Revised advice to physicians on medically indicated termination of pregnancy has been issued by the World Medical Association.
At its recent annual General Assembly in Reykjavik, the WMA reiterated that where the law allows medically indicated termination of pregnancy to be performed, the procedure should be carried out by a competent physician.
However, it agreed that in extreme cases it could be performed by another qualified health care worker. An extreme case would be a situation where only an abortion would save the life of the mother and no physician was available, as might occur in many parts of the world. This amends previous WMA advice from 2006 that only physicians should undertake such procedures.
A group of Brisbane obstetricians and gynaecologists is calling for the right to opt out of performing abortions, if a bill decriminalising the practice gets through the Queensland Parliament. The group has made a submission to the parliamentary inquiry into proposed laws to take abortion out of Queensland’s criminal code. The inquiry is currently underway in Brisbane.