Doctors not Required to Describe Embryo as “Existing Human Being”

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Yesterday the New Jersey Supreme Court issued this opinion in the case of Acuna v. Turkish, in which the plaintiff alleged a breach of duty by the defendant doctor for failing to inform the plaintiff that an abortion would result in “killing an existing human being.”   The Court held that:

Although a physician unquestionably has a common law duty to provide a woman with material information concerning the medical risks of a procedure terminating a pregnancy, we know of no common law duty requiring a physician to instruct the woman that the embryo is an “existing human being,” and suggesting that an abortion is tantamount to murder.   There is not even remotely a consensus among New Jersey’s medical community or citizenry that plaintiff’s assertions are medical facts, as opposed to firmly held moral, philosophical, and religious beliefs, to support the establishment of the duty she would impose on all physicians.

AP covers the story here.

Hat tip to Ralph Stein.

-Bridget Crawford

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