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January 1967

Royal Medico-Psychological Association: Memorandum on Therapeutic Abortion, June 1966

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1967;16(1):127-129. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1967.01730190129017

THE Royal Medico-Psychological Association believes that certain courses of action in relation to therapeutic abortion should be permissible by law because they contribute, according to the best available knowledge, to the promotion of health and the prevention of disease. In this belief they do not presume to dictate to those of their members who cannot personally adopt this pragmatic view of medical ethics; they must clearly be free to adhere to the ethical standards prescribed by their religion or philosophy. Indeed, the Association would be opposed to legislation which might bring pressure on an individual doctor to act contrary to his conscience.

The Royal Medico-Psychological Association approaches the problem of therapeutic abortion with the firm view that, in addition to traditionally accepted medical and psychiatric criteria, all social circumstances should be taken into account. If, after considering all these factors, a psychiatrist should form

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