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Old 21 Apr 2012, 11:29 AM   #357145 / #1
DMB
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Default Catholic midwives in Scotland lose court case

http://www.scotsman.com/news/scottis...-bid-1-2247795

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They argued that being required to supervise staff involved in abortions is a violation of their human rights and took their case against NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to the Court of Session in Edinburgh...

...But, in February, a judge ruled the midwives did not have direct involvement in the procedure to which they object.

Lady Smith said it was not shown that their Article 9 rights were being interfered with. She said the midwives had agreed to take up the roles of labour ward co-ordinators, although they now took objection to the “job content”.

The judge said: “Nothing they have to do as part of their duties terminates a woman’s pregnancy...

...“Further, they knowingly accepted that these duties were to be part of their job.”
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Old 21 Apr 2012, 05:26 PM   #357211 / #2
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Why do these people get into facilities that provide services like abortion, If they object to it. sounds more like they want to create a spectacle, more than anything.
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Old 21 Apr 2012, 10:07 PM   #357268 / #3
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I have a certain amount of sympathy for them. The majority of British hospitals are secular NHS ones. As simple midwives they could probably always have stuck to delivering babies and avoided abortions. However, once they were promoted to a management role they were automatically responsible for supervising staff who worked in both capacities.

From what the judge said, they had initially accepted the conditions of work of the senior role and then later tried to restrict what they were expected to do. On those grounds it was decided that they didn't have a case.

However, in practice this might mean that people of their POV could not seriously have the same career progression as those who didn't object so much to abortions.
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Old 22 Apr 2012, 04:02 AM   #357349 / #4
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Originally Posted by DMB View Post
could not seriously have the same career progression as those who didn't object so much to abortions.

Understand your call for fairness and understanding, but if they object, they should get out, not force their wrong views on others, and if they can't do the whole job...then their career is necessarily limited.




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Old 22 Apr 2012, 11:05 AM   #357405 / #5
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This case though has been consistently misrepresented by the press (as with so many other recent 'Christian's in Crisis' type stories).

From reading the reports in the, err, less accurate 'newspapers' out there you'd get the impression that these poor midwives who are also devout Catholics are being forced at gunpoint to perform abortions, the crucifixes ripped from their necks (just like BA did) while their beliefs are mocked and ridiculed.

In reality, they have applied for and been successful in gaining promoted posts within their teams (not forced into the posts). Part of their remit requires giving 'clinical supervision' (i.e. directing/managing other grade staff).

There is no requirement for them to give direct care to women who have had terminations, take any involvement in the process or provide advice/support. It's simply that they are being asked, as part of the role they applied for, to fulfill the management function that they must have known was part of the job. Now they're in it, they want to change the rules.

Now, I'm sure that this would limit their employment opportunities but there are limits placed on all of us. I'm sure if I decided to try teaching, I'd struggle to get a job teaching in an RC school what with the requirement to have a letter of recommendation from the Diocese. There are many jobs which I'm qualified to do in my chosen field which ask for either 'a genuine faith requirement' or the more insidious 'are sympathetic to the religious aims & origins of the organisation' (i.e. if you don't share our beliefs, you ain't getting in.

There are a lot of jobs which I avoid as they are in religious organisations or charities with a religious bent. The discrimination cuts both ways although I won't knowingly put myself in a situation where my beliefs/ethics are at odds with the job I have chosen to do...

These obviously devout midwives in question could perhaps serve their faith better by becoming Priests...umm, uh, ok, their church won't let them do that now...have they complained about that perhaps?

It's no less ludicrous than a Jehovah's Witness training as a transplant surgeon, working in the field for years then applying for and getting a promoted post only to complain they are 'being forced to undertake duties inconsistent with their faith'.
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Old 22 Apr 2012, 04:17 PM   #357461 / #6
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When I was young, there was, on the north side of town, and institution known as "The Jewish Hospital". I do not know the details of its rules but I assume that their mode of operation was in some respect determined by the "Jewish" bit. About the one thing I do know is that they did not accept only Jewish patient.

