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Protection of Conscience Project

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January-March, 2007


30 March, 2007
Objectors to Mental Capacity Act risk jail

Beginning in April, the controversial Mental Capacity Act comes into partial effect in the United Kingdom. The Act provides for "living wills" that can direct health care workers to stop nutrition and hydration to patients, thus causing their deaths. Should the health care workers refuse to withdraw nutrition and hydration, they can be charged criminally for assault. Some doctors have stated that they will go to jail rather than perform what they consider to be euthanasia. [Daily Mail, 30 March, 2007]

28 March, 2007
Assisted suicide bill passes Californian legislative committee

The California Assembly Judiciary Committee has passed Assembly Bill 374, an assisted suicide bill with some protection of conscience clauses.

26 March, 2007
"Pill patrol" urged by Planned Parenthood

In an effort to pressure pharmacies to provide the morning-after pill and, apparently, to encourage activism against pharmacists who object to dispensing the drug, Planned Parenthood has begun a 'Pill Patrol' in the United States. The organization urges activists to call pharmacies and ask a series of questions to determine the immediate availability of the drug, and whether or not there are conscientious objectors on staff. [Cybercast News] [SaveRoe]

Coercive bill defeated in Philippines

A bill that would have imposed a two hat would have banned families from having more than two children has been defeated in the Philippines. The bill would have included up to six months' imprisonment for couples who broke the family planning law. [See Philippines population control bill threatens conscientious objectors with imprisonment; Philippines Government launches attack on freedom of conscience]

22 March, 2007
Dispute at Catholic hospital in Texas

A mother has secured a restraining order to prevent the disconnection of a respirator from her 16 month old child, who was born blind and deaf. The infant has been diagnosed with Leigh's Disease, an incurable disorder that affects the central nervous system and often leads to respiratory, kidney and heart failure. The life expectancy of a patient is a few years, though some have lived into adolescence. Hospital authorities decided that the "aggressive care" being provided was "medically inappropriate" because it was causing "suffering [and] harm . . . and [was] without clinical benefit." The hospital told the mother that care would be continued for ten days to allow her to find another institution willing to accept the child. The court order she obtained means that care will continue until at least 10 April. Current Texas law permits physicians to withdraw treatment or care that they judge to be "futile," without the consent of the patient. Since the hospital is Catholic, the case can be contrasted to that of Italian Peirgiorgio Welby, who was denied a Catholic funeral because he had his life-sustaining respirator disconnected. [Italian case illustrates potential for conflict]

21 March, 2007
Organ harvesting before "brain-death"

Health care workers and others are expressing concern about a return to the practice of organ donation after only cardiac death (cessation of heartbeat), which was the norm before criteria for "brain death" became established as the prerequisite for organ harvesting. "Donations after cardiac death" (DCD) in the US more than doubled between 2003 and 2006. One current standard requires that the heart has stopped for five minutes before organs are removed, but the standard is not universal. In some places doctors wait three minutes, or two, and surgeons at Denver's Children's Hospital wait only 75 seconds before harvesting organs. A Washington Post article illustrates the potential for conflicts of conscience in this field [Washington Post] [See also Nurses alarmed by transplant procedure]

19 March, 2007
Canadian nurse fined, suspended for picketing Planned Parenthood

In 2004 Bill Whatcott, a nurse opposed to abortion, was fined $15,000.00 and suspended for 45 days by a Saskatchewan Licensed Practical Nurses Association Discipline Tribunal. The tribunal judged him guilty of "professional misconduct" because he picketed a Planned Parenthood office in Regina, Saskatchewan. He was suspended indefinitely when he refused to pay the fine, even though appeals of the decision were in progress. In a surprise move, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association has applied as an intervenor in the appeals in support of the nurse. The CCLA explicitly repudiates Whatcott's views on abortion, but is concerned about the implications of the conviction for freedom of expression. [CCRL]

16 March, 2007
Euthanasia activism in France

A French doctor convicted for having used a lethal injection to kill a patient suffering from terminal cancer was given one year probation and will continue to practise medicine. Meanwhile, candidates for all three leading political parties vying for power in the April election have indicated support for euthanasia, and more than 2,000 French medical professionals have signed a petition advocating that the procedure be legalized. [CNN]

