There has been little information with regard to the health provider’s role in abortion. The reason for this is that the abortion issue is not essentially a health issue but rather a social issue that take place in the health care arena. Abortion, in most instances where it is performed, is legal. The American Association in it’s Code of Medical Ethics, Current Opinions document, 2.01 states

The Principles of Medical Ethics of the AMA do not prohibit a physician from performing an abortion in accordance with good medical practice and under circumstances that do not violate the law.

One’s attitude toward abortion is often very intense, close, and personal. As a matter of professional autonomy, it would seem that health care providers with deeply held beliefs with regard to this matter would not be required to participate in the process. However, this may require that the provider ascertain the philosophical view of the institution where he desires employment prior to accepting duty there. Its make very little sense to look at only the salary and fringe benefits of a hospital and then find yourself working at an institution where the daily practice of abortion creates for you severe moral distress.

Health care providers, regardless of their personal feelings concerning abortion, cannot ignore the social realities of our time., such as the liberation of women and the problems of teenage mothers. There is very little indication that the abortion controversy will end anytime soon. As a matter of role duty, we must come to understand that people of intellect and honor have come to very different decisions regarding the issue. As health care providers, we do not have the luxury of treating patients with whom we have formed a patient/provider relationship with anything but the highest level of professional concern , regardless how we may feel about their decisions on this issue.

Abortion is an extremely emotional issue in that it makes us consider some very important and deep moral concepts, such as person-hood and the value of human life. While it is important to understand the facts of fetal development, there is no getting around the problem of philosophical disagreement over fundamentals. Noe can we ignore important social realities such as the liberation of women and the problem of teenage mothers. Abortion also requires that we review our moral intuitions. We discussed various analogies in order to determine whether our intuitions can yield a consistent moral position on abortion.

whatever your view of abortion, it should be clear that issue is a difficult one that reaches to the depths of our most profound thoughts on what is important in life. Nothing indicates that the controversy will end anytime soon, so how is a sensitive person to regard her opponents on the issue? If one imagines that a fetus is a baby, how much effort on it’s behalf is rational? An adult who rushes into the street to save a toddler who has entered the pathway of an onrushing car would be considered hero. What, then, is so extraordinary about blocking a doorway or lying down in front of an abortion clinic, if what you see yourself doing is saving babies? If, on other hand , your view of a fetus is that of a piece of tissue–even one with remarkable potential, but still only a piece of tissue–jumping in front of cars or blocking doorways is a very strange behavior indeed.

Perhaps what is missing in the debate is a level of tolerance and civility that considers the opposing view to be wrong but perhaps rational. The pro-choice advocates began to call the pro-life advocates”terrorist” while the pro-life movement continued to cast the pro choice side as “baby killers”. It is not likely that “baby killers” and “terrorist” are the kinds of people who will be able to sit down and reason together. Confrontations have become increasingly violent and costly as one town after another becomes a battleground.


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