If the RCC is determined to insist on its own rules then why could they not set up their own hospitals as they have set up their own schools? Those hoping to be patients would, presumably, be aware of the rules in advance as would those hoping to work there.
Whether such an institution could expect partial NHS funding is another matter.

Incidentally - did it emerge whether or not the ladies accepted the promotion in good faith and were then "got at" by their priests? Just curious.
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Old 22 Apr 2012, 04:56 PM   #357462 / #7
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Originally Posted by Rodney Dobson View Post

If the RCC is determined to insist on its own rules then why could they not set up their own hospitals as they have set up their own schools?
I'd expect such hospitals to be as worthwhile as their children's homes, adoption agencies, child protection policies, etc...

While it comes to their schools, I'm sure some would cite some impressive exam results but is it really worth it for the little hotbeds of bigotry, homophobia and guilt?

When it comes to stuff like healthcare, education, law, social services, etc...the further removed they are from churches the better.


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Incidentally - did it emerge whether or not the ladies accepted the promotion in good faith and were then "got at" by their priests? Just curious.
No idea...there's nothing I've seen that indicates either way.

Certainly they applied for promoted posts, were successful and then decided after the event that there were certain duties of it that were incompatible with their beliefs.
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Old 22 Apr 2012, 09:32 PM   #357521 / #8
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When it comes to stuff like healthcare, education, law, social services, etc...the further removed they are from churches the better.
Personally, I entirely agree.

But we come back to the old problem - if people want to do things in a certain way and fully understand the consequences of so doing then what right have I to stop them?
The secular state is separate: if it seeks to control then it is no longer secular.

And yes, I know, it isn't as easy as that. Do parents have the right to make decisions for their children? And if they do not have the right to at least influence their education do they then have the right to deny them life in the first place?
Further - it isn't as though the services provided by the state were exactly free from error. Some of them are superb but I've seen good and bad from both secular and religious organisations (mostly second-hand for me but it was first-hand for my wife).

I honestly don't know how to square this circle: but given the choice between freedom and overmuch state control I think I opt for letting people go to hell in their own way - provided they don't drag anybody else down with them. Which doesn't mean I always like it very much.
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Old 22 Apr 2012, 11:43 PM   #357569 / #9
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I think there is a real problem here. It is not really the problem of these two women, who, as has been pointed out, knew what the job involved before they applied for it.

It is the question of whether a particular set of beliefs makes it impossble to have a full career path in a particular branch of public service.

The NHS is more or less secular and publicly funded. The law says that abortons are legal and it is therefore NHS policy to make them available. It is also NHS policy to insist on various rules of hygiene that make it impossible for a doctor or nurse to wear a burqa or even a dangly chain with a cross on it. Christians and Muslims are taxpayers too.

At the same time, in the publicly funded education sector, there is a shrinking of the provision of secular schools. The Government is actually handing over publicly funded schools to be run by churches. (This appears to be an ideological move, as it doesn't save money.) One effect of this change is that the career paths for teachers who don't subscribe to the sects running the schools is also narrowed down.

Now I can point out some big differences between these situations, but I am still uncomfortable over people being unable to have career progression because of their beliefs.
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Old 23 Apr 2012, 04:45 AM   #357629 / #10
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What about that person's belief resulting in denying someone else care?
An case would be someone with a tubal pregnancy who needs surgery to survive.
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Old 23 Apr 2012, 07:06 AM   #357634 / #11
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What about that person's belief resulting in denying someone else care?
An case would be someone with a tubal pregnancy who needs surgery to survive.
So long as it's their own belief?
And they are free to choose a hospital that forbids this that & the other?
And so long as they are in their right minds and know what they're doing?
And so long as no third party is affected?

The what right has anybody else to interfere?

