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Ethics, Religion, and Doing Your Job

So, yet another profession is contaminated by religious fanatics not willing to either seek other employment or shut up and do their jobs: For Some, There Is No Choice. Briefly, an EMT refused to transport someone for an abortion. She got fired, and is suing.

Boo-fucking-hoo. You knew the demands of the profession when you entered it. You don't get to decide who is worthy of your services and who isn't. It's not your fucking call. Your damned job is to provide services and transportation to patients - not just patients who meet your little moral criteria, but all patients presented to you. If you can't do that, GET A DIFFERENT JOB, BITCH!! No one wants your scruples imposed on them. Really. They have to answer to their own consciences and religions, not yours.

You know, not just medical people have ethical & moral issues in their jobs, but most have a real clue about how to handle it.

If your religion is antithetical to your career, it is you who must change, not the career. You must either change religion (not likely), or change career.

A person with a job as a bartender can't suddenly become a rabid temperance pusher, refuse to serve any alcohol, and keep their job. A person who believes that drinking is immoral would be an idiot to go into bartending to begin with. Suing over being fired for it would get laughed out of court, why should sudden fanatical anti-choice Christian stunts be any different?

A vegan isn't going to get a job as a butcher, and then not be fired when they refuse to cut meat as a moral issue. Why should anti-BC or anti-abortion Christians get any special priviledges to impose their beliefs as part of their job?

I'm a system administrator. Since we often have priviledged access to sensitive systems and data, ethics are very important in the field. While it's not life and death, per se, bad handling of someone's data can screw up their life. As a part of this, I believe that blanket email spamming to get customers is wrong, and should be illegal.

One company I worked for, the marketing department was so unethical, it took all of the names it could get from WHOIS, and started to send them spam advertising our services. When several of us found out about it, we literally said "stop, or we'll quit". Management hadn't been aware of what they were doing, and made them stop (and apologize to our customers).

But if they hadn't, I would have left the company. That's how you handle ethical problems with your job: ask that it be remedied, and if it won't, leave and find a job that doesn't violate your ethics.

If it suddenly became standard practice to instantly turn over all data, email and other info about a person to any government agency without requiring a proper warrant, I would refuse (and risk being fired) or just quit if I knew that company policy was against me. It's a matter of conscience, and being adult enough to be realistic about the consequences of having a conscience.

Seriously, if your career choice turns out to be something that is against your principles, be an adult, and find a different career. Don't whine that the courts should force your employer to pay you for either refusing to do your job or trying to impose your narrow religion on others in the course of it. I don't want to live in your theocracy. After all, you wouldn't want to live in mine...

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
hollyking
Jul. 19th, 2006 07:34 pm (UTC)
Agreed.
jemyl
Jul. 19th, 2006 09:19 pm (UTC)
Hoorah! Hoorah! Well said! I couldn't agree with you more. As you know, I quit the best job I ever had because I believed that paying someone to watch when I came and went and to and from my office and to go through my and my secretary's files and report any and all of our activities to the section head was a misuse of county tax funds. I have never been sorry. I have since found out that the boss was not the one who ordered the surveillance, but it was the jealous secretary. LOL

While I happen to be a christian, as you know, I do not believe that my religious beliefs should ever be imposed on someone I am helping on an EMS or fire call. (I have volunteered in the past and will again soon.) In the first place, our country was founded on the idea of separation of church and state and, unless the ambulance was being operated by a private company and responding to a call to them by the patient directly and as a private company, then the religion of the ambulance personnel should not ever be mentioned let alone used as a criteria for deciding treatment modality.
jilara
Jul. 19th, 2006 11:28 pm (UTC)
I knew someone who used to be a nurse, and got out of the field when she realized she didn't believe in using CPR to resusitate someone. It was the right thing to do. Other people should follow suit, if they have an ethical conflict.
hyla_regilla
Jul. 20th, 2006 12:09 am (UTC)
Thank You!
heethen_crone
Jul. 20th, 2006 05:43 am (UTC)
Well said, as usual. If you don't want to do the work, get another job. If it offends you, get another job. No one likes all aspects of their employment, ok some few may ....... but if they ask you to do unethical stuff, you really have to do the adult thing and find other employment. I quit a fairly good job because I had ethical issues with some of my fellow employees, and the head honcho. Didn't like pounding the streets looking for other work, but I just could not, in good conscious, stay at that job.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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