Rovigo hires 2 non-objector biologists

Call put out after colleagues at assisted conception unit object

(ANSA) - Rovigo, February 24 - Medical authorities in the Veneto city of Rovigo were obliged to issue out a selection competition for two biologists who are not conscientious objectors to work in a hospital assisted conception unit, it emerged on Friday. The call was made after two colleagues already working in the unit at Trecenta hospital refused to offer their services on grounds of conscience, jeopardising the continuity of the service offered to hundreds of couples. The new hires were employed on a contract specifying that conscientious objection constituted just cause for dismissal.
    "Our aim is to ensure the continuity of activities, also because assisted conception is among the essential basic services," local health authority director Domenico Compostella said.
    "And the figure of the biologist is fundamental." The news comes amid ongoing controversy over the planned hiring of two gynecologists at Rome's San Camillo hospital on a contract that reportedly envisages their dismissal if they refuse to perform abortions in a bid to resolve widespread conscientious objection in the capital.
    The president of the Rome guild of physicians Giuseppe Lavra has asked Lazio regional governor Nicola Zingaretti to scrap the call on grounds it is "discriminatory towards those exercising a right sanctioned by bioethics and medical professional ethics".
    The Italian Bishops Conference (CEI) has also slammed the call.
    Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin said the call was "not envisaged" by law, adding however that hospitals could ask regional governments to complete "specific individual services".