Compass - Decision, The
For eight years Dr Lachlan de Crespigny, a leading obstetrician, has been at the centre of a bitter battle over the rights and wrongs of a life and death decision he and a team of doctors made at a Melbourne hospital. They aborted a 32 week old foetus diagnosed with dwarfism. The pregnant woman was acutely suicidal. Dr de Crespigny tells Compass about the decision and its shattering aftermath for all involved.
For years the case and some of its key players were dragged through investigations by police, courts and medical tribunals. This story examines the complex decisions doctors must make in 'grey' areas of law. It asks how they can provide lawful and ethical treatment in life and death situations, when the rules aren't clear and society isn’t willing to make them.
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