Ah, here we see the interns taking notes during “Nurse Abuse 101”.
It seemed to be a popular elective for those doctors of the Marcus Welby era.
He was only nice to Consuelo, he yelled at everyone else.
And eighty per cent of you have no idea who I’m talking about!
I feel like I should go put in my teeth and hearing aids.
I’m not sure if I just got old and doctors now defer to my age, but with very few exceptions, you don’t hear the ranting and screaming you did in the 70s and 80s.
From the doctors.
I now rant and scream on a regular basis.
(Photo credit: The nurse is named Judy Strickland and the photo was taken in New York by photographer Grey Villet for Life Magazine, September, 1971)
UPDATE: The following is supposed to be an opinion piece on how I feel about the possible rescinding of the Conscience Clause. I could have just said, “I think rescinding the clause sucks”, and left it at that. Instead, I tried to be “artistic” about how I said it. Now, the terms “weasel” and “Nazi” are being found in association with this post.
I’d like to make one thing clear. In thirty one years I have never refused to care for a patient. EVER. I do not judge my patients. EVER. And everyone wants to know what I’d refuse to do, well, let me just be blunt: I would never actively participate in the process of an abortion.
The elephant in the room has been named. It’s the only thing I’d ever have to excuse myself from.
And it has never come up in thirty one years of nursing. And it never will because knowing that I feel the way I do, I have steered clear of fields where that would be an issue.
I guess I need a class in writing, because what I wanted to say apparently has left people thinking I run around with my Christian nose in the air judging everyone around me and refusing care at random based on my moral whims.
Now I guess I’ll get hit for using the “A” word.
That’s what I get for putting religion and politics in a post.
Won’t happen again.
The post remains below as originally written.
To my patients,
When you present to my hospital for care, you have my utmost respect.
As a person.
As an individual.
Your race, color, religion, sexual orientation or medical issues make no difference in the quality of care I will give, or the compassion you will receive.
You see, I respect you.
Your right to live your life as you choose.
Your right to love who you choose to love.
Your right to make the decisions you choose to make.
I also have rights.
As a person.
As an individual.
The right to my own beliefs.
Personal, religious and political.
Sometimes, my personal beliefs will not mesh with yours.
There might be an occasion where I cannot participate in an aspect of your care that results from a decision you have made.
To do so would be to violate my deepest convictions of what is moral. Or just. Or right.
I’ll state this directly.
I have religious beliefs that might preclude me from active participation in certain aspects of your medical care.
This is not a condemnation of you, my patient.
You have the right to act in accordance with your beliefs.
I can respect that right.
And I have the right to act (or not act) in accordance with mine.
Ah, there’s the rub.
For you see, my patient, that you have options.
If I cannot help you in the way you desire,
If your request would cause me to deny my deepest belief system,
I cannot act.
But I can, and will, give you all the information you need or request, withholding nothing,
So that you are able to find a health care provider or facility that can help you.
And I do it without judging, trying to dissuade, persuade or throwing a guilt trip in your path.
You have options.
I do not.
You, my patient, have the option of finding a health care provider who can help you.
Of being true to yourself.
And I can assist you in doing that.
Happily and without judgment.
I do not have the option of acting against my belief system.
I do not have the option of being untrue to myself.
You see, my patient, you can get what you need from many different places and from many different providers.
You have the right to do that with a clear conscience.
I have to look at myself in the mirror every morning.
I have the right to do that with a clear conscience.
Or, I did.
I was protected by the Conscience Clause.
President Obama is considering reversing some of its provisions.
I can live my values and allow you, my patient, to live yours.
I’ll even help you get to where you need to be.
My patient, I fight for your rights.
Your right to do as you choose, live as you choose.
Access medical care as you choose.
Who is fighting for my rights?
Think what you will about the economy. The stimulus package. The War on Terrorism, where ever it is being fought today.
But, Mr. President, you rescind that clause and you destroy part of a fundamental American right.
To the freedom of religion.
What comes after that, Mr. President?
What right of mine will you chisel away next?
I cannot, nor will I, ever pass judgment on my patients.
I fight for their right to make their decisions that affect their health care, whether I am in agreement or not.
So, who is fighting for my rights?
UPDATE: I’m getting some interesting feedback and thought I would link back to them, both pro and con!