Third petition as GPs ‘fight’ for conscience rights on abortion

The Irish Catholic

Chai Brady

Hundreds of Irish GPs have submitted a third petition to their representative body calling for a vote on abortion and freedom of conscience.

Approximately 600 GPs hand-signed the petition calling for the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) to hold an extraordinary general meeting (EGM).

Dr. Orla Halpenny from Doctors for Life said that “members are very angry” not only with the issue of abortion but several actions taken by the ICGP. . . [Full text]

Doctors for Life Ireland Statement on Conscientious Objection

1. The practice of medicine is a service to human dignity and doctors must adhere to the highest standards of professional competence in treating, protecting and advocating for patients.

2. In the course of their work on behalf of patients, doctors have the right not to participate in procedures which, in conscience, they believe to be wrong.

3. Doctors should not, by action or omission, deliberately shorten a patient’s life. Doctors must respect a patient’s fully-informed decision to refuse life-sustaining treatment or to request withdrawal of medical treatment.

4. Doctors have the right to refuse applications for referral for treatments to which they object in conscience.

5. Doctors have an obligation to provide care in emergencies, even if the condition results from a procedure to which the doctor has a conscientious objection.

6. Doctors have an obligation to explain the reasons for their conscientious objection with clarity and courtesy to patients and colleagues. Patients have a right to see another doctor and to be given impartial information as to how they can exercise that right. [Full text]