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Trainee sexual health doctors and nurses can refuse to provide emergency contraception if it is against their religious beliefs, according to new guidelines.
This comes after opposing organisations accused the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) of discriminating against Christian doctors who may be pro-life.
Guidelines - Trainee - Staff - Emergency - Contraception
Guidelines have therefore been updated that allow trainee medical staff to opt out of prescribing emergency contraception providing alternative arrangements can be made and there is no judgement towards patients.
President Dr Asha Kasliwal, president of the FSRH, said: 'The heart of the new guideline is that we welcome members with a range of views, and we will award the relevant qualifications to those who fulfil all training requirements and are willing to show that they will put patient care first, regardless of their personal beliefs.'
Cent - Women - UK - Use - Emergency
Around six per cent of women in the UK use emergency contraception every year, particularly those in their 20s.
'There is a wide spectrum of views'
Set - Guidance - Trainees - Right - Professionals
The first set of guidance for trainees, produced in 1999, recognised the legal right of healthcare professionals in the UK to opt out of abortion care.
It was updated in 2014 to include nurses who by then had become eligible for Faculty membership.
Christian - Medical - Fellowship - CMF - Faculty
Yet the Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF) accused the Faculty of discriminating against Christian doctors as the guidance stated healthcare professionals must be able to provide all forms of contraception in order to be awarded the Faculty's diploma.
The campaign was picked up by certain individuals in the US and a handful of members of both houses of the British parliament.
Dr - Kasliwal - CMF - Article - Defending
Dr Kasliwal said: 'Believing the CMF article to be inflammatory and largely inaccurate, we felt comfortable "defending" our stance as it seemed entirely reasonable that as a training organisation we should expect a Diploma-qualified member to be willing to carry out full...
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