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News Summary 13 September

13 September 2016

Dr Katarzyna Jachimowicz
Dr Katarzyna Jachimowicz was sacked in December 2015 after refusing to administer abortifacient birth control

Family Doctor Initiates First Conscience Objection Case in Norwegian Court

Dr Katarzyna Jachimowicz, who was dismissed from her job in December 2015 after refusing to administer abortifacient birth control, is currently undertaking legal action to contest her dismissal.

The court case was initiated in June 2016, and is the first hearing of the conscience objection in Norway’s courts. When Dr Jachimowicz first started working at the Family Clinic in Sauherad in Norway in 2010, conscience protections were in place for medical professionals, and her colleagues verbally agreed to her conditions that she would not refer her patients for abortions or administer abortifacient methods of birth control. According to Jachimowicz, the situation changed after a discussion in the media when some teenagers were sent to a Catholic doctor to ask for birth control pills. The doctor’s refusal sparked a highly publicized campaign.

In 2014, the conscience clause for family doctors was nearly completely eliminated; It is now forbidden for them to refuse any form of birth control, including the insertion of IUDs (which the Norwegian government does not consider to be abortifacient). Dr Jachimowicz was unwilling to use the possible loophole of refusing insertion of the IUD claiming lack of skill. She was asked to leave or abandon her conscience, and, not wanting to surrender, was fired in December 2015 by the municipality of Sauherad. Dr Jachimowicz is being supported by the Norwegian Christian Medical Association.

The Independent Celebrates launch of Pro-abortion Group on the Isle of Man

A propaganda piece has been published by the Independent newspaper by an anonymous author, who writes about the "Island that feminism forgot", talking of the Island’s "vile" and "medieval" abortion laws.

The Campaign for Abortion Law Modernisation (Calm) has formed to attempt to bring Manx abortion legislation in line with mainland Britain. The Termination of Pregnancy (Medical Defences) Act, which permits abortion in restricted circumstances, is up for review in the next session of the Tynwald, the Isle of Man’s parliament. The article appears to condone abortions carried out by women at home with drugs illegally purchased online.

BPAS recently launched a telephone helpline for women in Ireland, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man who have bought abortion medication online. Although BPAS claim that these home abortions are safe, and adverse events are “extremely unlikely”, they say they are concerned “that because the women are committing an illegal act, they may not always seek help when they need it.”

The article talks about women who travel to the mainland for abortions, claiming that there is discrimination in that only those rich enough, and who have a travelling companion, are able to access this option. It also promotes the Abortion Support Network, which brings women from Ireland and the Isle of Man to mainland Britain for abortions.

A pro-life campaign group, Humanity and Equality in Abortion Reform, has also been launched.

Prominent Doctor Calls for Patients in Comas to be killed by lethal injection and their Organs Harvested

The Daily Mail reports that Dr Zoe Fritz, a consultant physician at Cambridge University Hospitals, has argued in the Journal of Medical Ethics that courts should be allowed to quickly kill "helpless" patients with drugs, in order to preserve their organs for use in transplants.  

She argues that in cases where it has already been agreed that food and fluids should be withdrawn: "It could be in a patient’s best interests to actively end their life with a drug that would stop the heart both to minimise potential suffering and in order to be able to have vital organs donated."

As the paper reports, this is a new departure for British advocates of euthanasia, who have so far concentrated only the case for "ending the pain and misery of patients."

In response to Dr Fritz's report, Lord Carlile of Berriew said: "I disagree with her profoundly. I think that her proposal, if enacted, would simply increase dramatically the pressure on people who are unwell and on the families of people who are unwell to agree to something which might not be justified."

German Protestant Church forbids members from joining Rally for Life in Berlin

The parishioners of the Protestant Church of Germany (Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland or EKD) are being discouraged from joining the "March for Life" protest in Berlin. Catholics, Evangelicals and other pro-life protesters are scheduled to meet in front of the Reichstag on 17 September.

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