Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Feature Essay

Reflection is protection in abortion care—an essay by Sandy Goldbeck-Wood

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j5275 (Published 20 November 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j5275

Rapid Response:

Re: Reflection is protection in abortion care—an essay by Sandy Goldbeck-Wood

The editorial, ‘End criminal sanctions for abortion’[1] highlights the pressure for abortion on demand, which is what already exists in practice in the UK, apart from in Northern Ireland.
The article which follows, ‘Reflection is protection in abortion care—an essay by Sandy Goldbeck-Wood’[2] demonstrates the suffering involved in decisions regarding an attack on human offspring, however serious the reason. She underlines the importance of taking time for conscientious reflection about what is really happening and the violence of the procedure. She graphically describes how the reality is especially painful when a young life is ‘hanging on in there’.
The article also brings into focus what is being requested of health care professionals who choose to get involved. The responsibility of assessing whether an abortion is ‘essential’ when such a decision is coloured by the woman's perception of her present crisis must be impossible. Some choose to stand back from these procedures, by avoiding jobs which include it.
The burden weighs heavily on the author who, in the end has to follow her conscience and any change in abortion laws, must preserve the right to Conscientious Objection.
 

[1] BMJ 2017; 359 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j5409 (Published 23 November 2017)
[2] BMJ 2017; 359 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j5275 (Published 20 November 2017)

Competing interests: No competing interests

02 December 2017
anne williams
GP
schb
Glasgow