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NHS: Staff

Volume 712: debated on Monday 5 October 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether NHS patients have the right to know whether doctors and nurses working for the National Health Service are in favour of (a) abortion, and (b) assisted suicide. [HL5385]

National Health Service patients do not have the right to know healthcare professionals' personal views on abortion and assisted suicide. However, healthcare professionals have to follow their professional bodies' standards on competence, ethics and conduct. In addition, the department's guidance Religion or belief: a practical guide for the NHS (2009) states that it is vital to ensure that the personal beliefs of healthcare staff do not adversely affect the care, or be allowed to influence any advice, given to patients. A copy of this guidance has been placed in the Library.