Comments: Equality Act applied in abortion case

I do believe that the issue of abortion, and the matter of who might be excused from implementing its execution, is a very important matter that has to take into account the nature of what is actually taking place and the morality of applying pressure on medical staff to take part in a procedure that may be seen to be in direct conflict with the Hypocratic Oath.

The process of assisting in the extinguishing of the life of a human foetus can be interpreted as participating in depriving it of the gift of life. If a person's objection to this act is sufficiently repugnant (based on reverence for the gift of life), then it would be unethical for that person to be subject to industrial or social action that can be seen as punishment for not participating in the procedure.

In my view, this matter is very different from other matters - such as the refusal to supply public services for homosexuals - that it requires a different treatment of those who conscientiously opt out of providing what might be considered to be the 'normal' public services in the course of their daily work.

I applaud the decision to allow nurses or doctors to decline to carry out a procedure that is seen to be contrary to their professional code of ethics. This does not mean to say that I, personally, feel that abortion in every situation is necessarily unethical; but rather that, in such a grave matter, personal conscience - when considering one's personal participation in a life-and-death circumstance - one's private conscience must be considered.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Monday, 15 August 2011 at 2:47pm BST

"one manager ask[ed]: “What would happen if we allowed all the Christian nurses to refuse?”

Surely this manager can't believe that all Christians are anti-choice re/would refuse to participate in a freely-chosen abortion?

Posted by JCF at Monday, 15 August 2011 at 8:24pm BST

But this has nothing to do with Christianity or with exemptions from the law. It's precisely the opposite - the law states that anyone is allowed to opt out from participating in abortions.
That should be all there is to it.

Posted by Erika Baker at Tuesday, 16 August 2011 at 7:04am BST
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