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1. Christine’s daughter does not wish to have any screening tests, ‘as she would not terminate for any abnormality’. Given that she would not wish this, if you were the daughter’s midwife, would you still discuss the option of screening with her?
2. Do you agree with Christine’s decision not to be involved with Mrs A’s care? If you were Christine’s line manager, and she approached you to discuss her decision, how do you think you would handle it? Would you support her decision?
1.The Abortion Act 1967 and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 make particular reference to conscientious objection in Sections 4 (i) and 38 (iv) respectively. Click here to view the HFE Act 1990, and look up section 38. Read the NMC Guidelines for Professional Practice online and refer to the section on Conscientious objection (paragraphs 46-49). Within your learning group, discuss whether you feel a 'conscientious objection clause' is ethically valid within professional Codes and/or Acts of Parliament.
2.The right to conscientious objection extends only to the actual procedure of abortion, not to care prior, or subsequent to, abortion. Within your learning group, discuss the challenges nurses and midwives may face in raising a conscientious objection on a case by case basis. Is this feasible? What action (if any) could nurses or midwives take if they were not happy with an aspect of practice in a specific case, when a simple opt-out may not be possible?
"His sister, who is unaffected, myself and my ex-husband, had blood taken for genetic testing and never got any results back, or any explanations given to us."
"My own personal life came into my work and all I could think at the time was that if I’d had the choice to terminate my lovely son, what a great mistake that would have been."
"One of the most important things that health professionals can do, in my opinion, is to listen to parents who comment on their baby’s/ child’s health and well-being and not to make them feel like they are neurotic!"
CMT UK website: http://www.cmt.org.uk/
US National Library of Medicine, Genetics Home Reference website: Charcot-Marie-Tooth