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    It has been proposed before that, when choosing a specialty, doctors who are opposed to, or feel morally unable to carry out, abortions should avoid specialties where being asked to carry out a procedure such as a D&C is more likely.

    The most obvious specialty in question then is likely to be obstetrics and gynaecology ("Once someone chooses to become a gynecologist he should not opt out [of performing abortion]" - doc2doc member in discussion, originally, over this Telegraph article).

    Some people argue that as long as a doctor is accepting of abortion enough to refer the patient to a doctor who is willing to perform the abortion instead then it is OK for them to specialise in that field. Others, however, will say that the this puts the patient through unnescessary stress and delays treatment, when the whole process would have been more quickly and efficiently carried out had said patient originally seen a doctor who was willing to perform the procedure.

    Other people argue that the medical profession benefits from containing a wide spectrum of ethical viewpoints and thus preventing certain doctors from entering certain areas due to their beliefs would only be detrimental to healthcare, and I feel that this view has merit.

    What are people's views on this?
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    (Original post by Stegosaurus)
    Some people argue that as long as a doctor is accepting of abortion enough to refer the patient to a doctor who is willing to perform the abortion instead then it is OK for them to specialise in that field.
    A doctor who is accepting of abortion enough to refer the patient... should be willing (whether skilled or not) to perform the abortion themselves, otherwise they are guilty of rank hypocrisy.
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    (Original post by tc92)
    A doctor who is accepting of abortion enough to refer the patient... should be willing (whether skilled or not) to perform the abortion themselves, otherwise they are guilty of rank hypocrisy.
    Haaang on a minute. If someone bites back their own moral reservations in defence of another person's moral autonomy, they ought to be willing to do that actual act themselves?

    That's a long way beyond "I disagree, but I will protest your right to say/do it."! Not only do we have to protect others' rights to do as they please, but we actually have to do those actual things otherwise we're hypocrites?

    A vegetarian doesn't eat meat, but refuses to extend that to others and - with some difficulty - accept that others will eat meat. Now said vegetarian has to be willing to eat that meat as well, otherwise he's a hypocrite?


    No, I think you've missed something here.
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    (Original post by Invictus_88)
    Haaang on a minute. If someone bites back their own moral reservations in defence of another person's moral autonomy, they ought to be willing to do that actual act themselves?
    Are condoning/not preventing the act and performing it different? By the doctor referring to someone who will perform the procedure, haven't they enabled the action? A vegetarian conceding that others will eat meat isn't enabling the action to go ahead in the same way as in an abortion referral. I'm not saying I disagree, just intrigued by your comments.

    If they referral is morally the same as performing the procedure, then should the doctor referring the patient compromise their own morals for the patient's good? I believe that the doctor has to maintain a degree of moral integrity in order to remain sane and do their job properly. That said, however, if having the baby will kill the mother/destroy the mother's quality of life, then it would be fair to say that the doctor has a greater duty to 'first do no harm' than to their own morals.
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    as long as they refer the patient and don't try and lecture them (obviously the patient needs to be informed but it shouldn't be biased information) then i don't see an issue
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    (Original post by Stegosaurus)
    Are condoning/not preventing the act and performing it different? By the doctor referring to someone who will perform the procedure, haven't they enabled the action? A vegetarian conceding that others will eat meat isn't enabling the action to go ahead in the same way as in an abortion referral. I'm not saying I disagree, just intrigued by your comments.

    If they referral is morally the same as performing the procedure, then should the doctor referring the patient compromise their own morals for the patient's good? I believe that the doctor has to maintain a degree of moral integrity in order to remain sane and do their job properly. That said, however, if having the baby will kill the mother/destroy the mother's quality of life, then it would be fair to say that the doctor has a greater duty to 'first do no harm' than to their own morals.
    Of course they're different. It seems obtuse to say otherwise.

    Example: Vegetarian goes to shops to buy some peas. Housemate gives them a few quid and asks her to grab a tin of corned beef whilst she's out as he's waay busy with an essay deadline. Veggie is a good friend, bites her tongue, and picks up the tin.

    Veggie now has to eat the beef, or else be a hypocrite?

    No. The moral distinction is pretty clear. In referring the patient according to the patient's wishes, the doctor is defending that patient's moral autonomy, but not necessarily supporting the patient's decision personally.
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    I don't believe that people who wouldn't carry out an abortion should work in a field where they may be asked to carry out an abortion.
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    Frankly I'd be pretty pissed off if my doctor's "ethical" viewpoint got in the way of me getting an abortion as soon as possible. But as long as he/she referred me to someone else then I don't have too many qualms with it.
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      (Original post by Stegosaurus)
      Some people argue that as long as a doctor is accepting of abortion enough to refer the patient to a doctor who is willing to perform the abortion instead then it is OK for them to specialise in that field. Others, however, will say that the this puts the patient through unnescessary stress and delays treatment, when the whole process would have been more quickly and efficiently carried out had said patient originally seen a doctor who was willing to perform the procedure.
      The whole argument being torpedoed by the fact medicine is so sub specialised these days you are often initially seen by someone not capabale of performing the procedure you require.

      For instance a GP may send a patient with shoulder problems to an orthopaedic surgeon who sees them decides it needs a shoulder specialist to see and refers on.

      Its unreasonable to expect every doctor to be capable or willing to perform every procedure.
      Even in specialist areas.
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      Well those specialties involve a lot more than abortions and the doctor will be of use to the field even if they refuse to do abortions. Having said that, one can argue that it would be unfair to deny another doctor of that post if they are willing to do more and contribute more to the field.
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      (Original post by Jamie)
      Its unreasonable to expect every doctor to be capable or willing to perform every procedure.
      Even in specialist areas.
      It's not about whether or not your GP will do the procedure - you are correct in saying that is wholly unreasonable - the discussion is regarding whether when referred to the hospital OBGYN department the doctor sitting in that consulting room should be there if they will not perform the abortion, or whether in passing on the case to another doctor they have condoned the action and are being hypocritical.
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        (Original post by Stegosaurus)
        It's not about whether or not your GP will do the procedure - you are correct in saying that is wholly unreasonable - the discussion is regarding whether when referred to the hospital OBGYN department the doctor sitting in that consulting room should be there if they will not perform the abortion, or whether in passing on the case to another doctor they have condoned the action and are being hypocritical.
        Even if the doctor is a O&G, they still specialise. THey become gynae oncologists, obstretricians etc.
        surgical termination of pregnancy is a surgical skill which must be maintained like any other. Especially those closer to 24 weeks. (rare)

        Furthermore its not hypocritical to refer the patient to a different doctor if you morally oppose it.
        The laternative in your mind is to NOT refer on because referring on is hypocritical.

        Perhaps there isa degree of hypocrisy, but being borderline hypocrits is the price us doctors pay for looking after our patients.
       
       
       
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