Tuesday, 16 December 2008

The Right to Choose

It's not rocket science.

I've just came back from my morning lecture with an extended break, so thought I'd hit a few points that are on my mind. I'll go onto the ever contentious issue of abortion soon. A quick couple before, though.

The AM lecture was unfortunately cut short, but I'm quite glad. The course has tried to make a session on the massive problem of domestic violence into half a session, which I think is plain offensive. It would've been the arse end of the session, too, which is when most of the morons I sit in lecture theatres with are itching to stop learning and go for their second overpriced cup of coffee of the day. They don't have any money, obviously.

Staying on the point of the sections of my year group who don't seem to care much for the learning part of learning, I was quite amused to be sat in front of a row of girls (actually quite young, in respect to the average age of someone on my course) who talked all the way through the lecture. And I mean talk. Not whisper. And it's not even a big lecture theatre. It amused me more than it disturbed me, to tell the truth, as I can actually multi-task. But I feel bad for the lecturer (a person I quite like) who shouldn't really have to work with the behaviour generally reserved for a group of Year 11 girls sat at the back of a R.E. class. I've made a mental note to sit closer to the front, just in case. Anyway, the girls were shouted at (in hushed tones) by other colleagues, to much cringing and looking away. Funny old world, certainly. This afternoon's session is ran by someone with much more strength of character, shall we say? It should be interesting.

During the AM session, though, an idea came up. Can a nurse be an advocate if a patient is partaking in something they do not agree with? Should they feel guilty if they don't? The side of the room featuring me has to say a nurse shouldn't feel guilty, and we moved onto abortion. Boy, did I end up biting my tongue.

If someone doesn't agree with abortion on 'moral' grounds, or out of some other personal opinion, then fine. Feel free. But once, /especially/ as a nurse, you start to press your own opinions onto someone, onto someone's choices and treatments, you're so wrong it's untrue. I think smoking is a silly idea. Not a 'sin', or against the view of some great deity who may or may not existed, just silly. I do not, however, state clearly that I think someone should be denied treatment because of this choice (which will harm them and do very little good, so is almost against my stance on the 4 pillars of ethical practice) they've made. If someone has had an Myocardial Infarct and subsequently needed a CABG (a 'bypass') to repair it and yet continues smoking I would not deny them treatment, or deny them (in the above case) my advocacy. Nurses don't get to choose who they help in this country, and that's a good thing. Murderer, paedophile, terrorist - nurses should not be casting judgement which will influence their care and treatment on any patients who come their way.

EDIT: It was sad to see and hear most of the anti-choicers bringing out familiar old anecdotes from the Nadine Dorries school of fearmongering. Dead babies, floating in toilets and in kidney dishes, or maybe still alive, gasping for air. Same old biased bullshit, which does in no way reflect the wide range of cases, issues and types of abortion. And portrays abortion, as well as the woman who make such a choice, in a negative, prejudiced light. I was sad, but not surprised. Fear is a powerful tool.

My stance on abortion is similar to my standpoint on most life choices. Noone else matters except the person making the choice. I don't care if, in this example, a baby could survive outside the womb at 2 weeks. That's immaterial. It's the woman in questions right to choose. Not rocket science. The fact that I've met several student nurses who seem to think this isn't the case is downright wrong. Advocates, as it states we should be in the Code, nevermind ethical practice, they are not.

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