Valerie Kloosterman, who worked for the University of Michigan Health System, asked for the accommodation after a training session in which Kloosterman says she was told she would have to participate in sex-obscuring procedures, refer patients to certain medications, and use a patient's preferred pronouns.
"Miss Kloosterman has religious beliefs about those practices and also has medical judgments about those practices and can't in good conscience participate in the provision of those surgeries or those drugs," asserts attorney Jordan Pratt of First Liberty Institute. "Both her faith and her Hippocratic Oath preclude her from participating."
First Liberty, which is the nation's largest legal organization dedicated exclusively to defending religious liberty for all Americans, has sent a demand letter asking Michigan Health to assure its employees of its commitment to respect their religious consciences and warning of future legal action if Kloosterman is not immediately reinstated.
The letter also notes that Kloosterman's consistently "stellar" performance reviews reflect that she "gladly served people of all beliefs and backgrounds and was committed to giving the best possible care to all of her patients."
"During her entire 17-year employment in her small office -- it's a small outpost at the University of Michigan Health System -- not once was she ever asked to refer a patient for any of those services, any of those drugs, or any of those surgeries," Pratt reports. "I think it's just shocking, frankly, that rather than offer a very reasonable accommodation, the university chose instead to fire her, when there hadn't even been a past incident."
AFN emailed Michigan Health for comment and received the following response:
"University of Michigan Health-West is committed to providing appropriate medical treatment to all patients and respects the religious beliefs of its employees. Our organization does not discuss personnel issues and as such, has no further comment."