Professor Chazan defends Conscience Rights

Professor Bogdan Chazan, a distinguished and celebrated obstetrician in Warsaw and the Executive Director of MaterCare Poland, was within his rights when he denied a request to abort an unborn child diagnosed with serious brain defects in 2014. An openly Catholic obstetrician, Dr. Chazan previously signed a Declaration of Faith, along with approximately 3,000 other physicians and healthcare professionals in Poland, which calls for the recognition of a Roman Catholic doctor’s rights to perform their duties in line with their religious convictions.

Professor Chazan was within his rights to refuse the procedure because it conflicted with his Catholic faith, but Warsaw’s mayor terminated his contract as director of the city's Holy Family hospital anyway. He has appealed this decision. In a Polish interview, he said the decision for his termination was "the start of an attack on the conscience of doctors and people in management positions in the health service".

Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz, the Catholic Archbishop of Warsaw, said in a statement he supported Prof Chazan. He said the dismissal was a “dangerous precedent, violating the rights not only of Catholics but of all people”.

“Demanding that citizens abandon their morality and conduct executions at the command of the government is the hallmark of the most totalitarian and sinister states in human history. We are saddened and outraged that with the measure against Professor Chazan, Poland seems intent on joining their ranks.” -Dr. Robert Walley, Executive Director of MaterCare International.

Professor Chazan, as a physician and professor of gynecology and obstetrics, has gained the respect of colleagues, his fellow staff, and his patients. He continues to receive recognition for his professional competence and conviction. Most recently he has been appointed to a team by the Minister of Health Konstanty Radziwiłł to develop new standards of perinatal care, and he has been awarded the "Truth, Cross and Liberation” prize given by Society of Diaconate of the Movement Light and Life for "unwavering defense of the unborn life".

During the ceremony Professor Chazan said, “I accept this award on behalf of the younger generation of  gynecologists - obstetricians and midwives, who at the beginning of their careers really suffer because of authorities denying their right to a conscience clause.”

-Dr. Robert Walley, Executive Director of MaterCare International

MaterCare International is an organization of Catholic health professionals dedicated to the care of mothers and babies, both born and unborn, through new initiatives of service, training, research and education.

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