Saturday, June 16, 2007

Doctors' Right of Conscience petition

Action: please sign the petition. Although the law is not quite clear on this point, it is highly likely that a doctor invoking the existing 'conscience' clause in the Abortion Act to refuse to refer a patient to another doctor for an abortion, would lose his case. The guidlines of the British Medical Association and the General Medical Counsel, and the NHS General Practioners' contract of employment, all assume that conscientious objections can be made only to participation in the abortion procedure itself. But if it is wrong to perform an abortion (an intrinsically and gravely evil act), it is also wrong to send a patient seeking an abortion to a doctor who will perform it (proximate material cooperation in an intrinsically and gravely evil act). The right of doctors not to be involved in abortion and other immoral procedures must be extended explicitly to referral.

The petition description: In the USA many states have passed laws that protect doctors from adverse consequences that might arise as a result of refusing to participate in medical services that would be contrary to their consciences. For example the Illinois Healthcare Worker Right of Conscience Act protects healthcare providers from all liability or discrimination that might occur as a result of “his or her refusal to perform, assist, counsel, suggest, recommend, refer or participate in any way in any particular form of healthcare service which is contrary to the conscience of such physician or healthcare personnel.” In the UK we are currently under legal obligation to refer patients to colleagues whom we must know will provide the service to which we have an objection through conscience: This situation is unacceptable. In view of increasing pressure from abortion and euthanasia organisations; doctors, nurses and ancillary health care personnel in the UK urgently need to be protected likewise by a law similar to the Illinois Healthcare Worker Right of Conscience Act.

1 comment:

Sean Murphy, Administrator said...

For further information, see the Protection of Conscience Project website at

Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen