Many anti-choice health care professionals, however, feel it is their duty to refuse to deliver care to patients when abortion procedures are involved (Schneider, 1994, pp. 16-22).
Six principles of ethics are applicable to the role of the health care professional with respect to the issue of abortion. These six principles are autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, fidelity, justice, and veracity.
Autonomy requires that a health care professional be independent in action and decision-making, and accept responsibility for her or his actions and the consequences of those actions (Milner, 1993, p. 23). Autonomy, however, may also be interpreted to mean that the patient has a right of self-determination concerning actions related her own life. The ethical principle of autonomy is applicable to the issue of abortion where the autonomous rights of patient and health care professional conflict with one another. The health care professional has no right to impose her or his will on a patient. Thus, if a health care professional is unable to respond to the needs of all patients, he or she likely should leave the profession.
Beneficence requires a health care professional to do what