I am possibly going to upset a few people here, but I dont care. this is my opinion and understanding based on the facts as presented in the press (and archives of the bbc websites…)
ok – so my doctor may not always know best – and I may seek out alternative therapies for ailments from time to time. Or I seek a second opinion if i dont feel confident in my Doctor’s assessment. That is my “right” as a “consumer of medical provision”.
Next week the human fertilisation and embryology bill goes to parliament again. Earlier in the year, debating was vicious over whether or not to cut the current abortion “deadline” from 24 weeks to 22 or 20 weeks, with terms as low as 12 weeks also on the table, as some premature children born earlier than the 24 week mark were surviving and thriving. That debate was shelved for a while and the status quo remained.
Abortion in the UK has always required the authorisation by 2 doctors, who are able to state that it is in the best interests of either foetus, mother (or both) that the pregnancy be terminated. Under discussion now is the possibility of removing that requirement, so that the medical authorisation is given by the GP alone, without furhter recourse to another doctor.
This is reported by both the BBC and the Times online as a movement away from the “doctor knows best” approach to modern healthcare, to one which “makes clear that individuals are entitled to make their own healthcare decisions, even if they appear wrong or irrational to others,”
Back when the discussions around the timescales of terminations were discussed in march, april and may conservastive MP Mark Pritchard highlighted the statistics for 2006
The statistics, for 2006, showed nearly 15,000 women were having their third or more abortion, while 54 of those had terminated eight or more pregnancies.
If those statistics are correct, then I agree with him that it is distressing indeed – abortion is not, and never should be viewed as a convenient alternative to birth control measures.
I am not completely anti-abortion, there are circumstances in which i believe it should be permitted, but it is a sad, distressing reality for many women to have to make such a decision. It should never be taken lightly or unadvisedly – it is after all a medical issue (either chemical or surgical) and has implications for the physical and mental health and wellbeing of the woman involved.
I value life, I value a woman’s right to seek help in difficult circumstances, I do not like abortion but understand its reality and its necessity in some cirumstances. but i do not like or agree with this proposal.
GP’s are overworked, overstretched, and have limited time to counsel those seeking this route. Referral to a 2nd medical practitioner provides time, space and room to think, discuss and decide reasonably. This is not a matter of nipping to the doc for an antibiotic for a sore throat, but a chemical or surgical procedure which will end/prevent a life. Removing the checks and balances for this gives even more room for those multiple abortionees who (seem to) think it is an alternative to the pill or the condom.