Welcome back – It is May, and this month we are going to focus on Women’s Health – the O & the G, pregnancy, family planning and preventative care for the ladies.
I am going to be brave and open a discussion on Abortion [I may regret this]. I do not wish to alienate anybody or sensationalise this issue – I do believe that it is an important discussion to be had between peers of different persuasions.
This is where I see the current state of play for abortion in Australia. I work in an area where I deal with abortion as a routine part of my practice.
Termination of pregnancy is a reality of modern medicine.
I know that the medical community is clearly split – those who do and those who do not.
Women [in most developed countries] have the right to choose and control their own bodies.
We – the medical profession, have a duty to provide this care in a safe and unimpeded manner.
I am a pragmatist and strongly believe in harm minimisation. (most of the women I anaesthetise for a TOP also agree to an implantable, longer term contraceptive device)
For me a TOP is a symptom – of poor sexual health education, often a relationship under strain, and a woman at risk of other problems – STIs etc. This is an opportunity to intervene and make a difference, rather than an end in itself.
This story caught my eye this week – it was a piece in “The Telegraph” out of Sydney. Link is HERE.
Essentially it is a story about a GP who refused to refer a woman (couple ) to a Gynecologist for a termination of pregnancy. The GP is openly anti-abortion and has run for a political party on this platform. However, in this case he refused to refer as he believed the couple were planning to terminate in order to achieve “gender selection” – i.e they did not wish to have daughter.
So I am going to go beyond the usual abortion debate – I am NOT asking if you feel it is right or wrong. That debate has been well documented over many years. I am going to ask a few more practical questions. Imagine that you are a GP, take your own ethics into the room when your next patient requests a termination referral….
The Pinnion poll below includes 3 questions. Feel free to answer them or not – you can select multiple options on the last question.
Or leave a comment on this topic – the story above and let me know what you think.
Lots of Women’s health coming up in the next few weeks – will be significantly less controversial I promise!
Oh, the last Ethics poll on post-mortem intubation is completed – check out the results on that post.
PS: A quick look at the spread of opinion on the 3 question in the poll ths far. Small numbers – but a definite spread of opinion on the practical side of abortion referral in our readers.
I am a GP working in Broome, NW of Western Australia. I work as a hospital DMO (District Med Officer) doing Emergency, Anaesthestics, some Obstetrics and a lot of miscellaneous primary care. Also on the web as @broomedocs | + Casey Parker | Contact