Pontifical Academy for Life calls on UN for protection of conscience law

A conference on the theme "Christian conscience in support of the right to life" was sponsored by the Pontifical Academy for Life in Vatican city on 23 and 24 February, 2007. It was attended by over 400 scholars and Academy members. Adocument, published as a result of the conference (now available only in Italian), called upon health care professionals, politicians, and judges to support the sanctity of life through the exercise of "brave conscientious objection." It also asked the UN to include recognition of a right to conscientious objection in the Declaration of Human Rights. [EWTN]

15 March, 2007
Connecticut considering coercive law

A bill before a Connecticut legislative committee would require Catholic hospitals to dispense the morning-after pill to rape complainants in all circumstances, despite concern that the drug could act as an embryocide by preventing implantation. Current protocol permits the four Catholic hospitals to dispense the drug if tests show that ovulation has not occurred or that there is a reasonable doubt that it has occurred, since, in those circumstances, there is no risk that the drug will cause the death of an early embryo. [The Advocate, 13 March, 2007] [Statement of the Connecticut Catholic Conference]

9 March, 2007
Portugal extends abortion law

The Portuguese parliament has modified the country's abortion law, which had permitted the procedure up to 12 weeks gestation, but only in cases of rape, or to preserve the health of the mother. The new law permits abortion for any reason during the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. [CWN] The Portuguese constitution includes a "Law of Religious Freedom" that concerns freedom of conscience and conscientious objection, but the country has no protection of conscience laws specific to the practice of medicine.

8 March, 2007
American & Canadian palliative care associations no longer oppose assisted suicide

The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine has officially adopted a position of "studied neutrality" on the question of whether or not physician assisted suicide should be legal [AAHPM Statement]. The organization also changed its terminology, referring, instead, to "physician assisted death", asserting that "suicide" was too "emotionally charged." A neutral position taken by the British Medical Association in 2005 was reversed in 2006. During the debate that led to the legalization of euthanasia in Belgium in 2002, the Flemish Palliative Care Association also adopted what might be considered a neutral stance on the grounds that it was a "pluralist" organization [See Broeckaert, B. Janssens, R. "Palliative Care and Euthanasia: Belgian and Dutch Perspectives." p.20-21 Ethical Perspectives 9/2-3 (June - September - 2002)]. The Flemish association later ceased to distinguish between palliative care and euthanasia [Dealing with Euthanasia and Other Forms of Medically Assisted Death]. Since most health care workers who are involved in palliative care have traditionally been opposed to euthanasia, the blurring of distinctions between euthanasia and palliative care, or even the abolition of such distinctions, would be of significant concern if euthanasia or assisted suicide were legalized. [See Belgium: Mandatory Referral for Euthanasia]

5 March, 2007
California lawsuit against protection of conscience law to proceed

A Californian judge has refused to dismiss the suit brought by the state against the Hyde-Weldon Amendment, a federal law that denies funding to states that deny health care professionals or institutions freedom of conscience. (See California position reveals extent of coercion to suppress conscientious objection)

Vatican newspaper continues controversy over death of Peirgiorgio Welby

The Italian College of Physicians has refused to take disciplinary action against the anaesthetist who disconnected the respirator of Peirgiorgio Welby in December, 2006. Dr. Stefano Ojetti resigned from his position as adviser to the College in protest, calling the incident a "sad and dark page in the history of our medicine." The Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, called Ojetti's conduct "exemplary." There have been significant differences of opinion about whether or not the disconnection of mechanical ventilation amounted to euthanasia. [See Italian case illustrates potential for conflict]

1 March, 2007
Irish Catholic group pressured to facilitate abortion referral

CURA, the Catholic Church's pregnancy advice service, has been threatened by the government's Crisis Pregnancy Agency with termination of funding if it does not distribute a pamphlet that includes contact information about groups that refer patients to foreign abortion facilities. CURA, which had originally agreed to distribute the pamphlets, withdrew its agreement after four Donegal CURA counsellors made public the fact that they were required to distribute the material. The four counsellors were suspended for "breaching confidentiality." [RTE News]

Vermont committee recommends legalization of assisted suicide

The Vermont House Human Services Committee voted 7-4 in favor of a bill that would allow patients diagnosed with.terminal illness and a prognosis of six months or less to live to request a prescription for assisted suicide. [Burlington Free Press]


