‘Is an abortion medically necessary?’ is not a question for ethicists to answer
Abortion raises many ethical questions. Determining whether an abortion is needed to save a pregnant person’s life or health is not among them. That’s a factual question requiring medical — not ethical — judgment.
Yet in the struggle to provide medically necessary care in a post-Dobbs world, some clinicians and institutions have mistakenly turned to ethics consultants and committees to decide whether a patient’s pregnancy may be terminated.
Take the case of Julie Rhee, an obstetrician-gynecologist in St. Louis who recently spent half a day working to comply with her institution’s new requirement for an ethics committee...