. . . There is a growing body of literature to support the right of deaf parents to use pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) to select for deaf children. Jacqueline Mae Wallis, a philosopher at the University of Bristol (UK), contends in the journal Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy that this is morally permissible. . . [Full text]
A trans man in the United Kingdom has lost his bid to be deemed a father on his child’s birth certificate – even though he conceived it, gestated it, and gave birth to it.
Astonishingly, it appears to be the first time that English common law has defined the word “mother”.
The would-be father, a natal female multimedia journalist at The Guardian named Freddie McConnell, was deeply disappointed by the decision and said that he plans to appeal. He complained:
“It has serious implications for non-traditional family structures. It upholds the view that only the most traditional forms of family are properly recognised or treated equally. It’s just not fair.”
Women’s rights activists say women still find it difficult to access the morning-after pill
Access to the morning-after pill remains problematic for women – especially on Sundays when not all pharmacies are open, according to women’s rights activists.
The problem stems from the refusal of some pharmacists to stock and sell the emergency contraceptive because they have moral objections to the pill.
A recent undertaking by newspaper Illum showed that 70% of pharmacies contacted by the newspaper sold the morning-after pill. However, it also confirmed that three in 10 pharmacies were refusing to stock the pill. . . . [Full Text]
A midwife has said she would walk away from the profession if she was forced to either perform or assist an abortion after the liberalisation of the law in Northern Ireland next month.
She was speaking after a letter signed by 815 doctors, nurses and midwives was sent to Secretary of State Julian Smith and Richard Pengelly, the permanent secretary for the Department of Health, expressing opposition to any change of legislation here.
Carrickfergus GP Dr Andrew Cupples also warned of a mass exodus of healthcare professionals if they had to assist in a pregnancy termination. . . [Full text]
Marie-Louise Connolly, Catherine Smyth
Hundreds of health professionals have written to the NI secretary expressing opposition to the liberalisation of NI’s abortion laws.
The doctors, nurses and midwives say their consciences will not allow them to stay silent on the issue.
They want reassurance as “conscientious objectors” that they will not have to perform or assist abortions.
Unless the NI assembly is restored by 21 October, restrictions on abortion in NI will be drastically reduced. . . . [Full text]
Reproduced under Creative Commons Licence
Barbara Pesut*, and Sally Thorne*
Since Canada legalized Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) in 2016, as of Oct. 31, 2018, more than 6,700 Canadians have chosen medications to end their life.
Canadians who meet eligibility requirements can opt to self-administer or have a clinician administer these medications; the vast majority of people choosing MAiD have had their medications delivered by physicians or nurse practitioners. Canada is the first country to permit nurse practitioners to assess for medically assisted dying eligibility and to provide it. . . .
. . . Our most recent research involved interviews with 59 nurse practitioners or registered nurses across Canada who accompanied patients and families along the journey of medically assisted dying or who had chosen to conscientiously object. Nurses worked across the spectrum of care in acute, residential and home-care settings. . . .[Full Text]
The Trump administration official who enforces civil rights protections in healthcare sees his work on religious liberty as his biggest legacy for the Department of Health and Human Services.
“There is a real problem out there of lack of respect for conscience and religious freedom that needs to be addressed and we are taking the concrete steps to finally address it,” said Roger Severino, 44, director of the Office for Civil Rights at HHS. “And I think this is an awakening of sorts that has opened up people’s eyes, both in the healthcare industry and beyond, that this is a right that had been under-enforced, that people were being discriminated against and felt they had nowhere to turn, and now they have somewhere to turn. And it would be a shame if that door ever closed on them again.” . . . [Full text]
Promoting a one-way conscience right favouring the medical intelligentsia
Wesley J. Smith*
The New York Times has published an opinion column by cardiologist Sandeep Jauhar that decries the Trump administration’s increased enforcement of medical conscience. But he actually promotes a one-way conscience right that favors protecting the predominate ideological views of the medical intelligentsia, while forcing dissenters to sacrifice their own religious and moral beliefs. . . [Full text]
AFP in Rome
Italy’s constitutional court has ruled it was not always a crime to help someone in “intolerable suffering” kill themselves, opening the way for a change of law in the Catholic country.
Parliament is now expected to debate the matter, which was highlighted by the Milan trial of an activist who helped a tetraplegic man die in Switzerland.
Anyone who “facilitates the suicidal intention … of a patient kept alive by life-support treatments and suffering from an irreversible pathology” should not be punished under certain conditions, the top court ruled. . . [Full text]
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Physicians for Reproductive Health
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and Physicians for Reproductive Health released the following joint statement:
“The science of medicine is not subjective, and a strongly held personal belief should never outweigh scientific evidence, override standards of medical care, or drive policy that puts a person’s health and life at risk.
“Pregnancy imposes significant physiological changes on a person’s body. These changes can exacerbate underlying or preexisting conditions, like renal or cardiac disease, and can severely compromise health or even cause death. Determining the appropriate medical intervention depends on a patient’s specific condition. There are situations where pregnancy termination in the form of an abortion is the only medical intervention that can preserve a patient’s health or save their life.
“As physicians, we are focused on protecting the health and lives of the patients for whom we provide care. Without question, abortion can be medically necessary.”
ACOG Communications Office