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Belgian Penal Code

Art 348, al 2, 6Â

Neither a physician, nor a nurse, nor a medical assistant is obliged to cooperate with the termination of a pregnancy. The physician is obliged to inform a patient interested in abortion, during the first visit, of his refusal.’



Law on the termination of pregnancy

Division I, Section 20

(1) No person shall be obliged to provide a woman with treatment intended to terminate pregnancy or to assist in providing such treatment.

(2) Where a physician has a conscientious objection to providing such treatment or arranging for such treatment to be provided, he shall inform the woman of this immediately after she has first consulted him.

(3) The provisions of subsection 1 do not detract from the physician’s duty to provide other physicians with information concerning the woman’s condition if requested to do so and provided the woman has given her consent.




Law No 194 of 22May 1978 on the social protection of motherhood and the voluntary termination of pregnancy, Gazz. Ugg., Part I, 22 May 1978, No 140, 3642-46 (Italy)

Art 9

Section 9 requires health care personnel tosubmit a written declaration of their conscientious objection to abortion to the medical director of their employer healthcare institution and to the regional medical officer.



Abortion Act 1967, s 4


‘…no person shall be under any duty whether by contract or by statutory or other legal requirement, to participate in any treatment authorised by this Act to which he has a conscientious objection: Provided that in any legal proceeding the burden of proof conscientious objection shall rest on the person claiming to rely on it.’




Austrian Criminal Code

Art 97 (2,3)

No physician is required to perform an abortion or to participate in it, unless an abortion without delay is necessary to save the pregnant woman from an imminent, not otherwise preventable death. This is also true for those working in the nursing profession, in medical-technical services, and for people employed in auxiliary medical services.

No one may be in any way disadvantaged because he or she has performed a justified abortion, or taken part in it, or because he or she has refused to perform or take part in such an abortion.



Law on Nursing (Zakon o sestrinstvu, pročišćeni tekst zakona NN 121/03, 117/08, 57/11)

Art 3

Because of their ethical, religious or moral beliefs or beliefs, nurses have the right to assert conscientious objection and refuse to conduct medical / nursing care if doing so does not conflict with the rules of the profession, and if it does not cause permanent damage to the patient’s health or endanger the patient’s life. Nurses must promptly inform the patient and parent or responsible person about such objections.’


Law on Medical Practice (Zakon o liječništvu, pročišćeni tekst zakona, NN 121/03, 117/08)

Art 20

Because of their ethical, religious or moral beliefs or beliefs, doctors have the right to asset a conscientious objection and refuse to conduct diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of the patient, if doing so does not conflict with the rules of the profession, and if it does not cause permanent damage to the health of or threaten the life of a patient. Doctors must promptly inform patients about their objections and refer them to another physician of the same profession. In the case of doctors employed in a medical institution, a company, or other legal entity that performs health services, or who work with another doctor in a private practice, they must notify their supervisor or employer of their objection.’



Doctors (Council, Discipline and Pension Fund) Law of 1967 & 1970

Art 8

‘…a doctor may refuse medical treatment to a patient except in cases of emergency or humanitarian duty; this general provision may be relied upon, in principle, where the motivations for refusing to provide a medical treatment is religious or ideological.’



Penal Code. TITRE VII. – Des crimes et des délits contre l’ordre des familles et contre la moralité publique.

 Art 353-1

Aucun médecin ne sera tenu d’émettre l’avis prévu par l’article précédent, ni de pratiquer une interruption volontaire de la grossesse, sauf en cas de danger imminent pour la vie de la femme enceinte.

De même, aucun auxiliaire médical ne sera tenu de concourir à une telle intervention, sauf en cas de danger imminent pour la vie de la femme enceinte.



Lov om svangerskapsavbrudd [abortloven].

 Art 14

Regionale helseforetak skal organisere sykehustjenesten slik at kvinnen innen helseregionen til enhver tid kan få utført svangerskapsavbrudd, jf. lov om spesialisthelsetjenesten m.m. § 2-1a. Ved organiseringen skal det tas hensyn til helsepersonell som av samvittighetsgrunner ikke ønsker å utføre eller assistere ved slike inngrep.

Vapaa suomennos:

Sairaanhoitopiirien pitää järjestää sairaanhuolto siten että alueen naisilla on (joka aika ajallisesti) mahdollisuuus raskauden keskeytykseen. Toimintaa organisoitaessa on otettava huomioon terveydenhuollon työntekijät jotka omantunnon syistä eivät halua suorittaa tai avustaa toimenpidettä.




Law of Religious Freedom 2001 (Law n° 16/2001)

Art 12(1)

‘Freedom of conscience includes the right to object to the compliance of laws that contradict the imperative commands of one’s own conscience, within the limits of the rights and duties imposed by the Constitution and under the terms of the law that may regulate the exercise of the conscientious objection.’

