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Is it really ok that some GPs can refuse to prescribe the MAP

(143 Posts)
msrisotto Fri 19-Oct-12 17:45:02

Or refer for abortions? They are legally protected due to their religious rights.
Just coming out of the thread where two gay chaps were refused a double room at a B&B due to the owners religious bigotry. B&B owners lost the legal battle as they are running a business and are not legally allowed to discriminate against who they provide a service to based on their sexuality.

But GPs are allowed to refuse a particular service to women on religious grounds? Is that ok? Really? Anyone?

grimbletart Fri 19-Oct-12 17:49:23

I don't know msrisotto, but it looks as if you now only need to pop into your local Co-op for the MAP according to today's paper

www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9618015/Five-day-after-pill-to-be-sold-at-chemists-without-prescription.html

slug Fri 19-Oct-12 18:21:00

Absolutely. First, in my experience, they lecture you on your stupidity and selfishness, then refuse to refer you, then obstruct the transfer of your medical records making it difficult for you to change doctors.

LonelyCloud Fri 19-Oct-12 18:25:35

I thought that you could buy the morning after pill (the 3 days after variety) at chemists without prescription for several years now anyway?

I didn't realise that the GPs had to claim religious reasons for refusing to refer for abortion. I thought that some GPs with no religion also do this?

blackcurrants Fri 19-Oct-12 18:30:03

slug that's absolutely appalling angry

It's something I think I want to know about my doctors, now. I think I am going to ask next time I join a surgery "and will you prescribe me emergency contraception or abortion without lecturing, judging, or obstructing the course of treatment?" - because frankly if the answer is no, I'm not sure I could trust them as my doctor...

msrisotto Fri 19-Oct-12 18:32:38

Does the fact that you can now get the MAP over the counter change the point of this conversation or something? I don't see how. And I don't care what reason they use, it makes no difference to me.

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Fri 19-Oct-12 18:35:28

There is a notice on the wall in my GP surgery that certain of the GP's will not give advice on contraception and TOP.

It is allowed, as long as there are other doctors in the practice, I believe.

grimbletart Fri 19-Oct-12 18:36:50

Sorry msrisotto - thought I was giving some practical information that might have been of interest.

<slinks away, suitably chastened>

msrisotto Fri 19-Oct-12 18:38:45

Sorry Grimbletart! I'm just wound up by the topic in general, not you.

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Fri 19-Oct-12 18:41:44

I am very far from a doctor-basher, and in actual fact have been in some right scraps on MN when defending them (in general) but I do not agree with this.

My daughter was not treated optimally when she had a thrush infection when we saw a particular one. She sent a teenage girl home with a swab to do her own vaginal swab, fgs. She's never even used a tampon and had no idea what to do.

The reproductive system of the female should not be subject to religious causes, IMO.

scaevola Fri 19-Oct-12 18:46:28

HCPs are allowed to opt out of contraception services as individuals, but PCT must ensure that services are readily available.

As long as the services are indeed available in the Trust area as they should be (and if not, give them hell), then I think this is an area best left alone. The exercise of conscience is inherent in medical ethics and practice, in both beginning and end of life issues and in the treatment plans in many types of case.

JasperStreet Fri 19-Oct-12 18:55:37

What??? This is crazy. Both are fairly standard issues a GP will come across regularly. I'm shocked they could get away with refusing treatment.

Startailoforangeandgold Fri 19-Oct-12 18:56:18

I have no objection to GPs and other health professionals opting out of these things.

I would be very angry if they didn't instantly refer patients on to someone who did.

Although totally prochoice, I do accept that abortion is killing a potential person and I wouldn't ask anyone to do that against their will.

However, it isn't right that a HP should use their position to lecture venerable women.

raindroprhyme Fri 19-Oct-12 18:57:13

i know a head of family planning service who refuses to refer for abortions due to her religion she passes women on toher colleagues.

scaevola Fri 19-Oct-12 19:00:01

Here's a recent GMC document on Personal Beliefs and Medical Practice.

Those who lecture on stupidity, or those who provide inappropriate treatment, are in the wrong and should be reported.

OP (or other well-informed posters): how many GPs/other HCPs have opted out? The NHS is already short of GPs; right now even a minor set of departures would just add to overstretch problems.

TheLightPassenger Fri 19-Oct-12 19:04:42

I think it should only be OK to refuse these services if the woman can virtually immediately be seen by a health professional who can provide the relevant advice/care.

IIRC the MAP is q expensive - £30 or so at the chemists, so not everyone could afford it.

AnitaBlake Fri 19-Oct-12 19:19:25

Its completely standard, as I understand it midwives can also refuse to work in certain areas of the discipline too. This isn't new. Some HCPs (and that includes pharmacists) do not cover those services, as a matter of conscience.

Personally I'd rather be treated in those matters by someone who wasn't going to judge me, so I really don't have a problem avoiding those practicioners.

I think the thrush case is entirely different in that a) its easily diagnosed without a swab and b) not related to sexual activity in any case.

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Fri 19-Oct-12 19:23:18

Anita, why do you think that doctor treated my daughter like she did then ?

is it standard to give a teenage girl her own swab to take home ?

genuine question

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Fri 19-Oct-12 19:25:42

she didn't examine her either, and the questions she asked were not appropriate to diagnose without a swab or an exam, in any case (I don't mean inappropriate, I mean ^adequate I suppose)

the doctor just seemed highly uncomfortable with it all

BeehavingBaby Fri 19-Oct-12 19:32:18

Doing your own low vaginal swab is more comfortable than an examination surely? It's certainly an option for chlamydia testing for teens (appreciate that that's likely to be taken up by a girl who is sexually active).

AnitaBlake Fri 19-Oct-12 19:32:33

I don't know love, but I think its highly inappropriate and worthy of a complaint tbh. I've never even been swabbed for thrush, just handed the prescription and sent to the chemists! Honestly it seems bizarre. Thrush treatment isn't something I'd personally class as a contraceptive service, each time I've had it its been following a course of antibiotics.

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Fri 19-Oct-12 19:38:24

that's just it bee

my daughter was not sexually active, never used a tampon, ended up in tears because she didn't know what to do and I did it in the end

I didn't mind, but must have been excruciating for her and it took ages to calm her down sufficiently to let me do it

how is that better than an impassive, professional doctor just getting it over with in a jiffy in an appropriately clinical place with a minimum of fuss ?

I don't get it

in retrospect, I should have suggested that at the time

sorry, am derailing, but it's bothered me ever since because i think it was that doctor's squeamishness and embarassment that was the problem, not me and not my dd

AnitaBlake Fri 19-Oct-12 19:51:26

I would expect a HCP to be able to take a swab like that. Unless thre was an issue like it being a male GP and no chaperone available?

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Fri 19-Oct-12 19:55:02

no, the doctor was young and female and I was with my daughter

no reason on earth to not a) ask the appropriate questions to circumvent even needing a swab in the first place 2) just do the swab herself if she felt it necessary (I can see there might be an argument to be sure with a first-complaint 14 yo that it was actually thrush)

I should have complained shouldn't I ? Shit.

AnitaBlake Fri 19-Oct-12 20:15:48

I still would love. Doesn't seem right to me at all!

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