28 February, 2007
Nurses alarmed by transplant procedure

Authorities at the Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Francisco, California, alerted by nurses who were concerned about procedures followed in the case of a potential organ donor, began an investigation into the conduct of Dr. Hootan Roozrokh. The conduct of a second physician, Dr. Arturo Martinez, is also under review. The concern is that a transplant surgeon attempted to hasten the death of a man on life support in order to harvest his organs. It is reported that nurses were ordered to give the patient "more candy" (ie, drugs), apparently because the patient was not dying, or not dying quickly enough. The allegations illustrate how conflicts of conscience can arise in such situations. [LA Times]

26 February, 2007
Assisted suicide bill in California threatens dissenting nursing homes

The California Assembly Bill 374 (California Compassionate Choices Act includes a number of protection of conscience measurues, but Lawyer Wesley J. Smith, an author and lawyer has warned that a new California bill may force Catholic nursing homes to allow assisted suicide on their premises or shut down.

25 February, 2007
Public required to pay for sex change surgery

A judge has ordered New York City to pay for sex change surgery for a 21 year old man on the grounds that the city is obliged to pay for all necessary care for children in its care. The case began when the plaintiff was a ward of the city. [United Press] The claim of legal entitlement to morally controversial surgery can raise the same problems for conscientious objectors in health care that are raised by claims of legal entitlement to other morally controversial procedures or services.

24 February, 2007
South Dakota bill fails due to protection of conscience clause

Senate Bill 187 was approved by the Health and Human Services after an amendment to remove a protection of conscience provision failed, but the bill's sponsor then withdrew the bill rather than let it go forward. He saw "no sense in even having this bill" if it did not suppress freedom of conscience among health care workers. [Argus Leader, 24 February, 2007]

20 February, 2007
Three-child limit law being drafted in Rwanda

The Rwandan Minister of Finance and Economic Planning has announced plans to introduce contraceptive advice at hospitals and health centres and free contraception to women, in addition to contraceptive/sex education in schools. A law is reported to be in preparation to offer incentives to limit families to three children; the current average is 6.1 children per family. The Minister is concerned that an annual population increase of 3% is straining the country's resources.[Medical News Today, 20 February, 2007] Increased marketing of contraceptives through the health care system may raise some moral or ethical concerns among health care workers. There is much more likelihood of conflicts arising if abortion is expected as a "backup" to failed contraception, as it is in the developed world. [No Place for Abortion in African Traditional Life - Some Reflections (2002)]

17 February, 2007
Abortion ordered for 13 year old

A 13-year girl has been committed to the psychiatric unit of a Turin hospital because she contemplating suicide after being forced to have an abortion. An Italian judge ordered her to have an abortion because her parents demanded it, and Italian law does not permit a minor to have a choice in the matter. [Malta Star] Though there is no evidence that medical staff experienced conflicts of conscience in this case, it illustrates the fact that controversial court orders can place health care providers in a difficult position.

16 February, 2007
Morning-after pill legislation flexible enough for Catholic hospitals

A bill to encourage the prescription of the morning-after pill for rape complainants has passed in Colorado. Bill 07-060 includes a protection of conscience provision for individual practitioners and a provision that does not require hospitals to dispense the drug if the patient is pregnant or is not at risk for pregnancy. Pharmacies that do not carry the drug are required to post a sign to that effect. A joint statement by Catholic bishops in Colorado asserted that the law was sufficiently flexible to allow Catholics to work within the parameters of the law in good conscience, though they had argued for a conscience clause covering institutions. [CNS]

Europe threatens to cut aid to Nicaragua to force acceptance of abortion

Marc Litvine, an agent for the European Union, has threatened the country with the termination of economic aid from Europe if the current law that forbids abortion is not changed. He described Nicaragua's approach to abortion as "backward." [CNA, 7 February, 2007] Dr. Rafael Cabrera, president of the Nicaraguan Association for Life, has complained about "harassment" by international organizations and officials who want the country to decriminalize abortion. He stated that Litvine's comments reflected "absolute ignorance and disrespect for the will of the Nicaraguan people." [CNA, 16 February, 2007] The dispute reflects the fact that the imposition of European and international views would generate conflicts of conscience among some Nicaraguan health care workers.

