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Dr. Robert Walley meets with Joseph and Cushla Hassan

Updated: Jul 2, 2019

Left to Right: Joseph and Cushla Hassan, Dr. Robert Walley

Read more about Joseph and Cushla at;


"Conscience Requires Understanding Pressures Women Face

When Joseph began practising as a GP, he initially felt he needed to ignore his beliefs and practise in a way which was “unbiased.” He met many women requesting abortion. In a large number of these cases, he saw these women as making a decision for abortion based on fear, lack of support, threatened relationships and other pressures. Often the decisions were hurried, and the woman would not seek support from those closest to her, out of shame.

In some cases where women requested abortion, there was a repeated pattern of unexpected pregnancy where little had changed to improve choices and decision-making. In some cases, Joseph saw women who experienced grief and trauma as a result of abortion. He referred several patients to secondary care, despite having misgivings about how the choice was being made. He hoped they would receive pre-decision counseling to address their social issues and that abortion procedures would only occur once all other avenues had been explored with the women.

In every case referred, however, the women had their pregnancies terminated with what seemed like little further opportunity to discuss alternatives to abortion. The dominant opinion seemed to be that the best way to reduce trauma to a distressed pregnant woman was to offer a rapid termination service, rather than to provide a window of time to explore the complexities of her situation and to ensure an authentic informed choice.

Joseph recognized that he could not continue to practise medicine in this way. He was not being fully present to the patient, nor fully himself in his practice of medicine."

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