“Gender disappointment” is not a recognised medical condition. But many women in Australia – where gender selection is illegal — attribute their depression to it. Speaking to Australia’s ABC network, a woman using the pseudonym Kate described it as “a guilt-ridden, debilitating depression”. She has two boys and she desperately wants a daughter.. . .
Canadian Family Physician
Stephen J. Genuis
Discussion on physician autonomy at the 2014 and 2015 Canadian Medical Association (CMA) annual meetings highlighted an emerging issue of enormous importance: the contentious matter of freedom of conscience (FOC) within clinical practice. In 2014, a motion was passed by delegates to CMA’s General Council,and affirmed by the Board of Directors, supporting the right of all physicians, within the bounds of existing legislation, to follow their conscience with regard to providing medical aid in dying. The overwhelming sentiment among those in attendance was that physicians should retain the right to choose when it comes to matters of conscience related to end-of-life intervention. Support for doctors refusing to engage in care that clashes with their beliefs was reaffirmed in 2015. However, a registrar from a provincial college of physicians and surgeons is reported to have a differing perspective, stating “Patient rights trump our rights. Patient needs trump our needs.1
So, do the personal wishes of doctors hold much sway in Canadian society, where physicians are increasingly perceived as publicly funded service providers? Should the colleges of physicians and surgeons have the power to remove competent physicians who refuse to violate their own conscience?
And what about FOC in a range of other thorny medical situations unrelated to physician-assisted dying?
Genuis SJ. Emerging assault on freedom of conscience. Canadian Family Physician April 2016 vol. 62 no. 4 293-296 [Full text]
An investigation by the Daily Mail has revealed that some physicians in the United Kingdom will arrange for sex-selective abortions. A physician suspended by the General Medical Council following the disclosure agreed to falsify the reason for the procedure. Another physician and an obstetrician/gynaecologist also face discipline. [Daily Mail]
The Canadian Medical Association Journal has reported that sex selective abortion is being practised in Canada despite opposition from the public and from professional associations and regulators. The accompanying editorial, which advocated refusing to disclose fetal sex until after the 30th week of pregnancy, was headed, “It’s a girl! could be a death sentence.”