Catholic Doctor in Norway Persecuted for Faith, Fights to Keep Job

News: World News
by Rodney Pelletier  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  January 18, 2017   

Fired for refusing to insert IUD contraception

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NOTODDEN, Norway (ChurchMilitant.com) - A Polish Catholic doctor working in Norway is fighting to be reinstated after being fired for refusing to administer contraceptives to patients. Doctor Catherine Jachimowicz — a Polish physician working in Norway — is suing in order to get her job back as a family physician.

She was hired at a taxpayer-funded family clinic in the municipality of Sauherad in 2010, about 70 miles west of Oslo. On accepting the job, she made it clear to her employers she would not refer patients for abortions or contraceptives — something to which her employers agreed.


In 2014, however, owing to a media account alleging that another Catholic doctor refused contraceptives to teenagers, pressure on Jachimowicz increased when it was demanded she insert IUDs in patients. She refused, knowing they sometimes cause abortions. In December 2015, she was fired.

In June 2016, she filed a lawsuit against her employers, asserting they broke the law by firing her. Her lawyer argued, during the last three days of the hearing on January 16–18, that her employers violated Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees doctors have freedom of conscience.

He further affirmed that the municipality's interpretation of the law forces Catholic doctors to violate their beliefs, which he calls "discrimination," noting that if Jachimowicz merely lied and claimed she didn't know how or wasn't qualified to do the procedure, she would still be working.

Lawyers for the employers argue patients have the right to expect a family doctor to have the ability and willingness to insert IUD's since it is a common standard of care.

The municipality's chief physician noted Jachimowicz is an excellent doctor and that healthcare in the area has deteriorated because of her absence.

The court is expected to make a decision within the next several weeks.

 

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