13 February, 2007
Woman in UK seeks euthanasia through 'terminal sedation' or starvation and dehydration

A 30 year old woman suffering from Eisenmenger's syndrome requested that her doctors sharply increase her dosage of morphine, putting her into 'terminal sedation', and then withdraw nutrition and hydration in accordance with the terms of her 'lving will'. The doctors refused, on the grounds that the procedure amounted to euthanasia. She has now gone to court to compel the physicians to do as she asks. [The Independent]

9 February, 2007
Oklahoma senator attacks freedom of conscience

Oklahoma Senator Andrew Rice has introduced two bills designed to suppress freedom of conscience in health care. SB 105 (CARE Act) will compel all health care facilities that treat rape complainants to provide "the complete regimen of emergency contraception immediately at the hospital or other health care facility to each rape victim who requests it." Hospitals that fail to comply would be subject to $5000.00 fines every 30 days, and to revocation of licenses to operate. 'Emergency contraception' includes the morning after pill, a potential embryocide which some health care workers decline to dispense for reasons of conscience. SB555 would compel all pharmacies to dispense contraceptives, regardless of the moral or religious convictions of pharmacists.

8 February, 2007
Australian & New Zealand doctors on infant euthanasia

While it has been widely reported that a survey has shown that 1/3 of Australian doctors would perform euthanasia on suffering newborns for whom treatment was deemed futile, a closer look at the survey itself is in order. To begin with, the results concern both Australian and New Zealand physicians. The study received responses from 78 physicians, though it appears that responses from only 73 were considered. Of these, 15 (about 20% )considered "hastening death" unacceptable, while 35 (47%) would "hasten death" using "analgesia-sedation" and 23 (33%)would "hasten death" by withdrawing treatment. Two key points have to be considered. First: most conscientious objectors do not consider withdrawal of burdensome treatment to be euthanasia, on condition that 'treatment' is defined to include nutrition and hydration. Second: most objectors would likely use double-effect reasoning to administer a sedative for the purpose of pain relief, with the knowledge that it might also shorten life. Third: most objectors would not characterize a decision to withdraw burdensome treatment a decision made for the purpose of hastening death. If the study was clear about relating the action to a deliberate intention to hasten death, the two striking results are that 47% would be willing to perform euthanasia by injection/infusion, and 67% believe that deliberately hastening death is morally acceptable. The results are indicative of a tendency towards acceptance of euthanasia, with an objecting minority of between 20% and 33% (depending upon the understanding of respondents concerning withdrawal of treatment, and the definition of treatment). [Barr, Peter, "Relationship of neonatologists' end-of-life decisions to their personal fear of death." Archives of Disease in Childhood - Fetal and Neonatal Edition 2007;92:F104-F107.]

8 February, 2007
Religion, Conscience, and Controversial Clinical Practices

The New England Journal of Medicine has published the results of a study undertaken in 2003 that canvassed 1144 physicians in the United States. Participants were asked if physicians are ethically permitted to disclose their own objections to morally controversial procedures, if they are obliged to disclose "all options" (including the controversial practices) to patients, and if objecting physicians must refer patients for the procedures. The three procedures chosen as exemplars for the survey were terminal sedation, abortion following failed contraception, and prescribing birth control to adolescents without parental approval. 63% agreed that physicians may describe their objections to patients, 86% believed that a physician must present "all options," and 71% believed that objecting physicians are obliged to refer patients to willing colleagues. Not surprisingly, those who objected to the procedures in question were less likely to agree to referral. The authors of the study suggested that the conflict "might be understood in the context of perennial debates about medical paternalism and patent autonomy," completely overlooking the issue of personal integrity.[NEJM]

Euthanasia considered in China

A 2003 survey in China indicated that almost 65% of the respondents agreed that euthanasia should be legalized. A family with a child suffering from cerebral palsy in Sichuan province in southwest China is reported to have asked for euthanasia. There appears to be some uncertainty about the state of the law in the country, though, in practice, the procedure is not considered lawful. [China Daily]

7 February, 2007
UK physician objects to participation in homosexual adoption

Dr. John Lockley of Bedfordshire has expressed concern that the proposed Sexual Orientation Regulations in the United Kingdom will cause conflicts of conscience for physicians who, like him, do not support homosexual adoption. He is concerned that a physician who declines to provide a "positive reference" when approached by someone involved in a homosexual lifestyle will be disciplined and perhaps struck off the medical register. Dr. Lockley wants a protection of conscience clause included in the regulations. [The Telegraph]

