Catholic Hospital Sued for Declining to Perform Transgender Surgery

A Catholic hospital in Maryland is being sued for declining to perform a transgender surgery, according to news outlets.

The hospital reportedly opted not to perform a hysterectomy as part of an apparent sex-reassignment surgery. Now the hospital is being sued.

There are several problems with this case, but here are a couple:

First, Catholic hospitals operate according to the principles and teachings of the Catholic Church — including the Catholic Church’s teachings about abortion, assisted suicide, and gender identity.

It should come as no surprise that a Catholic hospital would decline to participate in sex-reassignment surgeries.

Second, Catholic hospitals generally object to performing major surgeries on healthy patients.

As bioethicist Wesley J. Smith notes,

Catholic moral principles only permit body parts to be removed to treat physical pathology. If the patient’s uterus had been cancerous, the surgery [hysterectomy] would not have been a problem.

Stories like this one underscore why Arkansas needs to strengthen its laws protecting rights of conscience for healthcare workers and hospitals.

Unfortunately the Arkansas Legislature has failed to pass measures protecting healthcare workers’ rights of conscience two legislative sessions in row — once in 2017 and once in 2019.

Conscience protections are very important for healthcare workers and hospitals.

Without them, we could end up with doctors and hospital boards who are not guided by conscience at all.

That’s a very sobering thought.

Canada Wants Doctors Who are Less Conscientious

A legislative committee in Alberta, Canada, recently blocked a measure designed to protect physicians’ rights of conscience.

John Stonestreet with the Colson Center for Christian Worldview writes,

As one LGBT spokesperson said, “We really shouldn’t have been having this conversation in 2019.”

I guess that’s because religious liberty and freedom of conscience are so last-year.

To keep these pesky medical conscience bills from being necessary at all, one Canadian bioethicist suggested that would-be health professionals with religious or pro-life scruples shouldn’t be admitted into medical school in the first place!

As Udo Schuklenk told one Canadian website, “Medical schools, pharmacy schools, should go out of their way to basically eliminate applicants” who oppose such things as abortion and euthanasia. That’s because, he says, personal beliefs can’t trump patient well-being.

It may not raise too many eyebrows to see Canadian lawmakers refusing to enact conscience protections for doctors.

However, the Arkansas Legislature has failed to pass measures protecting healthcare workers’ rights of conscience two legislative sessions in row — once in 2017 and this year.

Conscience protections are important if for no other reason than the fact that without them we may end up with doctors who have no conscience at all. That’s a very sobering thought.

Choosing Between Your Faith and Your Job

I’ve often said that if you don’t believe religious liberty and rights of conscience are under attack , just try exercising those freedoms.

Recently our friends at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview released a commentary citing the reality of people being forced to choose between their faiths and their jobs.

John Stonestreet writes,

Private companies and international businesses can fire at will—as Ikea did when it fired a Catholic employee in Poland who protested the company’s LGBTQ indoctrination. Or read Joel Belz’s claim in WORLD magazine, that LGBTQ advocates are targeting tax exemptions for religious organizations and charities. They’re even going after Wall Street donor advised funds that channel donations to so-called “hate groups.”

In other states we’ve seen bakers, florists, photographers, ministers, and wedding venue owners targeted for declining to participate in same-sex ceremonies.

A t-shirt printer in Kentucky who declined to print t-shirts for a gay pride event in 2012 currently has a case before the state’s supreme court.

Cases like these are why Family Council has worked so hard to protect religious liberty and rights of conscience in Arkansas. It’s also why we don’t need to do anything that would undermine those freedoms.

Read John Stonestreet’s entire commentary here.