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Abortion review skipped ethics

Dr Janet Barter writes that the quality of abortion provision in the UK has been gradually improving over recent years, and makes the plea 'If you feel that your patients are being deprived of their right to NHS abortions ­ speak up' (Pulse Clinical, October 21).

This article is a compact, updated and accurate account of abortion methods that stops abruptly short of any mention of the post-abortion syndrome and of any ethical considerations.

She replaces this field of discussion with the current thinking that abortion on demand is both right and appropriate throughout the NHS, in defiance of both the evidence-based medicine of the adverse effects of abortion, and of the legal basis of the current form of the Abortion Act.

The same thinking was enunciated by the director of a certain Department of Health unit who recently referred to doctors who exercise the conscience clause in the Act as being a 'gap in service provision'.

So where exactly is the discipline of medical ethics going?

Dr John Etherton


East Sussex

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