Texas mandate for HPV vaccine for 11-12 year old girls includes protection of conscience provision

A new vaccine against human papilloma virus, a common sexually transmitted infection that can lead to cervical cancer, will be administered to all 11-12 year old girls in Texas. HPV is incurable and easily communicated by skin-to-skin contact. The executive order mandating the vaccinations permits opting out of the programme by parents who object to the vaccination of their daughters for reasons of conscience or religion. It is not clear to what extent such objections might arise from objections to vaccination against disease, from objections to the perception of state intrusion into private life, or from concerns about the safety of the vaccine. It has been suggested that objectors believe that the vaccine will encourage sexual promiscuity. It is unlikely that this is a unanimous opinion, since the vaccine would protect not only rape victims, but women who have not had sex before marriage from a disease carried by a spouse who had previously been sexually active. [Daily Princetonian]

2 February, 2007
Problem of conscientious objection raised in French Parliament

At a session of the French Parliament on 6 February, Mrs Hermange, a senator, asked the Minister of Health and Solidarity a question about the "necessity to guarantee medical staff the right to exercise their conscience clause in the event of an abortion", by virtue of article L. 2212-8 of the French public health code which stipulates that "a doctor is never required to carry out an abortion" and that "no midwife, nurse, or medical assistant whatsoever is required to participate in an abortion". She stressed that the practice is "ambiguous" sometimes and creates situations where "exercising the conscience clause becomes a factor for discrimination, both for recruitment and promotion".She expressed concern that the conscience clause could be a factor for discrimination : "For efficiency or practical reasons, certain medical establishments consider an abortion a medical procedure like any other and therefore prefer to hire applicants who explicitly state they do not wish to exercise this right. Several examples of this kind were reported to me recently…"Mrs Hermange notes that "it appears particularly difficult for gynaecologists-obstetricians and midwives to carry out their job while 'respecting their convictions'". "One could wonder, Minister, whether this situation is not one of the reasons for the shortage of doctors specialised in this field." [Reported sources of this report Le Monde 01/03/07 & 27/02/07. Sources unconfirmed]

Swiss court grants assisted suicide to mentally ill

The highest court in Switzerland has ruled that assisted suicide should be available to mentally ill people. The judges stated that this would not apply in the case of a death wish resulting from a "curable, psychiatric disorder." An expectation that health care workers will provide assisted suicide to the mentally ill further increases the likelihood of conflicts of conscience in the professions. [International Herald Tribune, 2 February, 2007]


31 January, 2007
Hospice assists in providing prostitute

The Douglas hospice in Oxford, UK, run by an Anglican nun, assisted a disable patient who was seeking a prostitute. Sister Frances, foundress of Douglas House, stated, "It is not our job to make moral decisions for our guests." This is the argument put forward by those who, arguing for respect for patient autonomy, would compel objectors to facilitate morally controversially procedures or services in health care. [The Telegraph]

Euthanasia sought as 'right' in India

A non-governmental organization has applied to the Supreme Court to legalize euthanasia of terminally ill patients as a human right. [Hindu News] If the procedure is declared to be a human right, it is doubtful that any conscientious objection to it would be permitted.

Assisted suicide bill in Hawaii includes protection of conscience clause

A proposed bill in the Hawaiian Senate would legalize assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia for terminally ill, competent patients. An objecting physician need not participate in the procedure, but must transfer the care of the patient to another physician upon the request of the patient. Some protection is offered to health care facilities that have policies against assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia..Hawaiian Senate Bill 1995

29 January, 2007
Failing to provide sex-change operation for early adolescent "a crime"

Referring to a 12 year old boy who has begun a course of treatment in preparation for a sex change operation, Dr. Bernd Meyenburg, the head of Frankfurt university's clinic for children with identity disorders, commented "it would have been a crime to let Kim grow up as a man". An alternative translation may be "it would have been very wrong." In either case, the comment implies that there is a moral obligation to provide sex change operations to patients diagnosed to have the "wrong body." [The Telegraph, "Unhappy as a Boy";"Sex-change Child"]. The advocacy and acceptance of such views may adversely affect health care professionals who reject the reasoning that leads to sex change surgery. [First Things]

