Northern Ireland: Hundreds of medical professionals will refuse to provide abortion services, doctor warns

Northern Irish GP’s warning comes after abortion decriminalised in Northern Ireland

Independent

Maya Oppenheim

Hundreds of healthcare professionals in Northern Ireland will refuse to be involved in services which carry out abortions, a doctor has warned.

Abortion has long been illegal in Northern Ireland in almost all circumstances – including rape and incest – but the procedure was decriminalised in Northern Ireland on Tuesday.

Andrew Cupples, a Northern Irish GP who is strongly opposed to the liberalisation of abortion laws, has said a number of healthcare professionals have personally told him they would leave their jobs if they were made to carry out an abortion. . . [Full text]

Abortion: Hundreds of healthcare workers oppose new law

BBC News

Marie-Louise Connolly, Catherine Smyth

Hundreds of health professionals have written to the NI secretary expressing opposition to the liberalisation of NI’s abortion laws.

The doctors, nurses and midwives say their consciences will not allow them to stay silent on the issue.

They want reassurance as “conscientious objectors” that they will not have to perform or assist abortions.

Unless the NI assembly is restored by 21 October, restrictions on abortion in NI will be drastically reduced. . . . [Full text]

Why people choose medically assisted death revealed through conversations with nurses

The Conversation
Reproduced under Creative Commons Licence

Barbara Pesut*, and Sally Thorne*

Since Canada legalized Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) in 2016, as of Oct. 31, 2018, more than 6,700 Canadians have chosen medications to end their life.

Canadians who meet eligibility requirements can opt to self-administer or have a clinician administer these medications; the vast majority of people choosing MAiD have had their medications delivered by physicians or nurse practitioners. Canada is the first country to permit nurse practitioners to assess for medically assisted dying eligibility and to provide it. . . .

. . . Our most recent research involved interviews with 59 nurse practitioners or registered nurses across Canada who accompanied patients and families along the journey of medically assisted dying or who had chosen to conscientiously object. Nurses worked across the spectrum of care in acute, residential and home-care settings. . . .[Full Text]

New Northern Ireland abortion law ‘may give health staff no choice’

Midwife voices fear for conscientious objectors if NI legislation changes

Belfast Telegraph

Allan Preston

Health workers in Northern Ireland could be left “exposed” by changes to abortion law, a lecturer in midwifery has claimed.

Debbie Duncan spent over 30 years working as a midwife in Scotland and England and now lectures at the school of nursing and midwifery at Queen’s University Belfast.

She was never obliged to take part in abortions during her career as the law allowed her to conscientiously object.

Ms Duncan said she fears “too much change with no regulation” means the same protections may not apply here. . . [Full text]

The Role of Nurses When Patients Decide to End Their Lives

Some hospitals and hospices have policies that forbid nurses to be part of the process or even to discuss end-of-life options.

New York Times

Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi

When Ben Wald, 75, was dying of cancer in 2012, he wanted to use Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act to receive a prescription for a lethal medication that would end his life. His hospice nurse, Linda, was part of the discussion and provided both information and support, said his wife, Pam Wald, of Kings Valley, Ore.

His colon cancer had spread to his lungs, and his weight dropped from 180 to 118 pounds. He struggled to speak or eat.

When he was ready to end his life, the couple wanted Linda with them, but the hospice organization she worked for did not allow it, Mrs. Wald said. The organization allowed other hospice workers, such as social workers and massage therapists, to be present, but not the doctors or nurses it employed. . . [Full text]