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Abortion-Common Ethical Scenarios

Updated: May 7, 2020

By Usman Nasir


Before this article, check out the previous one called “Everything about ethics at interviews” to read about how to approach ethical scenarios and questions.


Abortion is also a very common hot topic at interviews, so I will give another breakdown for this scenario.


What is abortion?

A procedure to terminate a pregnancy. It can be performed using a medical drug or by surgery.


UK legal facts


England, Scotland and Wales

· The 1967 Abortion Act outlines the legal status of abortion.

· What does the 1967 Abortion Act say?

o An abortion can be performed for a pregnancy that has not exceeded 24 weeks if:

§ A) 2 medical practitioners sign off on it.

§ B) AND continuation of the pregnancy would put the mother’s life at greater risk than if the pregnancy were terminated. OR if the mental/physical injury of the mother and/or existing family would be put at greater risk by continuing the pregnancy.

o An abortion can be performed at any time of the pregnancy (WITHOUT ANY TIME LIMIT) if any of the following are met:

§ A) Termination of the pregnancy would prevent serious mental or physical injury to the mother.

§ B) Continuing the pregnancy would put the mother at greater risk than if it were terminated.

§ C) There is a big risk that the child would be born with either physical or mental abnormalities.

· Northern Ireland:

o The landscape of abortion in the Northern Ireland is changing, so if you are applying to any medical schools in this country, make sure you keep up to date with any developments.


Some ethics arguments to start you off