I refused to perform abortions: you don’t have to sacrifice your integrity to get aheadBMJ 2013; 347 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f7015 (Published 25 November 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f7015
I remember my consultant shouting at me. We had been on excellent terms in the preceding weeks, and I had often marvelled at his dexterity as he operated, describing graceful surgical arcs as his hands cut and stitched. Now one of these hands was raised. I could not believe that he might actually hit me, not with all the theatre staff mesmerised by our confrontation. I flinched as he hurled an instrument past my head and it landed with a metallic clatter against the back wall.
“What do you mean, you won’t do it?”
It was a long time ago, when I was a junior doctor, and almost every procedure in my gynaecology job seemed to be either a dilatation and curettage (D&C) or a hysterectomy (it was before the days of endometrial ablation and the intrauterine system). The last patient on the list that morning was slipped …