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458 replies

slightlyconfused85 · 11/08/2015 15:24

Now before I start I generally think Gps are amazing people, I'm not dissing the profession. Today, however, I booked an appointment to get the contraceptive pill after the birth of my 2nd child. I was given an appointment with a locum who explained my options to me, then said he didn't prescribe contraception for ethical reasons. I then had to wait 45 minutes for another gp to be able to fit me in to prescribe this for me. Aibu to think that if the gp surgery is going to have locums that won't do this then they could have let me know on the phone when I booked? I know the receptionist didn't know what I wanted but they could say if it's an appointment to discuss contraception then say and we will find a different GP. Had loads of time wasted today and feeling (probably irrationally) irritable about it!

OP posts:
Pico2 · 14/08/2015 12:43

Lavenderice - I think in those areas women can self refer for terminations. So the GP just gives them the leaflet/ phone number and the woman calls to make an appointment with no GP letter needed. The abortion clinic then provides the two doctors to sign the form.

PearHead · 14/08/2015 12:49

lavenderice, yes, it's a fair point. I'm pro-choice (unreservedly so in the first trimester and more pro-choice than average after that. Weirdly, having a premature baby has made me even more pro-choice than I was previously). I think we've got to accept, though, that abortion still is to some extent a contentious issue in our society, even among those who are pro-choice, and many doctors will have their doubts. The self-referral system seems a decent one if it works in practice, as it removes the onus from the GP - and one would thus hope judgement from the patient's choice.

Contraception isn't generally a contentious issue (except among a tiny minority) and I don't think we should be giving that minority a voice.

Pneumometer · 14/08/2015 12:55

The self-referral system seems a decent one if it works in practice

What would stop the people who work at the place to which people self-refer suddenly discovering similar moral qualms?

I think in those areas women can self refer for terminations

So long as they can travel the 120 miles. Doctors should care for people irrespective of income, but apparently that's secondary to their personal moral purity.

PearHead · 14/08/2015 13:09

Pneumometer, that's pretty much what I meant by "if it works in practice". I don't know whether it does work in practice. If that sort of pathway means fewer and fewer places that provide terminations and greater difficulty/inconvenience in accessing a termination, then I it's obviously not working.

Pico2 · 14/08/2015 13:11

Given that GP surgeries don't actually have the facilities to perform terminations (perhaps they could do medical ones) women will have to travel to the nearest clinic with suitable facilities anyway.

Sixweekstowait · 14/08/2015 14:28

I just don't understand why you are allowed to be a GP and opt out of providing or referring to any legally available treatment. I just don't get it really. There are plenty of careers in medicine that don't involve making 'ethical' judgements about what women are and are not allowed to do to their bodies. N

HelenaDove · 14/08/2015 14:43

The trouble with 45 min delays is they can get you into trouble at work. 12 years ago i was on the Depo and the surgery was running behind. I had to wait.

When i got back to work my boss interrogated me because she thought i must have sloped off somewhere else afterwards being as the surgery was only around the corner.

Now this delay couldnt have been helped but the one in the OP could have been.

HelenaDove · 14/08/2015 14:45

Agree with Pneumometer. Add in the fact that women are still paid a lot less than men as well as having to take time off work and pay to travel miles to get access to what she needs.

It certainly looks like hatred of women to me.

TenForward82 · 14/08/2015 14:47

Irritates me even more when this behaviour comes from female GPs.

bumbleymummy · 14/08/2015 15:02

I think you would lose some amazing nurses, doctors and surgeons if conscientious objection wasn't allowed.

SmillasSenseOfSnow · 14/08/2015 15:26

I think the majority would be replaced by equally amazing nurses, doctors and surgeons if these people were weeded out at the application stage. There's no shortage of well-qualified applicants, and large parts of the selection process are somewhat arbitrary.

