Court hears appeal of midwives ordered to participate in abortion services

A panel of three judges in Edinburgh is hearing arguments in an appeal by two midwives who were ordered to supervise provision of abortion in the National Health Service Greater Glasgow and Clyde region.  A lower court ruled that the protection of conscience provision in the 1967 Abortion Act did not apply to them.  [BBC] The case turns upon the definition of “participation,” which is not set out in the Act.

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Court hears appeal of midwives ordered to participate in abortion services

  1. The issue of culpable participation in a morally controversial procedure has been considered by the American Medical Association in its policy on capital punishment. It forbids physician participation in executions, and defines participation as

    (1) an action which would directly cause the death of the condemned;

    (2) an action which would assist, supervise, or contribute to the ability of another individual to directly cause the death of the condemned;

    (3) an action which could automatically cause an execution to be carried out on a condemned prisoner.

    Among the actions identified by the AMA as “participation” in executions are the prescription or administration of tranquillizers or other drugs as part of the procedure, directly or indirectly monitoring vital signs, rendering technical advice or consulting with the executioners, and even (except at the request of the condemned, or in a non-professional capacity) attending or observing an execution. (See American Medical Association Policy E-2.06: Capital Punishment)

  2. Pingback: Appeal succeeds in Scotland: Freedom of conscience upheld for midwives | Protection of Conscience Project Blog

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