O&G: Conscientious Objector

Abortion has been the subject of much controversy, nowhere more so than in the United States where the factions of Pro-Life and Pro-Choice exist.

J. thinks that either of these names is too simplistic, yet not simplistic enough.

Like prostitution, the approach to abortion consists of two parts: the ethical, and the practical.

Singapore is a country where, unlike the United States, a person can profess to lack any religious background and still be the leader. It is also one of the countries in South-East Asia with the most liberal abortion policy, allowing abortions in the event of socioeconomic reasons and on request.

On the practical aspect, it is indisputable that legalised abortion has saved the lives of many. Fewer women have backstreet, unsafe abortions performed on them. Fewer women die from bleeding and infections. Like prostitution, banning abortions does not prevent them from happening, it merely drives them underground, preventing their monitoring and ultimately harming the health of the population.

On the ethical aspect, there are articles and articles out there arguing for and against abortion. J. reserves comment.

Gynaecologists have their moral or religious values as well. And there can be a conflict of professional and moral duty when it comes to certain abortions.

Enter the conscientious objector.

A doctor who refuses to perform any abortions.

The beauty of it is in its simplicity. A doctor might object to performing abortions for socio-economic reasons but agree to do an abortion to protect a woman’s mental health. He might object to aborting a Down’s syndrome but agree to aborting an Edward’s syndrome fetus. Does he have to have an internal debate for every patient requesting/requiring an abortion? Instead, he makes one decision early on and sticks to it. Yes to abortions, no to abortions.

It does not mean that the doctor in question abdicates all responsibility to the patient or passes judgment. He is supposed to, after laying out the facts, say, “I’m sorry, I do not perform abortions. However, I can refer you to my colleage/ whatever general hospital.”

How does one arrive at this decision? It’s a tough, tough question to answer and the reasons differ for every individual.

Would J. do abortions?
J. won’t specialise in O&G.

Skilled evasion, no? And the decision is left unmade.


One response to this post.

  1. Haha food for thought indeed… Esp since O&G interests me.


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