Polish hospital head fired after refusing abortion
July 10, 2014
Professor Bogdan Chazan
Warsaw's mayor has fired the director of Holy Family municipal hospital in Warsaw, professor Bogdan Chazan who had refused to perform an abortion on a seriously deformed baby citing a conscience clause.
Hanna Gronkiewicz Walzt said on Wednesday that Prof. Chazan's contract will be “terminated in accordance with the law,” as City Hall inspectors found “irregularities in the conduct of medical records.” The findings of their report into doctor's activities showed he not only refused a termination to a woman carrying a badly damaged foetus but also failed to advise her on where else it could be performed.
Chazan’s hospital had also been fined 70,000 zloty for his refusal.
In Poland, abortion is legal until the 25th week of pregnancy when the mother's life is at risk or if the fetus is badly damaged or the result of rape or incest. A doctor can refuse for reasons of conscience, but has a legal obligation to direct the patient to another doctor.
Chazan is one of some 3,000 Polish doctors who have signed a "Declaration of Faith" saying they are believers and consider abortion, birth control, in vitro fertilization and euthanasia as being against their faith.
Poland’s PM Donald Tusk had earlier said that doctors have to put their obligation to the patient and the law above their religious beliefs, referring to the case of prof. Chazan. "Regardless of what his conscience is telling him, a doctor must carry out the law," Tusk said.
The recently delivered baby is under intensive care with severe head and brain defects.