Assisting in abortions

  1. 0
    I was watching an old episode of ER and it got me thinking (dangerous, I know). In the episode, an abortion clinic was bombed and the ER was receiving the casualties. One patient was in the middle of an abortion when the bomb went off and the abortion was not completed. When this was found out, the doctor's had to complete the abortion because she was bleeding out and crashing. An intern refused to participate even though without completing the abortion the patient would most likely die.

    My question is, legally do nurses have to participate in a case like this? I've thought over the possible answers and can't decide.

    Please, please do not turn this into a debate over whether or not abortion should be legal or not. I'm not looking into personal views, but the legalities of not participating.
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  5. 0
    I don't know what the policy is for something like that where i work, but, IMO, i wouldn't feel like i had the right to refuse in an emergency, and i would feel like i just let the pt. die.

    Routine ones is another story. I made sure that the place i work didn't do them, so it's not an issue for me.
    Last edit by Marie_LPN, RN on Mar 8, '06
  6. 0
    ER is fiction, right? I don't know why it would even be a question to complete an abortion for a woman who was bleeding out.

    Personally, I would not initially choose a field that involved assisting in abortions (say, working for a gyn who does abortions), but if it incidentally came up as part of my job I would assist.
  7. 0
    I believe the moral objection applies.Unlike the clinic's, you are not
    the medical assistant or nurse regularly taking part. You would likely
    have other nurses who can step in if they feel compelled.
  8. 0
    You would likely
    have other nurses who can step in if they feel compelled.
    Assuming there's one that can step in, who isn't tied up with something else.
  9. 0
    What a loaded question you have asked. It's hard not to put a personal view into addressing your question, but I'm going to take up your challenge and just speak in terms of what I think about legality.

    Whatever you need to do to save a pt's life, you probably have to do legally. The abortion is already well underway and irreversible, we are to assume, right? So the only issue at hand is are you obligated to do what you can to prevent a human being from bleeding to death? I think when it comes down to that, you have to - that is the role you agreed upon when you became a nurse, especially whilst on duty in the hospital. You cannot abandon your pt.
  10. 0
    If allowing her to bleed out was more morally correct to this intern or nurse then fine. But then they need to explain why this woman was allowed to die because they refused.
  11. 0
    Once you get to the point where the mother's life is in danger the baby is done no matter what you do. So if the situation described I don't see any reason for moral objection...can someone clarify if I'm wrong?
  12. 0
    I doubt there such a thing as moral objection in law, which allows a nurse to abandon a pt.
  13. 0
    Quote from epiphany
    What a loaded question you have asked. It's hard not to put a personal view into addressing your question, but I'm going to take up your challenge and just speak in terms of what I think about legality.

    Whatever you need to do to save a pt's life, you probably have to do legally. The abortion is already well underway and irreversible, we are to assume, right? So the only issue at hand is are you obligated to do what you can to prevent a human being from bleeding to death? I think when it comes down to that, you have to - that is the role you agreed upon when you became a nurse, especially whilst on duty in the hospital. You cannot abandon your pt.
    This is what I was thinking. It was past the point of no return. The fetus is already dead, so why not try to save the woman's life? Plus, if the fetus is dead there's no way you can explain letting the woman die. You have to stand by your patient.


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