The Microethics and Macroethics of Hospital Abortion Committees
Journal of Clinical Ethics. 1992 Fall; 3(3): 234-238.
Concluding remarks: The experience with abortion committees in the United States and in Canada has shown that they lead to inefficiency, inequity, and delays in treatment. Their policies and procedures may sacrifice patient autonomy and patient well-being. In consequence, any major move to set up abortion committees in the 1990s should be avoided. It is not that abortion committees have no positive function; rather, any advantages are outweighed by the disadvantages. While I have focused on the disadvantages of AECs and contrasted them with HECs, I should note that many questions have also been raised about HECs....[I]t needs to be noted and stressed that the macroethics and microethics of medicine are intertwined and that macroethical decisions are likely to have a profound effect on the microethics of the profession. This is clearly the case with a sectarian hospital's abortion committee, where the establishment of a committee to serve sectarian policies -- a macroethical issue -- impacts day-to-day activities in the hospital that are of microethical concern.
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