‘Pro-choice doctors only’ rule could hurt conscience rights

‘Pro-choice doctors only’ rule could hurt conscience rights

Ireland will be in “uncharted territory” if it makes a willingness to participate in abortions a condition of employment in hospitals, Baroness Nuala O’Loan has warned.

Baroness O’Loan, who has been an outspoken advocate for the conscience rights of medical professionals, was speaking after the National Maternity Hospital advertised posts stipulating that successful applicants would be required to participate in abortions.

While the hospital has stated that the roles are specifically for the provision of abortions, Baroness O’Loan said there could be a problem if doctors changed their minds after performing abortions and felt that in conscience they could no longer partake in such procedures.

“I think you’re into unchartered territory,” she said. “It is expected that practitioners are learning constantly, and therefore it’s the product of that learning that will change their view on whatever it is they’re doing – then their change of view would have to be analysed in light of current guidelines.”

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