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Lawyer says medical professionals can say "no" if a treatment contradicts their beliefs

White Mass at downtown Green Bay church honors health care workers
Posted at 6:28 PM, Feb 11, 2024

GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — Sunday's White Mass honored medical professionals and included a homily from Bishop David Ricken of the Diocese of Green Bay.

  • We take a look inside White Mass, an annual church service done in honor of healthcare workers
  • The name White Mass comes from the white coats many medical professionals wear while on the job
  • One lawyer spoke to medical professionals after the church service to tell them they can say no if a treatment contradicts their religious beliefs, citing protections offered by the First Amendment

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story.)

Sunday's annual White Mass at Saint Francis Xavier Cathedral honored health care providers.

Bishop David Ricken gave a special blessing to health care workers during Sunday's Mass. He gave a message about the importance of health care professionals and spoke about how Catholic medical professionals should be able to give care which lines up with their religious beliefs. Attorney Anthony Lococo spoke to healthcare workers about that very topic after Mass.

"Everything from abortion to euthanasia to new issues involving gender dysphoria," Ricken said. "As we become a more technologically adept society there are new services that are invented, medical professionals are asked to provide those and sometimes they find that it conflicts with their religious beliefs."

He says medical professionals are legally allowed to say no if a service or procedure contradicts their religious values.

The service is called White Mass because of the white coats many medical professionals wear while on the job.

This year's White Mass falls on World Day of the Sick.