The Pro Life Campaign has sent a detailed submission to the Medical Council’s Public Consultation on the soon to be revised Guide to Professional Conduct and Ethics, which regulates medical practice in Ireland.
In its submission, the PLC calls on the Medical Council to amend its Ethical Guide 2019 which, for the first time ever, obliges doctors to facilitate the ending of human life through abortion.
The PLC also draws attention to the fact that previous guidelines required doctors to adhere to “evidence-based best practice” in relation to abortion but the Ethical Guide 2019 removed this section entirely.
The PLC submission states that the soon to be updated Ethical Guide needs to restore proper freedom of conscience protections for healthcare workers and adherence to evidence based medicine.
The submission says: “Any revision to the Guide in the area of freedom of conscience also needs to ensure that no obligation is placed on conscientious objectors to engage in abortion referral. Forcing doctors opposed to abortion to arrange for the abortion to be carried out by a colleague is not respecting freedom of conscience. There is no ethical difference between performing the abortion oneself and arranging for someone else to carry it out. The result of both is the same – an unborn baby loses its life. The Medical Council has a duty to protect its members from becoming facilitators of abortion, and to fulfil this responsibility the 2019 Guide needs to be amended.”
The submission points out that the issues involved are of profound and critical importance, that extend far beyond the provision of abortion. It states that these issues must be confronted head on if the Medical Council “is to command respect in the future and have any credibility within the medical profession and the wider public.”
You can read a copy of the submission here.