IUD: First case in Norway regarding the right to conscientious objection

Publié le 4 Oct, 2016

In Norway, Doctor Jachimowicz has been struck off for refusing to implant an IUD on the grounds of conscientious objection. This summer she took legal action to contest the decision. This is the first case of its kind in Norway.  


In December 2015, Doctor Katarzyna Jachimowicz, a Hospital General Practitioner “was dismissed for refusing to implant an IUD in a patient”. As far as Doctor Jachimowicz is concerned, “this device may prove abortive since it prevents the implantation of the pre-conceived embryo in the uterus”. But the hospital refused to accept her argument. However, employed by this hospital since 2010, “an agreement had been concluded with colleagues, confirming that she would not steer patients towards abortion or abortive methods”.


Recently amended Norwegian legislation “deprives doctors of the conscientious objection clause when prescribing any form of contraception”, including insertion of the Intrauterine Device “which, according to the Norwegian Government, does not have an abortive effect”.


Doctor Jachimowicz has received support from several associations. According to Doctor Vegard Wyller, Professor at Oslo University, this case of conscientious objection is “typical” but the outcome of the case is uncertain: “If the doctor concerned remains in post despite her opinions, this means that the State is employing someone who is against freedom of choice in terms of abortion and contraception. If she is dismissed, this means that the State is breaching freedom of choice, proving to be discriminatory and intolerant”. 

Institut Européen de Bioéthique (15/09/2016)

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