Voices For Life

Voices for Life is an e-publication dedicated to informing and educating the public on pro-life and pro-family issues. We cover issues from conception until natural death, as well as all family life issues.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Conscientious Objection, Conscience Rights and Workplace Discrimination


By Nancy Valko
National Right to Life


The tragic cases of Nancy Cruzan and Christine Busalacchi , young Missouri women who were claimed to be in a “persistent vegetative state” and starved and dehydrated to death, outraged those of us in Missouri Nurses for Life and we took action.

Besides educating people about severe brain damage, treatment, cases of recovery and the radical change in medical ethics that could lead to the legalization of euthanasia, we also fought for healthcare providers’ rights against workplace discrimination for refusing to participate in deliberate death decisions. We talked to nurses who were threatened with termination.

Although Missouri had some protections against forcing participation in abortion, there were no statutes we could find where health care providers were protected against being forced to participate in deliberate death decisions. We were also told by some legislators that our chance of success was almost nil.

Nevertheless, we persisted and after years of work and enduring legislators watering down our original proposal to include lethal overdoses and strong penalties, Missouri Revised Statutes, Section 404.872.1 was signed into law in 1992.

It states:

Refusal to honor health care decision, discrimination prohibited, when.

404.872. No physician, nurse, or other individual who is a health care provider or an employee of a health care facility shall be discharged or otherwise discriminated against in his employment or employment application for refusing to honor a health care decision withholding or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment if such refusal is based upon the individual’s religious beliefs, or sincerely held moral convictions. (L. 1992 S.B. 573 & 634 § 7)
Fast Forward to Today

In 2016, we face groups like “Compassion and Choices” that have pushed assisted suicide legislation through in some states and hope for an eventual sweeping Supreme Court decision making assisted suicide a constitutional right like abortion.

Some European countries like Belgium and Holland have virtual euthanasia on demand for even non-terminally ill people of any age. In Canada, their Supreme Court has forced assisted suicide on that country and now the province of Quebec has lethal injection kits available to any doctor.




Voices for the Unborn is an e-publication dedicated to informing and educating the public on pro-life and pro-family issues. To read our Mission Statement, use this link.  Follow us also on FacebookGoogle, and Pinterest.  Help spread the word by sharing our articles on your favorite social networks.


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