the dignity of your patients by refusing to be a part of these procedures.  You certainly can pursue legal action to try to keep your job, but ultimately I fear that it will result in an uncomfortable work environment that you may not be able to bear.  As you know, it would be virtually impossible for them the produce a schedule that would ensure you a steady work load without the possiblity of having to come in on one of these procedures.  If you feel called to make a stand and remain in the position, it will be a battle worth fighting, but you might lose your job. has an NFP only doctor search section that I would encourage you to go to and try to find a pro-life doctor in your area. has a link directly to the One More Soul list and also lists groups of other pro-life doctors. Ask those doctors if they know of openings that could respect your religious beliefs and allow you to practice in a supportive environment.  God Bless you in your good work!

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