Doctor protests fine for refusing abortion
PR dla Zagranicy
The head of a Warsaw hospital has said he will appeal against a fine meted out by the National Health Fund for refusing to organise a legal abortion as his 'conscience' would not allow it.
Members of the press outside Professor Bogdan Chazan's Hospital of the Holy Family. Photo: PAP/Pawel Supernak
Professor Bogdan Chazan's Hospital of the Holy Family has been ordered to pay 70,000 zloty (16,900 euro) after he both refused the operation and then declined to help the woman obtain an abortion elsewhere.
In spite of Poland's strict abortion laws, the operation would have been legal, as the foetus was damaged.
However, Chazan rejected the fine on Thursday night.
“This punishment is not suitable and it is repressive,” he told the TVN24 news channel.
“The hospital would have received 1600 zloty for carrying out the abortion, and now it must pay 70,000,” he said.
“This is a ransom for the life of a child,” he argued, adding that”killing a child is murder.”
The case has proved highly divisive in Poland.
Technically, doctors are entitled to decline an abortion as conscientious objectors, but they are bound by law to help facilitate the operation elsewhere.
Professor Chazan was among a group of about 3000 medics who signed a declaration reaffirming their right to invoke the conscience clause in Polish law. The declaration was prepared to accompany the canonisation of Pope John Paul II in April 2014.
The Roman Catholic Church in Poland has stood firmly behind the signatories.
Poland's laws only permit abortions if a woman's life or health is jeopardised by the continuation of a pregnancy, if the pregnancy is a result of a criminal act such as rape, or if the foetus is seriously malformed. The abortion must be carried out in the first 25 weeks of the pregnancy.(nh)