A Brooklyn nurse claims she was forced to choose between her religious convictions and her job when Mount Sinai Hospital ordered her to assist in a late-term abortion against her will.
UPDATE January 2010: Court dismisses lawsuit (nurse loses)
UPDATE 8/19/09: Hospital says nurse has no legal rights
-- From "Nurse 'Forced' to Help Abort" by Kathianne Boniello, New York Post 7/26/09
The hospital even exaggerated the patient's condition and claimed the woman could die if the nurse, a devout Catholic, did not follow orders, the nurse alleges in a lawsuit.
"It felt like a horror film unfolding," said Catherina Cenzon-DeCarlo, 35, who claims she has had gruesome nightmares and hasn't been able to sleep since the May 24 incident.
The married mother of a year-old baby was 30 minutes into her early-morning shift when she realized she had been assigned to an abortion. She begged her supervisor to find a replacement nurse for the procedure. The hospital had a six-hour window to find a fill-in, the suit says.
Her pleas were rejected, and instead she was threatened with career-ending charges of insubordination and patient abandonment, according to the lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Brooklyn federal court.
The day after the procedure, Cenzon-DeCarlo filed a grievance with her union. Later that week, she was cornered by two supervisors who told her if she wanted any more overtime shifts, she would have to sign a statement agreeing to participate in abortions, the suit says.
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