HC Deb 06 March 1978 vol 945 cc474-5W
Mr. David Atkinson

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether candidates for consultant posts in obstetrics and gynaecology are provided with a job description which states that a candidate must carry out abortions; and if the lay chairman is obliged by his Department at interviews to ask each candidate his views on abortion.

Mr. Moyle

Duties relating to the termination of pregnancy are included in the job description for a consultant post only if there is a demand which cannot otherwise be met and if patient care would otherwise suffer. This occurs in a minority of posts. The guidance issued by my Department states that in such cases the Advisory Appointments Committee will wish to be satisfied that applicants are in all respects fitted and prepared to carry out the full range of duties which they might be required to perform if appointed, but stresses that questions on this subject should be confined to professional intention and should not extend to candidates' personal beliefs.