Sunday, 20 May 2007
The abortion fundamentalists
Pulse magazine found recently that a quarter of GPs were refusing to refer their female patients for abortion. Shockingly it also found that one fifth of GPs wanted abortions banned completely.
The 1967 Abortion act stated that '"no person shall be under any duty... to participate in any treatment authorised by this Act to which he has a conscientious objection". This is a contentious stance in my view, but at least it gives people with 'religious' beliefs to the contrary the chance to opt out.
The law is clear that if a doctor has religious, ethical or moral beliefs that result in their opting out then they are obliged to refer the patient to a medical practitioner who is willing to carry out the treatment, ie the abortion.
It is quite clear that there is a significant number of doctors who are acting illegally by refusing to refer their patients for abortions. On BBC1 today a Christian GP was interviewed who talked of his objection to abortion and who questioned whether the woman would ever be 'forgiven' for her actions if she opted for an abortion.
Is it just me that thinks we are returning to the dark ages here? What makes these people that they have the right to impose their relgious beliefs on others?
In my humble opinion banning abortion and refusing to refer women for abortion are steps back to medieval times when irrational dogma trumped sensible reasoned debate. It is not a doctor's job to dictate morals to patients, we must respect the autonomy of patients and treat them with respect. These fundamentalists who feel they have the right to make big brother decisions for their patients without their consent are acting unethically and illegally in doing so, they should be ashamed.