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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:
slightlyconfused85 · 11/08/2015 19:35

Biscetti I've no idea exactly how old he was, or indeed how old the youngest Gps would be! He looked young, 20 something

OP posts:
RunnerHasbeen · 11/08/2015 19:48

If it were an ethical question, you would need to have all the facts before you decided what to do, for example: if woman is taking teratogenic medications then yes, there is some real arguments both ways. To have a dogmatic all encompassing answer is religious and he should not be allowed to use the term ethical in this context. It sounds loftier and as if there is a reasoned debate to be had. I really think he should be forced to say "religious reasons," so patients can just dismiss him and not take it personally.

NoNameDame · 11/08/2015 19:49

Ridiculous. Sadly anywhere you escalate it to will probably care more about his 'religious freedoms' than your right to adequate healthcare as an nhs patient.

Each doctor you see, not just some, have a duty to provide healthcare in line with what the nhs is set out to do, he should not have become a doctor.

RedRowanBerries · 11/08/2015 19:49

Very unprofessional. I object to the taxpayers money spent training him.

didyouwritethe · 11/08/2015 19:51

If he thinks contraception is unethical, he should be campaigning to get the NHS to ban it. Hmm Not individually punishing individual patients. Don't be part of a system if you disapprove that strongly of it.

spanisharmada · 11/08/2015 19:51

Ten we already are in a position where docs can refuse to prescribe contraception, refer for abortions etc, and i have never heard of anyone having to travel from Kent to Scotland, or anything similar, to access contraception or a termination. I think you're getting a bit over zealous in your proclamations to be honest. OP wasn't refused treatment, she just had to hang around abit for her free prescription, incovenient yes but hardly a reason to sack all GP's who have a moral/religious/ethical objection to prescribing contraception/referring patients to abortion clinics personally.

Starbrite00 · 11/08/2015 19:52

I'm not actually sure what the hp said was legal? I could be wrong but I think they have to prescribe.

TenForward82 · 11/08/2015 19:56

Spanisharmada, we're clearly going to have to agree to disagree on this one. However:

  • I'm not talking about now. That's why I used the word "eventually". If we don't limit this, it's where we COULD end up.
  • it's not free, presumably the OP pays her taxes, which contribute to the NHS. Plus, whether or not the prescription is free is irrelevant. It's a service (and prescription) she's legally entitled to.
  • I've already explained the reasons why I feel letting your personal beliefs affect your ability to do your job is unfair, so I'm not going to restate. You're clearly not to be swayed on this topic.
didyouwritethe · 11/08/2015 19:57

Spanisharmada, it's the way she was made to feel which matters here. GPs aren't just selling stuff.

Pumpkinette · 11/08/2015 20:04

This is precisely why I now go to the Well Woman Clinic for contraception and smear tests (not sure if you have these clinics in the rest of the UK or if it's just in Scotland). I had a similar experience as the OP with a Dr when I was 17. I was young and it was the first time I was seeking any contraception. I found the whole thing really embarrassing, I obviously thought I was being responsible going to the Dr to get the pill but I left feeling like I shouldn't have bothered. He was really condescending and smug about it too.

Booboostwo · 11/08/2015 20:05

Ten it was the easy way out as they made him someone else's problem rather than the hard way which would have been to challenge his fitness to serve as a doctor given his beliefs. His refusal to touch women was incompatible with the duties of his profession but it would have been a long and controversial road to prove this.

TenForward82 · 11/08/2015 20:10

I see, booboostwo - yes, you're right.

ElkeDagMeisje · 11/08/2015 20:26

I think the professional body needs to get a handle on all of this. Lawyers often have to represent morally repugnant cases after all, to ensure justice for all, and I'm pretty sure its disapproved upon to turn down cases just because they don't agree with what the accused has done. That seems professional to me. Not doing stuff as part of your job because you don't like it doesn't.

BlackSwan · 11/08/2015 20:31

I would have stood in the waiting room and made a very loud complaint to the receptionist - named the doctor and invited all the women in the waiting room that they should boycott the judgmental prick doctor.

BlackSwan · 11/08/2015 20:31

posted in haste... you get the drift.

Pneumometer · 11/08/2015 21:03

I assume GPs who object to contraception are people who very definitely those who don't use it themselves either.

I don't care. If they don't want to work as GPs, they could have got a job as a cardiac surgeon, or a radiographer, or an anaesthetist, none of which have this moral issue. It's not as though they didn't have choices at medical school which would have avoided this decision.

RedCurlyTots · 11/08/2015 21:11

Tiptops the day that people stop killing millions of people around the world and stop raping, maiming, torturing and abusing billions of women and children in the name of some apparent "god" then I will have respect for other people's religious beliefs. In the mean time if it makes me a "bigot" to call religion fairy stories then so be it.

Lavenderice · 11/08/2015 21:11

Spanish As I said in my earlier post, my EMERGENCY operation was delayed until they found a doctor.

Tiggy Saying that it is acceptable and therefore there is no point escalating is bullshit. If people think it's wrong they should feel free to say so, and want it changed.

TenForward82 · 11/08/2015 21:20

Lavenderice, what are you complaining about? Your operation was FREE, after all.


scarlets · 11/08/2015 21:20

The GP sounds like a tool. I wish I could decide which bit of my job I didn't fancy doing, with no warning/financial penalty.

EcclefechanTart · 11/08/2015 21:37

When I was 19 I was refused the pill by a locum GP, who didn't even pass me on to someone else to prescribe it. I wanted it for two reasons - acne and contraception - but was told "I don't prescribe the contraceptive pill in cases like this as I think it encourages premarital sex". I was sent off with a liquid to rub on my face instead!

It took me months before I got up courage to go back, see a different GP, and get the pill.

TheVeryThing · 11/08/2015 21:37

I'm so angry on your behalf, misogynistic fucker. I agree that his views are incompatible with being a GP.
The way the practice handled the whole thing was shite and they should be pulled up on it.

lougle · 11/08/2015 22:08

'In emergencies, you must not refuse to provide treatment necessary to save the life of, or prevent serious deterioration in the health of, a person because the treatment conflicts with your personal beliefs.' GMC

Lurkedforever1 · 12/08/2015 10:45

Agree with ten. Not rtft, just first page and last so apologies if I'm repeating anyone, but I think tens post also applies to pharmacists and morning after pill.

jacks11 · 12/08/2015 11:01

Doctors can refuse to have involvement with terminations/contraception if that is against their beliefs (religious or ethical). This is allowed under the GMC Code of Conduct, although all doctors must provide all treatment necessary in an emergency situation, regardless of their personal beliefs.

A doctor who does not prescribe contraception or take any part in the termination of a pregnancy (that includes signing the relevant legal forms, prescribing medication or performing surgical TOP) must promptly refer the patient to a doctor who will. For instance, many GPs will not sign the TOP forms (required under the abortion act) but refer the patient to the TOP service where two doctors from the gynaecology department will sign it instead of the GP and one gynae doctor. I really don't see the problem with this.

In my opinion, the problem here was that it took so long to get a colleague to prescribe the required contraceptive pill. He could (and should) have been able to get a colleague to do this quickly- either the practice have not got an effective communications system or he didn't use it properly.

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