The power to exercise conscientious objection if one does not wish to participate in an abortion appears to be an inviolable right for health personnel. However, in a recent study in South Korea (read HERE) assessing the extent to which nurses make use of this prerogative, only 28.8% of those who responded to a survey were aware of this possibility or agreed to exercise it. In contrast, 68.7% thought that women’s right to abortion should be given priority over healthcare professionals’ conscientious objection. The survey also showed that 45.8% feel they would not participate in an abortion if conscientious objection was permitted by law.
45.8% feel they would not participate in an abortion if the conscious objection is legalized
The aforementioned study is a base to “Nursing leaders, researchers, and educators could appeal to nurses and involve them in making policies that balance a women’s right to non-discrimination and to receiving appropriate care with nurses’ rights to maintain their moral integrity without compromising their professional obligation.” to define their position during the construction of legal reforms to provide free abortion in the country. In this sense, Physician groups such as the Korean Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Korean Association of Obstetrics and Gynecology have already announced their position in support of physicians’ right to conscious objection and have asked for new abortion laws that include provisions ensuring the right of healthcare workers to refuse abortions.
In hour opinion these studies help nurses to resolve ethical dilemmas in the exercise of their daily work preserving their personal rights.