Doctor faulted for refusing abortion

May 9, 2012 at 11:28 AM   |   Comments

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, May 9 (UPI) -- A Swedish health board faulted a doctor who canceled a woman's abortion against her wishes after speaking to the woman's husband, who asked about alternatives.

The patient had met with the doctor in western Sweden in 2010 and said she wanted an abortion, for which an appointment was scheduled, The Local reported.

But the day before the scheduled abortion, the woman's husband asked the doctor to check to see if there were alternatives to the abortion.

The woman told the doctor she still wanted to go ahead with the abortion, a report by the National Board of Health and Welfare stated.

The doctor told the woman he was canceling the abortion because the patient "didn't seem to be mentally balanced and in a condition to make well-reasoned decisions."

The doctor recommended the woman see a counselor instead of having an abortion. But the woman said her unwanted pregnancy had caused her depression.

The woman said in a complaint filed with the health board the doctor's treatment of her was "insulting" and the doctor had deprived her of the right to make her own decision by going against her wishes

Swedish law stipulates the woman has final say over whether she has an abortion.

The health board said the doctor has a responsibility to carry out the patient's wishes, not judge how "well-reasoned" a decision is.

The board also criticized the doctor for violating patient confidentiality by discussing the woman's case with her husband and reaching an agreement with the husband that the woman should have more discussions before having an abortion.

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