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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:
DeladionInch · 11/08/2015 17:02

Crikey, that recent Pneumometer?! I'd still be interested to know if vasectomies and condoms come under the same classification as pills and coils to someone with ethical objections to the latter...

Pneumometer · 11/08/2015 17:02

So people from certain religions should be banned from the medical profession?

Which religions? Catholics mostly ignore the precepts of their religion, so conveniently deciding they're going to follow it on behalf of third parties is pretty silly. There is nothing like a universal view on contraception in Islam or Judaism.

If you're asking "should obsessives who adopt a hard-line view on matters that affect their job, who could behave differently but choose instead to inflict their views on others by virtue of their job be banned?" then the answer is "yes, in a heartbeat".

One is reminded of the utterly pathetic behaviour of Jonathan Edwards, who make an exhibition of himself over being unable to compete on Sundays, then decided he could when it was convenient for his career, and now claims to be an atheist. "These are my deeply held religious beliefs, but if you don't like them, I've got others".

spanisharmada · 11/08/2015 17:03

Well no I don't think people do get sacked due to their religious beliefs as I'm pretty sure that's illegal, and rightly so. It doesn't mean they are incompetent. It doesn't prevent them from providing medical care, they opt out of providing a certain type of non-emergency treatment. I don't see how else you could work it in a society that allows free thought, speech, freedom of religion etc.

FlipperSkipper · 11/08/2015 17:03

This really annoys me. I had a pharmacist refuse to sell me the morning after pill on religious grounds, which led to a very stressful Sunday driving round Leeds trying to find another pharmacy which was open (12 or so years ago). I don't think people should be able to opt out of something that's part of their job and legal in this country.

MaidOfStars · 11/08/2015 17:04

I don't understand why he didn't just pop out to get the prescription signed off while you were there. Even if you had to wait for all the other GPs to finish their appointments, the chances are you should only have waited 10 mins.

RoobyTuesday · 11/08/2015 17:05

It's probably why he's a locum - his 'ethical views' have probably made him unemployable on a long term basis.

Gunpowder · 11/08/2015 17:07

I also think General Practice is an odd choice for someone who objects to contraception on ethical grounds. I've barely been to see my GP for anything else except contraception/pregnancy for 15 years. Imagine lots of healthy young women are the same. YANBU.

53rdAndBird · 11/08/2015 17:08

I saw a locum a few years ago who wouldn't prescribe contraception. I think there was a sign in the surgery telling people she didn't? She definitely told me at the beginning of the appointment that she didn't, so I'd need to see another GP if that's what I was there for.

I was seeing her for something unrelated to contraception, although at one point I asked if the depo injection I was on could be exacerbating any symptoms of such-and-such and she cut me off with "I don't do family planning, you'll have to speak to another GP abut that." Which does seem over the line, in retrospect - I wasn't asking her to prescribe it! Obviously she didn't want to have any conversations involving it at all...

sleepyhead · 11/08/2015 17:09

I feel very strongly that if GPs (and pharmacists) want to opt out of providing some services on ethical grounds then the onus is on them to ensure patients are made aware of this before any consultation.

How they do that is up to them, but it's not on to pass possibly vulnerable women from pillar to post, or to make them wait longer than other patients.

A friend unfortunately was seen by such a GP when seeking an early termination. This person's personal ethics went so far as to string her along until it was too late for a medical termination. I presume his thinking was that she might reconsider if given long enough Angry .

diddl · 11/08/2015 17:09

The problem is that OP was inconvenienced due to GPs ethics & that shouldn't be happening.

He spoke to OP about it & then wouldn't prescribe which seems odd to me.

Why not print out a prescription & get someone else to sign?

Bullshitbingo · 11/08/2015 17:10

Yep, people do get sacked for their religious beliefs. There was a registrar a few years ago who refused to conduct civil partnerships because of her 'Christian beliefs' and was given the heave ho. Too right too. She was unable to do a basic part of her job, and so she needed a different job.

Pneumometer · 11/08/2015 17:11

It doesn't prevent them from providing medical care, they opt out of providing a certain type of non-emergency treatment. I don't see how else you could work it in a society that allows free thought, speech, freedom of religion etc.

Should vegetarians be able to get a job in a slaughter house, and then sit in the office all day refusing to take part in the work of the business?

Should people with religious objections to alcohol be able to get a job in a distillery but demand one which doesn't involve contact with or support for the production of alcohol?

There are a lot of jobs that don't involve prescribing contraceptives. Don't like it? Don't get a job as a doctor. In other news: if you think that motor sport is a wasteful environmental disaster, being Lewis Hamilton's race engineer is probably not the job for you.

spanisharmada · 11/08/2015 17:13

Bullshit fair enough I didn't know that.

PeterParkerSays · 11/08/2015 17:14

About 10 years ago we lived in East London and our local GP practice wouldn't provide contraception, presumably to men or women. We were told when we looked to register, so we went elsewhere. It was a Catholic area though, so I guess the GP(s) (can't remember if there were one or two) were part of the congregation.

I agree that the Receptionsist should have told you when you booked - we found out before we registered as the Receptionist told my DP when he asked about registering so we knew where the Practice stood before we joined them.

Pneumometer · 11/08/2015 17:14

There was a registrar a few years ago who refused to conduct civil partnerships because of her 'Christian beliefs' and was given the heave ho.

Here's another similar case:

CoogerAndDark · 11/08/2015 17:14

What other 'ethical' beliefs would people be prepared to put up with?

Not treating elderly people As they've had their time?
Not treating people with disabilities as they shouldn't be here in the first place?

Abhorrent views, but people do hold them. Should a GP not be sacked for that if it's reported? Don't see why women should have to be the ones to pussyfoot round the sensibilities of medieval throwbacks.

MrsDeVere · 11/08/2015 17:16

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bettyboophead · 11/08/2015 17:16

I've had this happen (9 years ago). The (male) GP then spent 10 minutes telling me how rewarding he found his voluntary work at the local convent every second Friday afternoon.
I had no interest in his faith and it was entirely inappropriate. I changed practices thereafter.

slightlyconfused85 · 11/08/2015 17:17

He talked to me about it, ie explained that often women have the progesterone only pill for x reason. Then he told me he wouldn't prescribe it for ethical reasons.

OP posts:
Pneumometer · 11/08/2015 17:18

What other 'ethical' beliefs would people be prepared to put up with?

One must necessarily be cautious about the source, who are nutters, but the story is mostly just quoting The Times.

spanisharmada · 11/08/2015 17:20

coogar wouldn't those examples go against the doctors pledge (what ever it is) to preserve life etc? So its a bit of a different scenario really I think.
Ha MrsDeVere good point!

CoogerAndDark · 11/08/2015 17:22

In order to be completely fair to all patients and not to single out any one faith or firmly held ethical beliefs GPs should be banned from letting what they believe affect in any way, the care of their patients. Or they don't get to hold onto their status as GPs. Or any other medical professional.

CalmYourselfTubbs · 11/08/2015 17:22

report this and keep escalating it until you get some satisfaction.
people like this shouldn't be allowed practice medicine.

CoogerAndDark · 11/08/2015 17:24

Like if a woman's health would be seriously affected by becoming pregnant, spanisharmada?
They are going against the oath if they refuse to prescribe contraception. Just as would be if they refused treatment to anyone else.

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