Raising Women’s Voices

New HHS “Conscience” Rule Jeopardizes End-of-Life Pain Care

Posted in Uncategorized by raisingwomensvoices on January 15, 2009

On January 19th, 2009, the proposed ‘conscience’ rule is set to go into effect. The rule is meant to protect health care workers with strong religious and moral convictions from ‘workplace discrimination’.  The new rule would prevent health employers and institutions from firing an individual who refused to perform or assist in any part of a health service program that went against their religious and moral beliefs. While most of the focus addresses the threat to reproductive services, another area of concern in End-of-Life care. The Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Healthcare (ERDs) guide the behavior of every Catholic institution and health care worker. ERD #61 states that dying patients whose pain, breathlessness or other agony cannot be relieved by usual methods should receive instruction in “the Christian understanding of redemptive suffering.”  Coupled with the proposed ‘conscience’ rule, the threat to end-of-life care by health workers is very great, and their actions would be protected under law.

Urge federal legislators to prevent this rule from taking effect! Visit: http://capwiz.com/compassionandchoices/issues/alert/?alertid=12389146&type=CO

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