Rights?

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.

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2 thoughts on “Rights?

  1. Eamonn says:

    I agree with you, though as a man it’s a decision I’ve never had to face for myself. I think that in the UK we’ve gone completely OTT on liberalising the ‘right to choose’. The unborn baby is not in a position to exercise the right to life.

    I wouldn’t, however, be prepared to rule abortion out absolutely: what of rape, especially when used as a weapon of military oppression? What of a young woman abandoned when pregnant by her husband/partner, who can’t face bearing a child carried in anger and hatred? Could one conscientiously advise against a termination in those circumstances

  2. Kenny says:

    It’s time for more of us to say these things. A foetus is more “viable” in modern medicine, rather than 1967, and the time of termination availability should also be cut. I’m not a fan of the women’s right to choose when it means abortion is being used as an alternative to more acceptable birth control. One doctor? I’d make it as difficult as possible for those who are abusing the Abortion Bill.

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