Art 12(2)

The commands of conscience that are considered as imperative are those whose infringement involves a serious offence to one’s moral integrity and, consequently, make anyother behaviour as not mandatory.’




Code of Public Health (Code de la santé publique)

Art L.2212-8

Allows medical physicians to invoke a ’conscience clause’ on the basis of which they may refuse to perform an abortion. However, they are obliged to inform the woman seeking abortion without delay of their intention to invoke the clause.




Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany (Grundgesetz) (adopted 8 May 1949)

Art 4(1)

‘Freedom of faith and of conscience, and freedom to profess a religious or philosophical creed, shall be inviolable.’


§ 12 Weigerung
(1) Niemand ist verpflichtet, an einem Schwangerschaftsabbruch mitzuwirken.
(2) Absatz 1 gilt nicht, wenn die Mitwirkung notwendig ist, um von der Frau eine anders nicht abwendbare Gefahr des Todes oder einer schweren Gesundheitsschädigung abzuwenden.

Vapaa käännös:
§ 12 Kieltäytyminen
(1) Kukaan ei ole velvoitettu osallistumaan raskaudenkeskeytyksen suorittamiseen.
(2) Kohtaa 1 ei sovelleta, jos osallistuminen on välttämätöntä naiseen kohdistuvan hengenvaaran, joka ei muuten ole vältettävissä, taikka vakavan terveyshaitan torjumiseksi.

Judgment of the Bavarian Higher Administrative Court of 03/07/1990, BayVGH DVB1. 1990, 880-82 (FRG); Judgment of the Federal Administrative Court of 12/13/1991, BVerwGE 89, 260- 70 (FRG)

The Bavarian High Administrative Court and the Federal Administrative Court of Germany ruled that a municipality’s job advertisementfor a chief physician in a women’s hospital, which included a requirement that the physician in a women’s hospital, which included a requirement that the physicians be willing to perform abortions, was not in violation of a law providing that no one is obligated to perform abortions.




Slovenian Code of Medical Deontology Practice

Art 5

In pursuing their profession physicians shall, within the limits of their professional capabilities, be fully independent and shall answerable to their own consciences, to their patients and to society for their work.’

Art 14

Physicians shall be obliged to pursue their profession responsibly, professionally, conscientiously and precisely for every patient, irrespective of race, sex, ethnicity, religious persuasion, political convictions, and socio- economic position and irrespective of their personal relationship with the patient or the family thereof. Physicians shall be free to choose methods and means of treatment, whereby they shall be obliged to consistently take into consideration the achievements of medical science and the principles of professional behaviour. Physicians shall be obliged to reject any intervention that according to their professional convictions and conscience could be unethical or harmful to the patient.’

Art 42

Physicians may refuse to carry out an abortion or sterilisation if it is not in accordance with their beliefs and conscience and it is not a case of emergency medical assistance. They shall be obliged to refer the patient to another capable physician, or must inform the healthcare institute of their refusal in order to ensure the execution of such interventions in accordance with the law.’



 Consolidated Act on Induced Abortion (Lovbekendtgà ̧relse, 2006-10-16 nr. 541)

S 10(2)

‘…doctors, nurses, midwifes and social and health assistants, or students in these professions, for whom it is contrary to their ethic or religious beliefs to perform or assist in induced abortion, can apply for and be granted exemption.’


Health Act, Law No. 546 of June 2005

§ 102

Physicians, nurses, midwives, auxiliary nurses, and social and healthcare assistants shall be absolved from performing or assisting in a termination of pregnancy or fetal reduction if this is contrary to their ethical or religious views. The same provision applies to people who are training for one of these professions.




LXXIX 1992: Laki sikiön elämän suojelusta
14. §

Lääkäreitä ja terveydenhuollon henkilökuntaa ei voi vaatia suorittamaan raskaudenkeskeytyksiä tai avustamaan niissä – paitsi jos raskaudenkeskeytyksen syynä on naisen henkeen kohdistuva vaara.

Constitution of the Republic of Hungary (Act XX of 1949)

Art 60(1)

‘In the Republic of Hungary everyone has the right to freedom of thought, freedom of conscience and freedom of religion.’

Judgment 64/1991, (XII.17) AB hatarozat

The Hungarian Constitutional Court recognized that medical practitioners have a right to religious conscientious objection, however it considered that certain restrictions to the freedom of religion, which this right is derived from, may be allowed unless they are unreasonable. Specifically, the Court considered that in any employment relationship, the employee may not object to the performance of duties, which form a substantive part of the profession. It considered that only non therapeutic abortions – i.e., not medically prescribed – could be considered as not part of the normal activities of a gynaecologist.