Appeals court upholds conscientious objector status for doctor

Appeals court upholds conscientious objector status for doctor

By Associated Press
Thursday, January 10, 2008

BOSTON - A federal appeals court has upheld a judge’s ruling that the Army was wrong to deny a Massachusetts doctor’s application for conscientious objector status.

Doctor Mary Hanna had agreed to serve four years on active duty and another four years in the reserve after the Army paid $184,000 for her to attend Tufts University School of Medicine.

But Hanna — a 31-year-old anesthesiologist — argued that her religious beliefs had since changed and she could not in good conscience participate in war. She went to court after her application for conscientious objector status was denied last September by an Army review board, which last September.

Judge Nancy Gertner overruled the decision and ordered Hanna discharged.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit upheld Gertner’s ruling Wednesday by a 2-1 vote.

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