Go to Top

Doctors’ right to refuse abortion advice upheld

The High Court has upheld the right of doctors who object to abortion to opt out of giving advice to patients seeking the procedure.

The court last month heard a case taken by Wellington GP Catherine Hallagan, who objected to proposed changes to Medical Council guidelines regarding beliefs and medical practice.

Her lawyer said the proposed guidelines went too far in defining the way in which doctors should handle patients seeking the procedure.

However, the Medical Council’s lawyer said they struck an appropriate balance between doctors’ and patients’ rights.

In his decision, Justice Mackenzie has found the proposed guidelines fail to recognise a doctor’s ability to decline to provide the service requested.