For Patients and Visitors
Vanderbilt University Medical Center: For Employees, Researchers, and Students

Vanderbilt statement regarding respect for religious and ethical beliefs

January 12, 2011

There has been some publicity via traditional news media and conversation on the Internet that reflects a misconception of Vanderbilt University’s policy and practice regarding health care providers (e.g., physicians, nurses and trainees) participating in the termination of a patient’s pregnancy.

We recognize and respect that some health care providers may have religious beliefs or ethical convictions that conflict with this medical procedure. No Vanderbilt health care provider is required to participate in this procedure if such participation would be contrary to their religious beliefs or moral convictions.

However, they may be asked to care for the patient before or after the procedure in the same professional and compassionate manner that is expected of all Vanderbilt health care providers.

A Vanderbilt University Medical Center policy has been in place for years which clearly defines boundaries, respecting employees’ religious, moral and ethical beliefs. This policy allows all employees the ability to request not to participate in certain workplace responsibilities that may conflict with their personal beliefs. This policy also applies to applicants for Vanderbilt’s Nursing Residency program.

Vanderbilt University does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of their race, sex, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, or military service, or genetic information in its administration of educational policies, programs, or activities; admissions policies; scholarship and loan programs; athletic or other University-administered programs; or employment. In addition, the University does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression consistent with the University’s nondiscrimination policy.

Media Inquiries:
John Howser
Director of News & Communications
News & Communications
Phone: 615-322-4747

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