Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Should pregnant doctors work in abortion clinics?

Now this is a situation I never thought of. If a woman is going to have an abortion, is it a conflict or a problem if the doctor performing the abortion is obviously pregnant?

A doctor in the United Kingdom asks exactly that question in a piece she wrote for the medical journal, BMJ. Is it appropriate for an obviously pregnant doctor to be doing abortions? While she was doing rotations, she was assigned to work in an abortion clinic. She was seven months pregnant at the time.

The article was not about whether she wanted or did not want to terminate pregnancies, but the situation she found herself in:

Is it appropriate for patients to see a pregnant doctor for their termination of pregnancy appointment? Is it suitable to have an obvious reminder of the alternative consequence when patients are already facing a difficult decision? Pregnancy is a familiar sight in society, and some may argue it is inevitable that some patients will be seen by a pregnant doctor. Why then is it common for efforts to be made to arrange ultrasonography sessions for women wanting an abortion separate from routine antenatal scanning? (BMJ 2010;340:c867)

What do you think?