Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill 2019: proposed amendments

07 August 2019

A statement from Dr Vijay Roach, President of The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

The proposed amendments call into question the standards and ethics of the medical profession, seeking to regulate and control practice. The risk is to undermine confidence in the profession. The public have every reason to believe that doctors currently deliver all aspects of healthcare in a compassionate, reasoned and ethical manner. This is true of all RANZCOG members. This is a matter of trust. It applies to every interaction between a doctor and their patient. Safeguards already exist and the risk of legislated changes is that they potentially restrict the doctor’s ability to deliver patient-centred care, taking into account the unique circumstances of each individual. Informed consent, consultation, facilitation of counselling, credentialing of practitioners and the obligation to ensure, and not obstruct, health care are obligations of the profession today.
RANZCOG encourages the NSW parliament to pass the Bill without amendment.
The proposed amendments would undermine the purpose of the Bill which is to remove abortion from the Criminal Code and to ensure that women are able to receive the care that they need in a timely, professional, compassionate and respectful manner. Australian women deserve that autonomy and Australian doctors deserve that professional respect.

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