19 January, 2007
California position reveals extent of coercion to suppress conscientious objection

Lawyers for the government of California have asserted that the state could lose as much as $37 billion in US Government funding because it discriminates against doctors or hospitals that refuse to perform or refer for abortions for reasons of conscience. They argue that the federal law that they are contesting. The Hyde-Weldon Amendment denies federal funds to states that practise this discrimination. California wants the Amendment interpreted to mean that the state can continue to force doctors and hospitals to perform or refer for abortions "when a woman's life or health is at risk." [California Daily Catholic] The practical problem with this suggestion from the perspective of many objectors is that, for the purpose of abortion, "health" is defined so broadly as to permit abortion on demand, nullifying protection of conscience measures limited in this way. It is possible that the Hyde-Weldon amendment will be struck down by Congress, which is now controlled by the Democratic Party. [CMA News Release]

18 January, 2007
UN Committee delegate asks how many Polish doctors fired

During a meeting of the Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Cuban delegate Magalys Arocha Dominquez, questioning Polish representatives about access to abortion in that country, want to know '[h]ow many doctors had been suspended or fired because they refused to perform abortions?" The question appears to reflect an expectation that that should be the norm.

The response from the Polish delegation was that doctors could refuse to perform abortions for reasons of conscience, except "for women whose health was seriously imperilled by the pregnancy." If all doctors in a hospital refuse to perform abortions, the hospital "is required to have a contract with another healthcare facility willing to perform the procedure." [WOM/1591]

17 January, 2007
Arizona assisted suicide bill includes protection of conscience clause

HB 2572 would authorize the provision of lethal prescriptions to terminally ill patients with less than six months to live. Patients would be required to administer the drug themselves, unless handicapped. The procedure would involve participation of two physicians, pharmacist and (possibly) a psychiatrist or psychologist. In the case of a handicapped patient unable to self-administer the drug, the patient or physician can delegate someone else to do so. This person need not be a health care worker. Those who participate in the procedure are protected from disciplinary action by professional bodies. The bill includes a protection of conscience section that allows a health care provider to excuse himself from fulfilling requests to prescribe drugs for suicide, but mandates that he "promptly transfer the responsibility" to another health care provider willing to assist in the requested suicide.

12 January, 2007
Alberta offers ethical choice of vaccines

Canadian Physicians for Life has been advised by Alberta Health and Wellness that the Alberta Government will make Pediacel available in publicly funded immunization programs after March 2007. Until now, Pentacel has been the only combined infant vaccine (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio and Haemophilus B) available to Canadian parents. Pentacel is partly derived from a cell line created from aborted fetal tissue; Pediacel (same diseases) is not.

11 January, 2007
Dispute over morning-after pill in Australia

Catholic hospitals in Australia that adhere to the Catholic Health Australia's Code of Ethical Standards are refusing to dispense the morning-after pill to rape complainants or refer them to centres that do. Karen Willis, from the NSW Rape Crisis Centre, has claims that the hospitals should be forced to provide the drug, despite concern that it may act as an embryocide. [The, 11 January, 2007]

9 January, 2007
Nine year old disabled girl surgically altered to stop growth

In 2004 a six year old girl underwent surgery at a Seattle hospital to prevent her from maturing and growing to adult size. Her parents had her uterus and breast buds removed and had her growth stopped by using large doses of hormones. The parents' decision was based upon concern that if she continued to grow and mature it would become increasingly difficult to manage her care. Opponents of the treatment expressed the view that the surgery was meant for the benefit of the caregivers, not the girl herself. The ethical controversy illustrates the likelihood of conflicts of conscience among health care workers called to participate in such treatment. [Parents' Blog] [Article]

8 January, 2007
Lawsuit filed by demoted nurse to go ahead

In 2004, nurse Toni Lemly was removed from a full time position after she refused to administer the 'morning-after pill' at the family planning clinic at St. Tammany parish Hospital in Covington, Louisianna. Lawyers with the Alliance Defense Fund filed suit on her behalf in June 2005 for violation of freedom of conscience by refusing reasonable accommodation for the exercise of her moral and religious beliefs. Louisiana's 22nd Judicial District Court has now ruled that the case may proceed to trial. [Judgement] [Petition] [News Release]

3 January, 2007
Eugenic sex selection of embryos in Spain

The Assisted Reproduction unit of Quir'n Hospital in Donostia-San Sebastian has culled embryos to ensure the birth of a girl. There was concern that boy would have a 50% chance of developing Retinosis Pigmentaria (RP), a degenerative eye disease.