Mind you - if a jehovah's witness type refuses a blood transfusion but has a family dependent on his income.............?
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Old 23 Apr 2012, 09:16 AM   #357659 / #12
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Originally Posted by DMB View Post

Now I can point out some big differences between these situations, but I am still uncomfortable over people being unable to have career progression because of their beliefs.
I agree that someone should not be discriminated against because of their beliefs and that their beliefs should be accommodated as much as possible without completely negating the role they are supposed to fulfill.

Beliefs and career choices are exactly that...choices. With such choices comes the balance of what beliefs you will subscribe to, what you wish to do in your career and what compromises you have to/are willing to make with either.

We all make exactly these types of compromises although they are perhaps not always as apparent.

There are many opportunities for me to work with charities or care organisations that are funded by religious groups or publically funded but have a 'religious ethos'. I choose not to even apply as I know that I while I'm capable of doing the job, I couldn't support the religious aspects...particularly where there the religious view 'flavours' the way the service is run or who is supported by said service.

Conversely, while employed by local authorities I have assisted people to use the services or religious charities, groups or churches when they have chosen to.

I have no issue at all with people believing, worshipping or choosing to use services that have a religious element...just I don't believe it should be state funded and should not be exempt from meeting the standards expected of other organisations.

With the way our current government is going, it will become increasingly difficult for people to access services that don't have religious overtones with so many areas of public services being handed over to whoever is interested enough to take them on...
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Old 23 Apr 2012, 11:17 AM   #357684 / #13
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However, in practice this might mean that people of their POV could not seriously have the same career progression as those who didn't object so much to abortions.
As it should be. A surgeon that does not believe in cutting into the human body just cannot function as a surgeon. Why we should allow people to take jobs that they will refuse to do is beyond me.

In this case, the duties are society-mandated requirements that only a few people get the special permission from the state to perform. Thus taking the job and refusing to do it is even worse.
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Old 23 Apr 2012, 12:15 PM   #357703 / #14
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I wonder if there are any religions that are categorically opposed to attending committee meetings...
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Old 23 Apr 2012, 12:36 PM   #357711 / #15
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I wonder if there are any religions that are categorically opposed to attending committee meetings...
If you find one, let me know & I'll sign up.

Failing that start one and I'll be a disciple...can we also build in a ban on umbrellas and extending dog leads?
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Old 23 Apr 2012, 07:46 PM   #357951 / #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMB View Post
I have a certain amount of sympathy for them. The majority of British hospitals are secular NHS ones. As simple midwives they could probably always have stuck to delivering babies and avoided abortions. However, once they were promoted to a management role they were automatically responsible for supervising staff who worked in both capacities.

From what the judge said, they had initially accepted the conditions of work of the senior role and then later tried to restrict what they were expected to do. On those grounds it was decided that they didn't have a case.

However, in practice this might mean that people of their POV could not seriously have the same career progression as those who didn't object so much to abortions.
So the solution is pretty simple: demote them back to non-supervisory roles. (...and the commensurate pay cut.) It will show their true devotion that they are wiling to give up the extra pay for their beliefs. They will, after all, be rewarded in the afterlife, right?
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Old 23 Apr 2012, 09:43 PM   #358001 / #17
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I wonder if, in the light of the ruling, they will actually refuse to do their jobs.

I also wonder if they were somehow head-hunted by the organisation that funded their case.

David
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Old 24 Apr 2012, 12:32 AM   #358117 / #18
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Quote:
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I wonder if, in the light of the ruling, they will actually refuse to do their jobs.

I also wonder if they were somehow head-hunted by the organisation that funded their case.

David
You know that the answer to your second question is likely to be a resounding YES!
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Old 24 Apr 2012, 12:35 AM   #358119 / #19
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David B View Post
I wonder if, in the light of the ruling, they will actually refuse to do their jobs.

I also wonder if they were somehow head-hunted by the organisation that funded their case.

David
You know that the answer to your second question is likely to be a resounding YES!
I don't know it, but I do fairly strongly suspect it.

David
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