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International – Pro-life doctor wins case in Norwegian Supreme Court

November 2018

Dr. Katarzyna Jachimowicz (left)
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A pro-life doctor, who was dismissed from her job because she refused to implant a contraceptive device which may cause an abortion, has won her case at the Norwegian Supreme Court.

The Court found that Dr Katarzyna Jachimowicz acted within her rights when refusing to follow through with a medical procedure to which she had a moral objection.

In 2015, Dr Jachimowicz lost her employment with a general practitioner clinic in the municipality of Sauherad. She had refused to insert intrauterine devices (IUDs), which can act as abortifacients.

A lower court found that she had a right to refuse to perform the procedure, but healthcare authorities appealed the decision. The case was then heard at the Supreme Court of Norway at the end of August 2018.

ADF International, a human rights organisation, supported the pro-life doctor’s case. Spokesman Robert Clarke said, ‘Nobody should be forced to choose between following their conscience or pursuing their profession.

‘We welcome this ruling from the Norwegian Supreme Court. It will set new standards for the protection of fundamental conscience rights in Norway and beyond.

‘The Court’s findings recognise the fundamental right to conscientious objection for medical staff, as protected by international law’.