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:
Margaret Little, PhD and Anne Drapkin Lyerly, MA, MD
Society is best served by an approach to conscience that combines a progressive understanding of patients’ needs, a nuanced determination of when those needs translate into claims, and a limited role for conscientious refusal.