PM Tusk: Doctors are not above the law
PR dla Zagranicy
PM Donald Tusk has criticised a doctor who refused a request by a woman for an abortion after it was discovered the foetus she was carrying has severe brain damage.
PM Tusk in Warsaw, Tuesday: photo - PAP/Radek Pietruszka
"Regardless of what his conscience is telling him [the doctor] must carry out the law. Every patient must be sure of that,” Donald Tusk said on Tuesday after a woman complained to the health ministry that obstetrician Bogdan Chazan refused her an abortion, which is allowed under Poland's strict termination laws.
Abortions can only be granted in Poland if there is a danger to a woman's life or health or if the foetus is known to have severe defects.
The physician, Bogdan Charzan, a director at the Holy Family children's hospital in Warsaw, is one of 3,000 Roman Catholic doctors who have signed a so-called Declaration of Faith', citing a 'conscience clause' whereby medical staff can refuse to grant abortions if the procedure goes against their religious beliefs.
PM Tusk said that if prosecutors decide that a law has been broken then courts will have to rule on the issue.(pg)