The Right to Choose
Meagan N. Miller
Dr. Lockhart- NURS 3300
Texas State University
The Right to Choose
Should nurses and other healthcare individuals be able to refuse help or aide to an individual based on their personal, spiritual or ethical beliefs? Over the past decade or two, questions have been raised concerning healthcare workers being forced to accommodate individuals who choose abortion, even if it violates their personal ethics and beliefs.
The significance of abortion within society is viewed differently based on personal beliefs and culturally acceptable norms. Abortion in relation to nursing holds the same differences in viewpoints but adds the aspects of liability and supposed neutrality. As healthcare professionals, we are taught to treat every patient with the same respect and care. Unfortunately, abortion is such a delicate subject and one that individuals feel strongly about, whether negatively or positively, that one might find it hard to treat every patient the same. With abortion being a choice within the first trimester and also a choice throughout the pregnancy if the mother is in danger or there are complications with the fetus, viewpoints throughout society and within specific cultures vary quite dramatically. Whether viewed as medically necessary or as a choice, some still view abortion as the ending of a life and for a lot of individuals, bring about a montage of emotions.
The history of abortion dates back to Roman Law, where it was considered legal. Laws prohibiting abortion came about in the mid-1800’s and by 1900, most had been outlawed. (Tanne, 2008) Abortion was legalized in 1973 in the infamous Roe vs. Wade, giving a woman the right to decide what happens to her body within the first trimester, gave the state power to intervene in the second trimester, and ban it in the third trimester. In 1992, in Planned Parenthood vs. Casey, the court overturned Roe’s trimester approach and introduced the concept of...