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Victory on Conscientious Objection at Council of Europe
Contact: Richard Schneider, Institut Sephoris, +32495257444
MEDIA ADVISORY, Oct. 8 /Christian Newswire/ -- Yesterday in the "Council of Europe," the 47 European Member States international organisation, an attack against the right of conscientious objection in medical care has been totally defeated.
Led by the Labour MP Christine McCafferty, with the support of the pro-abortion organisation Catholics for Choice (CFC) the report on "the problem of unregulated use of conscientious objection" launched a broad attack against the individual's freedom of conscience, mainly focusing on medical personnel. This was evidenced once the Report diverted into nebulous notions of sexual and reproductive health rights which concern one medical procedure alone – abortion. The second major concern focused on the report's request that Member States regulate a fundamental liberty: freedom of conscience.
Founded on no opinion of medical personnel, and no essential data nor compelling evidence, the report was based on the expertise of flawed experts such as Dr Christian Fiala, President of the International Federation of Professional Abortion and Contraception Associates, Austria, and Ms Christina Zampas, Senior Regional Manager and Legal Adviser for Europe of the Center for Reproductive Rights (New York/Stockholm).  Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch lobbied in support of the report stating in a letter to the Council, "Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch share the deep concern expressed by the Committee about the increasing and largely unregulated occurrence of conscientious objection, especially in the field of reproductive health care, in many Council of Europe member states."
On Thursday afternoon at 4.00 pm, rejecting this ideology, the Assembly adopted the Resolution 1763 (2010) on "the right to conscientious objection in lawful medical care" which states that no person, hospital or institution shall be coerced, held liable or discriminated against in any manner because of a refusal to perform, accommodate, assist or submit to an abortion, the performance of a human miscarriage, or euthanasia or any act which could cause the death of a human foetus or embryo, for any reason. The Parliamentary Assembly emphasized the need to affirm the right of conscientious objection. It concludes that in the vast majority of Council of Europe member states, the practice of conscientious objection is adequately regulated. There is a comprehensive and clear legal and policy framework governing the practice of conscientious objection by healthcare providers ensuring that the interests and rights of individuals seeking legal medical services are respected, protected and fulfilled.
The Assembly invites Council of Europe member states to develop comprehensive and clear regulations that define and regulate conscientious objection with regard to health and medical services, which guarantee the right to conscientious objection in relation to participation in the procedure in question; in view of member states' obligation to ensure respect for the right of freedom of thought, conscience and religion of healthcare providers.