For HCPs gaining such views later on in their career - that's more of an issue in a situation where they are not contractually obliged to provide the service. To be honest I don't think the conscientious objection thing is because of anything 'special' about abortion and contraception etc. I just think it's because it costs something like £250,000 to produce a medical graduate (or was that a consultant? Either way it's a lot of time and money).

Pneumometer · 14/08/2015 15:44

There's no shortage of well-qualified applicants

Well, about 1 in 5 training posts for GPs weren't taken up this year. But the reasons for that are very complex.

SmillasSenseOfSnow · 14/08/2015 16:52

Well, about 1 in 5 training posts for GPs weren't taken up this year. But the reasons for that are very complex.

To medical school.

And yes, there is an ever-increasing pile of reasons why people don't want to become GPs.

Sixweekstowait · 14/08/2015 16:54

bumble and your evidence base is? I would say good riddance actually - I suspect their motives for being in GP

CoogerAndDark · 14/08/2015 17:05

I don't see someone who judges my life choices and witholds legal treatment or medication as 'amazing'.

bumbleymummy · 14/08/2015 17:56

I don't think we should assume that someone isn't a good GP or surgeon because they don't want to carry out certain procedures for ethical reasons.

If certain doctors were refusing to carry out circumcisions because it was against their beliefs I doubt many MNers would be criticising them and suggesting that they be replaced because they aren't doing their job.

TenForward82 · 14/08/2015 17:59

Actually I would criticise them, even though I disagree with circumcisions.

And I do think that someone who can't put their own views aside for the good of the patient are not to be trusted.

bumbleymummy · 14/08/2015 18:02

Perhaps I should add 'for non-medical reasons' in there.

TenForward82 · 14/08/2015 18:05

You mean circumcisions for non-medical reasons? Well, I don't think non-medical procedures should really fall under doctors remit anyway. Like I don't expect the NHS to give boob jobs to women unless their bust is causing them actual diagnosed psychological distress. I can't think of a non-medical example that I would approve of, but suggestions welcome.

bumbleymummy · 14/08/2015 18:12

Technically, circumcisions for non-medical reasons are legal procedures though. So if a doctor is trained and capable of performing them should s/he do so even though he doesn't agree with it? I think if a doctor posted 'AIBU to refuse to perform a circumcision on this baby because I don't agree with them' s/he would get more YANBU than 'YABU and should be replaced for not doing your job'.

Pneumometer · 14/08/2015 18:14

Technically, circumcisions for non-medical reasons are legal procedures though.

But are not available on the NHS. So the while question of whether an NHS doctor should or should not do them is somewhat moot.

bumbleymummy · 14/08/2015 18:17

In some places they do. From the NHS:

"It is important to note that some CCGs in England do currently fund religious or ritual circumcision on the NHS. The decision is based on priorities that relate to its own local population."

TenForward82 · 14/08/2015 18:17

I do take your point, but we're focusing on medical procedures, which I think are a priority. Also, as the law currently isn't on our side for this, we're more talking about an "ideal world" scenario. So my point is, in an ideal world, the NHS wouldn't be wasting time on non-medical procedures OR ethical buck-passing, but since their priorities seem to be screwed up, we've got our work cut out for us.

As it stands at the moment, I wouldn't be happy if doctors objected to any legal procedure for their own ethical reasons, non-medical OR medical.

Christinayanglah · 14/08/2015 18:24

Why are gps different from any other Health and Social care professionals?

I have spent years in social work being trained to leave my own values at the door and work within social work values, ie non judge mental. I have worked with substance misuse, child protection and sex offenders to name but a few and I have had to treat everyone equally despite my own feelings

In occupations where your role is to help and care you shouldn't get to decide who that applies too

Sixweekstowait · 14/08/2015 18:43

Christina yyyy. To be considered suitable to do my work, I have regular equality and diversity training and am regularly appraised on my ability to make decisions on a non- judgemental basis. I would lose my job if I reacted differently to a doctor who refused to offer contraception to a woman for example.

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