USCCB News Release
March 18, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Depend on conscience for guidance, M.D. says
I draw on education, experience, conscience, says nurse
Medical students will rely on conscience to uphold Hippocratic Oath
WASHINGTON—A doctor, a nurse and two medical students gave testimonials on the importance of conscience protection in the medical field in four videos now available on the Web at http://www.usccb.org/conscienceprotection. Their testimonies are part of an effort by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) urging Catholics to tell the Obama Administration to retain Health and Human Services regulations governing conscience protection for health care workers.
Giving her testimonial in English and in Spanish, Sally Sanchez, R.N. of Provena Mercy Medical Center in Aurora, Ill., said of the nursing profession, "As part of our every action, I have to make a decision. Here I draw on my education, my life's experience and my conscience." She added, "If our government will not respect my right to follow my conscience, I can't be the kind of professional you want at your bedside."
Myles Sheehan, M.D., who practices internal medicine and geriatrics, spoke on the responsibilities of his field, noting that he and his colleagues "hold the extraordinary power of medicine in our hands."
"We depend on our conscience for guidance as we work with our patients. For years, our government has recognized the importance of protecting conscience in a democratic society, especially in the field of medicine where human lives hang in the balance," said Dr. Sheehan, who is also a Jesuit priest.
Medical students Michael and Kathryn Redinger of the Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola University in Chicago mentioned the Hippocratic Oath to do no harm to their patients. "We'll rely on conscience so we never violate this oath," said Kathryn.
These videos can be found along with other USCCB resources and a link to contacting Health and Human Services at http://www.usccb.org/conscienceprotection.