Labels commonly used in clinical settings, like “elective” or “therapeutic,” influence how we think about the justifiability of abortion. We talk with Professor Katie Watson and Dr Maryl Sackeim about how the language clinicians use to describe abortion can affect patients’ experiences and even cause harm.
Physicians may and should make recommendations to women for maintaining a healthy pregnancy, but until the time a baby is born, the pregnant woman alone should have the last word in deciding what happens to her fetus.
Educators discussing ethically challenging topics with students should try to cultivate open mindedness while illuminating potential negative consequences that their health practice beliefs—such as refusing to provide abortion care—can have for patients, particularly those with limited options.
AMA J Ethics. 2018;20(7):E637-642. doi: