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Br J Gen Pract. 2007 December 1; 57(545): 996.
PMCID: PMC2084145

Patient choice

The fascinating paper by Bryant et al1 on patient choice highlights the impact of healthcare policies on human behaviour.1

One area that particularly interests me is the concept of choice in relation to abortion and how it may affect decision making.

If ‘framing a decision as a choice can enhance the perceived value of a particular option’,1 perhaps the default state for a society in dealing with crisis pregnancy shifts towards abortion and more women may opt for it.

I am at the anti-abortion end of the spectrum of opinion on this issue and realise that most GPs pitch camp elsewhere. But it strikes me that most people agree it would be better for those women (an unknown percentage) who have a termination only to regret it, to somehow be enabled to make a different choice if it is right for them.

Research into this area of decision making will undoubtedly be challenging, but it may help some of those women for whom pro-choice is no choice at all.

REFERENCES

1. Bryant LD, Brown N, Bekker HL, House A. The lure of ‘patient choice’ Br J Gen Pract. 2007;57(543):822–826. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from The British Journal of General Practice are provided here courtesy of Royal College of General Practitioners