Pro life Nurses – Mission
I set up this group in 2000 in response to the need for patient advocacy due to my own experience of a climate of increasing disregard for the right to conscientious objection in clinical practice.
Government developments such as elements of the Mental Capacity Act (2005) and the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP), together with the repeated attempts to legislate for Assisted Suicide were inherent dangers to the vulnerable and had begun to cause concern to pro life healthcare professionals.
The Mental Capacity Act (MCA 2005) , defines treatment as ‘any diagnostic or other procedure’. People being encouraged to document a ‘Living Will’ are not always aware of this definition nor that under the Act , assisted food and fluid constitutes medical treatment nor are they always aware that the MCA was drawn up with the help of Dignity in Dying (formerly the Voluntary Euthanasia Society).
Due to these national developments which were impacting on clinical practice, and myÂ own past professional experience, there was a clear need for a network of support and information for nurses working in difficult work environments that could be hostile to a pro life ethos of care.
Recruitment to the group was first achieved via adverts in 2001.
Recruitment continues via the nursing press adverts for national conferences which have been arranged on a regular basis. Current membership is approximately one hundred. Qualified nurses, Student nurses and Health Care Assistants are all eligible to join.
The Group Aims and Objectives were agreed with the assistance of a medical and legal opinion. Our Mission is regularly reviewed in line with political developments, clinical guidelines and the reviews of the Nurses’ Code of Professional Conduct: standards for conduct, performance and ethics (NMC 2015).
Nurse members have maintained a regular presence at the main political party conferences and attend the regular convened conferences, adverts for which are placed in the nursing press.
Prolife nurses is linked with the Medical Ethics Alliance, Christian Medical Fellowship, the Catholic Nurses Association, the Catholic Medical Association, the Care Not Killing organisation, and the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.
The group provides a network of education and peer support, raising awareness on the particular threats to patient safety and well being, providing campaigning opportunities with an emphasis on nurse patient advocacy.
Nurses and other multidisciplinary team members of any belief or none, are eligible to join the group.