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Neb. Catholic Group Pushes Rule Change Allowing Licensed Psychologists to Refuse Treatment for Gays

365 Gay reports today that a proposal currently under consideration in Nebraska could result in a rule change for the state's licensed psychologists, allowing them to refuse to treat or refer gay and lesbian patients if the patient's sexual orientation conflicts with the counselor's religious convictions. The "convictions of conscience" rule and the refuse-to-refer clause would also apply to licensed counselors, social workers and marriage and family therapists. Jim Cunningham of the Nebraska Roman Catholic Conference believes that psychologists should have the right to refuse their services if a potential patient's lifestyle violates the psychologist's personal religious and moral beliefs.

Unless the "conscience rule" is established, Cunningham says that Catholic Charities in Omaha and Catholic Social Services in Lincoln, both of which provide free mental health services valued at over $100,000 annually, may be forced to stop hiring licensed professionals. At a recent hearing on the proposal, Dr. James Cole, a forensic psychologist representing the Nebraska Psychology Association, argued that such a rule change could too easily lead to discrimination as long as the therapist can claim religious conflict. He stated that under the national ethics code, any licensed psychologist is required to refer a patient to another a provider if the provider feels that he/she will have to compromise values in order to treat the patient. "I have provided psychological services to individuals convicted of murder, and I have never had to compromise my moral belief that killing is wrong,” said Cole. Cole insists that the refuse-to-refer clause is morally wrong, effectively denying help and care to people who need it. Another hearing will likely be held on both proposed rule changes before the Nebraska State Licensing Board makes a decision.

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Does That mean gay and lesbian not to mention every other religion or non-religious psychologists can refuse violates the persons religious or moral beliefs. Heck they should just make it so anybody can refuse services to any one they do not want to well service. Good old equality for for all . . . you know unless they think, act or look different then me.

So by this logic, atheists should also be allowed to deny

to other "faiths". What a country this is, writing discrimination into law one group at a time.

You stay classy America.

Catholic group pushes rule

Shorter version: Nebraska Catholic Group: "If you don't legalize our bigotry, we won't be able to discriminate against gay people!"

they should have their liscense to practice revoked

Homosexuality has not be a mental disorder for DECADES.

If a mental health professional can not treat patients because his religious beliefs he should not be able to practice as
he does not know up from down in his profession.

Medical Theocracy is very dangerous.

Of course it makes not sense to want to go to one of these types --- but that is not the answer.
They should not be able to practice if they are not in agreement with mental health facts.

Social workers and psychologists are not medical doctors...


The people this article refers to are not medical doctors. Counselors, therapists, social workers, and psychologists
have no medical training and are not M.D.s. Your lack of knowledge and spelling errors lead me to believe your response is purely an emotional one. Your reply is not the only one here that smacks of ignorance and defensive emotional overtones so please do not think I am just picking on you.


Psychologists are doctors

Anyone with a doctorate of psychology or doctorate of philosophy in psychology is indeed a doctor. But that's not the point- what's to stop psychiatrists, who are medical doctors, from refusing to give tx?

It will be a dark day if this law passes.

Yes I can see it now...

Yes I can see it now... Doctors refusing to help someone because:
- They are Muslim
- They are Republican
- They are pro-choice
- They are engaging in pre-marital sex
- They supported a controversial bill
- They are under investigation for something

The list goes on...

Religious Special Privilege?

Why should religion get a special privilege on this area?
Suppose we have two men.
One wants to refuse service to gays for non-religious, "moral" reasons.
Another wants to refuse services to gays for religious reasons.
Why should the religious objector get a special privilege on this issue? I say if we say "no discrimination", it applies regardless of religious belief.

Conscientious Discrimination

Conservative Catholics hit a new low. What's most ironic here, though, is the aim to withhold help from people who offend their moral beliefs. So I assume the only people eligible for counseling via Catholic Charities will be those who are already morally infallible, have no neuroses and no failings - in short, the kind of people who don't need counseling.

The church I was reared in has become a vortex of narcissistic stupidity.

What's the problem?

Sounds good to me. As long as they have to post "No Homosexuals" at the front door. I want to know if my doctor is a worthless neo-con, and this would be a good weed out.

I'm Catholic and think this is outrageous

I'm Catholic, and a serious Catholic at that! But this is wrong! It's written that we should love EVERYONE regardless!

There is only one circumstance in which a Catholic should decline medical attention: If they would kill the patient which is obvious against our teaching (i.e. fetus, or euthanasia)

Mental health is human life and dignity issue, and as Catholics they are required to show respect! This is sickening in my opinion and I really should write a letter to that Diocese's Bishop!

By the way, the psychologist can always refer a patient to a different's not like it's forced upon you!

Proving again:

Religion is the root of all evil.

This is why I'm atheist. I'm too moral to be religious.

You know what? That's fine,

You know what? That's fine, let them give the counselors that choice, doing otherwise would be edging on abridging their freedom of religion. However, to make it properly constitutional and not endorsing that religion, let's make it nice and square. No provider of healthcare, physical or mental, can receive government money, be it direct salary or by way of medicare/medicaid, or even from any HMO that's ever received a drop of government funding it they refuse to treat any person on religious/moral grounds.

That's pretty classic. Set

That's pretty classic. Set up a socialist system where everybody ends up relying on the government, and then use that to remove any aspect of liberty that doesn't suit your fancy on the grounds that people get government money. Your approach would make sense if we lived in a world where it's essentially impossible to exist without the tentacles of the government in your life. But we don't -- and that's not an excuse to destroy what little liberty is left.

The complaint of the gay community in this is the classic example of people wanting freedom for themselves, but nobody else.

not illegal, just bad

This isn't illegal. Any person can refuse service to any client for whatever reason. That's just the way it is, and it's sad but true.

So what?

I thought they can already deny service to ANYONE. Now, they problem here is that they refuse to refer to another person who can provide the service. I don't think it's a big deal.

The psychologists are given the choice, I think it's unlikely they will choose that. Those who come to them are customers after all.

There are plenty of psychologist out there who are much more rational. Also, if they didn't want treat me, forcing them to treat me only guarantee BAD service. Then why bother? if they don't want to make money, not my problem.

This seems to me like a desperate group of religious people are desperately trying everything to punish the gays. I wouldn't waste my energy fighting for this.

catholic group

Yep thats the catholic way of thinking. which is why I gave up the church at 14. What ever happened to compassion, and forgiveness? Seems to me there should be some Love for our fellow man in a church, unless of course you are a Satan worshiper then hate, and intolerance would be ok. Maybe that what is going on? Maybe just maybe this cult called the catholic church cannot hide it true focus! They are being led nowadays by a guy who was a hitler youth! I don't like judging but when they blatantly show us what they are really thinking about others it leaves one with little choice but to state the truth. Maybe the church isn't involved in this thinking I would welcome any comments from the higher ups as to it's position. Then it would be much easier to see if it's just a small group of people, or if it goes deeper into the church's thinking. In our Native American way of thinking the Winktas(gays) and crazy people were considered special. it is believed they are touched by the Creator and should not be harmed but understood and accepted as a gift for learning by. This does not mean we should be like them but learn patients and understanding. I think all of us could use a little more of that and appologize if i judge to harshly. Golanv Igvyi First Raven Mi'kmaq and Cherokee Nations

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