Poland asks: should a doctor serve God, or patients?

Reuters

Marcin Goettig and Aneta Pomieczynska

(Reuters) – In April this year, a pregnant woman asked Professor Bogdan Chazan, director of Warsaw’s Holy Family Hospital, for an abortion because her own physician had diagnosed her unborn child with grave health problems.

Chazan sent the woman a letter saying he could not agree to an abortion in his hospital because of a “conflict of conscience,” and instead gave the woman the address of a hospice where, he said, the child could get palliative care once born.

The baby was born at a different hospital with, according to a doctor there, severe head and facial deformities and a brain that was not viable, conditions which the doctor said would result in the child’s death within a month or two. . .

. . . On Wednesday, Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, the mayor of the Polish capital, said she was firing Chazan from the hospital on the grounds that he did not have the right to refuse the abortion and did not inform the woman about the options for getting a termination. [Full text]

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