Christian pharmacists will remain free to do their jobs in line with their consciences after regulators published new guidance recognising the “positive” role of religion.
Earlier draft guidance by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) could have forced Christians to provide access to abortifacient or hormone-blocking drugs.
The guidance now states: “Pharmacy professionals have the right to practise in line with their religion, personal values or beliefs”. The changes were made after The Christian Institute threatened the GPhC with legal action and hundreds of Christian professionals raised objections. . . [Full text]
Pro-life medics in the US are ‘under attack’, an academic has warned.
Author and bioethicist, Wesley J. Smith, said medics who are morally opposed to abortion and assisted suicide may soon be forced to choose between “their careers and their convictions”.
He made the comments in an article for First Things, an influential journal of religion and public life.
In support of his case, he highlighted work published in the New England Journal of Medicine which described abortion as “a standard obstetrical practice” and “not medically controversial”.
Smith said: “The authors take an absolutist position, claiming that personal morality has no place in medical practice.”
He went on to highlight several examples where doctors are being forced to refer patients for abortion and assisted suicide “even if they are morally opposed”. . . . [Full text]
A leading Christian nurse is warning that nurses and midwives could find themselves under new pressures to be involved with abortions and other procedures that go against their conscience.
Steve Fouch, head of nursing with the the Christian Medical Fellowship Head of Nursing, warns in a blog of a challenge to the rules that allow doctors to opt out of abortions.
He is writing after a new study, headlined ‘Vacuum aspiration for induced abortion could be safely and legally performed by nurses and midwives’, questions the need for abortions to be carried out by doctors in the first place. . . [Full text]
Guidelines confirm that doctors and nurses who oppose controversial emergency contraception on ‘moral or religious’ grounds cannot receive key specialist qualifications
Doctors and nurses who object to providing controversial emergency contraception on moral or religious grounds are being barred from specialist professional qualifications under official guidelines.
They class Roman Catholics and others motivated by pro-life beliefs as “ineligible” for important qualifications provided by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) even if they complete the training programme.
It led to accusations that the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare, a branch of the RCOG, is unfairly discriminating against medical staff who act on grounds of conscience. [Full Text]
When two Glasgow midwives won the right to opt out of supervising abortions last April I suggested that the General Medical Council (GMC) needed to revise its professional guidance on the matter which now seemed to be at odds with the law.
At the time Niall Dickson (pictured), the GMC’s chief executive, actually told the Guardian that the GMC would need to consider the implications of the judges’ decision on its guidance. He is quoted as saying:
We will study the outcome of this ruling, which has just come out, to see if there are any implications for our guidance. We already have clear guidance which says that doctors should be open with employers and colleagues so they can practise in accordance with their beliefs without compromising patient care.
As I have heard nothing further from the GMC about the matter, and almost two months have passed, I have today written to Mr Dickson to ask what is happening. [Full text]