Thursday, June 25, 2009

Nebraska Psychologists Reject Discriminatory Wording

We were talking about this the other day, and now the decision is in. A Catholic group in Nebraska wanted psychotherapists to be able to reject gay patients and not have to refer them. They were trying to get that written into the licensing law. It didn't work:
Wording that would let psychologists not treat or not refer patients because of a moral conflict -- opposing homosexuality, for example -- met with skepticism Wednesday from the state board of psychology.

After 90 minutes of debate, the board chose not to endorse a proposal put forth earlier by Jim Cunningham, director of the Nebraska Catholic Conference.

While Wednesday’s inaction may not be the final word on the issue, board member objections left little room for compromise.

Catholics did not propose the change in regulations in order to ignore patients’ needs, said the Rev. Christopher Kubat, director of Catholic Social Services for the Lincoln diocese. He added the proposal had been widely misconstrued.

If, for example, a homosexual client went to a Catholic therapist for help, Kubat told the board, it still would be improper for the therapist to deny treatment for depression or suicidal tendencies.

What the church seeks, Cunningham said, is to protect providers from complaints of discrimination should a psychologist refuse a request to, for example, make a person a more giving homosexual partner. Psychologists reject wording that would limit treatment, referrals

Well, it is discrimination, and somebody might complain. That's just the price you pay, seems fair enough to me. And anyway, do you think this ever happens, that somebody files a complaint because their shrink won't help them become a "more giving homosexual partner?"


Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

The article Jim linked to also said...For at least 17 years, said psychologist John Curran, nobody in Nebraska has raised a complaint of this nature.

According to the American Psychology Association, no similar complaints have been raised in any other state, he said, nor has any state board adopted wording that would allow a psychologist to deny treatment or to not refer.

...Kubat replied that because something had not occurred did not mean it would not.

Oh boy, this sounds just like the fear tactic used by the showernuts when they tried to repeal MoCo's anti-discrimination bill's expansion to cover gender identity. Fortunately the state board denied this request. As Board Chairman David Carver pointed out, it would have opened the doors for a wide range of denials for vague reasons. It's good the state board remembered its main purpose was to protect patients and that this proposal was about protecting psychologists.

June 26, 2009 9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"As Board Chairman David Carver pointed out, it would have opened the doors for a wide range of denials for vague reasons."

hmmm.... isn't this statement an example of a 'fear tactic"?

June 26, 2009 1:44 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home