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Why our pro-life stance is accepted by most patients

In reply to Dr Annette Steele about my Christian practice (Letters, October 13): yes, all patients before they register are made fully aware of our views, which are respected not only by our patients but by the society we are part of.

We explain both in our practice leaflet and on our website that we support 'pro-life' principles. In addition to this we try to discuss the implications of these principles with patients at their registration 'medicals'.

There are two other practices in the town and patients obviously have a choice between the three of us. One could argue that the patient population as a whole has a greater choice because of our type of practice.

As practising doctors abiding by the GMC's Good Practice we are under no obligation to act against our consciences and patients maintaining their 'legal right' (which I thought was still only on the recommendation of two doctors) for termination of pregnancy are free to exercise that right though another practice or through family planning services.

Sadly, over the years some of our women patients have decided to opt for further advice regarding therapeutic abortion but we have continued to support them and, apart from the rare occasion, our profession relationship has not been hindered. In fact the opposite often happens, when it is realised that we are not being judgmental but are not providing a service that we believe is ethically incorrect.

Our patients, although holding contrary views, respect our decision, because we respect their decision ­ although not agreeing with it.

In circumstances like this we hope our patients will realise just how much God loves and forgives them. I am fairly sure many of them do.

Dr Robert Hardie

Melksham

Wiltshire

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