Induced abortion--a doctor's point of view

O. Spierer

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial


Traditionally, the medical community has sided against abortion. However, over the past century there has been a change in this stance. This paper will explore the position of the physician and the medical community in regards to abortion. From the physician's perspective, is there not a conflict between performing an abortion and the physician's duty to save life? Does the physician not feel some hypocrisy in working to save some fetuses and aborting others? The issue of abortion can also lead to the question of what the physician's obligations are; is he or she obligated to the woman and her best interests or to the principle of upholding life? Another discussion will be devoted to abortion in Israel and the factors affecting the decision making process of the "Abortion Committees". Members of these committees weigh issues that are not expressed forthrightly in the law, such as the social situation of the pregnant woman under consideration. Furthermore, the physician's outlook and even conscience can sway his or her decision in some cases. A review committee set up by the Ministry of Health found that in many cases in which abortion was permitted, there was no legal back up for the decision. That is to say, in some cases there was found to be no correlation between the decision and the legal guidelines set out. In light of this, the committee made a number of recommendations. One of these recommendations was that in cases that permission for an abortion was granted based on a reasonable concern for the welfare of the mother or fetus, this decision should be based on medical evidence that there was in fact danger to the mother or fetus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)799-803, 858, 857
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2002


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