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ICMDA calls on World Medical Association to uphold freedom of conscience at their General Assembly

Published: 7th September 2018
The International Christian Medical and Dental Association has written to the President and General Secretary of the World Medical Association (WMA) asking them to continue to support the right to conscientious objection on grounds of religious or ethical beliefs in the performance of abortion, euthanasia and assisted suicide.
Specifically in the case of abortion, a proposed, new abortion policy will be voted on at the General Assembly in Reykjavik 3-7 October. ICMDA have expressed concerns that this only allows freedom of conscience with respect to performing an abortion, but requires doctors to refer and offer clinical advice. ICMDA have asked that specific wording in the policy includes advising and referring under conscientious objection.
In addition, the policy will state that doctors must perform 'those procedures necessary to save the woman's life and prevent serious injury to her health'. While supporting this, ICMDA are concerned that this leaves a loophole in the area of mental health, meaning a doctor could be obliged to perform an abortion if it was said that the woman would suffer distress or mental health issues - which could effectively lead to compelling doctors to participate in abortion in non life-threatening circumstances. ICMDA has therefore argued for the wording to be specifically about preventing serious injury to her physical health.
Finally, the WMA has a policy of not supporting euthanasia and assisted dying. However, ICMDA is keen that they make it clear that in those countries that do permit euthanasia that doctors should have the right to conscientious objection to participation or referral.
You can read the full letter here.Go to news story: http://icmda.net/
See also: http://admin.cmf.org.uk/pdf/international/Letter to WMA from ICMDA.pdf Source: ICMDA

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Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF) was founded in 1949 and is an interdenominational organisation with over 4,000 British doctor members in all branches of medicine. A registered charity, it is linked to about 65 similar bodies in other countries throughout the world.

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