Tony Gosgnach
The Interim

A Toronto registered nurse, who has been lobbying Canadian nursing associations for a number of years to reform their ethics policies to better reflect a more pro-life, Judeo-Christian perspective, has been unsuccessful in a couple of her most recent efforts in that regard.

The aptly named Helen Nightingale approached both the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario and the Canadian Nurses Association with two resolutions, specifically seeking the replacement of “situational and utilitarian” ethics policies by those better reflecting the Judeo-Christian values on which the nursing profession was founded, and that governments be lobbied to cease funding of Planned Parenthood sex education and “reproductive health” programs.

For the RNAO’s annual general meeting in Markham, Ont. last April, the nursing body accepted for consideration only one of the two resolutions Nightingale proposed – namely, the latter one. The first, she was told, would be better brought before the College of Nurses of Ontario, which, in its own words, “protects the public’s right to quality nursing services by providing leadership to the nursing profession in self-regulation.”

However, the CNO never responded to Nightingale’s concerns when she brought the matter to its attention.

In Markham, Nightingale took the initiative, before her resolution was brought to the floor, to go through the crowd of meeting attendees and distribute literature supporting her position, including facts about the deleterious effects of modern-day sex education. It wasn’t long before a group of nurses accosted her, with one accusing Nightingale of distributing “hate literature.”

“I asked her to show me where in the paper she found hate,” Nightingale recalls. “She couldn’t find anything, so she just walked off repeating ‘hate, hate, hate’ over and over again.”

She was also challenged by a male nurse who claimed he taught sex education as part of his job. But Nightingale remembered several young people she has spoken to, who have used the descriptive term “porn class” to describe their sex education sessions.

Interestingly, Nightingale’s resolution was brought forth first. But when the meeting chair asked for seconder for the resolution (who had to be from the board of directors), none of them raised a hand. The chair then said she would have to take the resolution off the table, effectively killing it for that session. Some in the crowd applauded the development.

“I never thought a thing like that would happen at a nurses’ meeting,” says Nightingale. “None of them seemed to understand we’re killing 40,000 children a year in Ontario (the annual number of abortions in the province).”

She chalks up the experience to the fact that many of the attendees were themselves products of the sex education and “reproductive health” programs she was combating. But she also has suspicions that one or more members of the RNAO board conspired to ensure the resolution would be killed.

Nightingale had gotten backing from Nurses for Life, a national organization that seeks to promote the pro-life ethic within the nursing profession. Its members lobbied the RNAO prior to the meeting, and Nightingale suspects pro-abortion members of the association conspired behind the scenes to make sure it would never get passed.

“I know two people on the board who are real enemies of mine. I think (the resolution) was getting too much support. One person called me and said, ‘I’m going to fight you,’ right on the phone.” She also received a letter from a nurse in Saskatchewan, who said her resolution wouldn’t get passed because it would mean fewer jobs for nurses.

Undaunted, Nightingale followed up by forwarding the same resolutions for consideration at the Canadian Nurses Association’s biennial convention and annual meeting in St. John’s, Nfld. last June. She never received a reply that the resolutions had been accepted, so she didn’t bother attending the event. However, she afterwards received a letter advising her that they had failed.

She is now going about trying to end funding of sex education and “reproductive health” programs politically, by writing to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty. The premier’s office has in turn forwarded her letter to Health Minister George Smitherman, who has yet to respond.

“If I don’t hear from (Smitherman), I’ll have to start bugging him,” Nightingale laughs.

Either way, she intends to keep pressing Canadian nursing bodies to return to the ethical roots on which her profession was founded.

“I’m going to keep right on going. It’s been two years of putting forth resolutions and two years of having them rejected. They’ve got to listen. Everything hinges on funding – if the governments stopped it, all the degeneration would stop.”