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All Engl Law Rep. 1981 Feb 5;1:545-78.

Royal College of Nursing of the United Kingdom v. Department of Health and Social Security.



The Royal College of Nursing disputed a Department of Health and Social Security statement that it was not an offense under Britain's 1967 Abortion Act for nurses to terminate a pregnancy by medical induction if a doctor decided on the termination, initiated it, and remained responsible for it. The College appealed to the Court of Appeal which reversed the judge's decision, holding that the entire process of induction had to be carried out by a doctor. The House of Lords then ruled on appeal that, since the intent of the 1967 Act was to broaden the grounds on which abortions might be lawfully obtained as part of ordinary medical care, nurses participating in pregnancy termination were protected under the Act provided that a physician prescribed the treatment, remained in charge, and accepted responsibility throughout the procedure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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