Cenzon-DeCarlo should've walked out on her job in the first place and went straight to an attorney. Good things she's deciding to sue now because the Constitution does protect employees from being discriminated against for their religious beliefs.
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.
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.
Bosses told the weeping Cenzon-DeCarlo the patient was 22 weeks into her pregnancy and had preeclampsia, a condition marked by high blood pressure that can lead to seizures or death if left untreated.
The supervisor "claimed that the mother could die if [Cenzon-DeCarlo] did not assist in the abortion."
But the nurse, the niece of a Filipino bishop, contends that the patient's life was not in danger. She argued that the patient was not even on magnesium therapy, a common treatment for preeclampsia, and did not have problems indicating an emergency.
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.
Feeling threatened, Cenzon-DeCarlo assisted in the procedure.