This article addresses the issues of El Salvador’s extreme anti-abortion law, the human rights abuses that it creates, and the convoluted role of Salvadoran health care professionals. El Salvador has fully criminalized abortion in all cases to which miscarriages have become classified as “aggravated homicides” and pregnancy complications where a mother’s health is endangered are not allowed medical attention due to the risk of abortion. These stringent restrictions have involved physicians in the criminalization of pregnancy outcomes and put them in a variety of situations where they are obligated to report and release confidential patient records to the state or be subject themselves to criminal penalties.
The article is outlined into four parts that explain the various ways in which physicians are expected to comply with unethical acts against their patients and expands on who the extreme anti-abortion law primarily affects. It begins with the Violation of Medical Privacy and Confidentiality, Denial of Medical Care, Abusive Practices in Healthcare Facilities, and ends with the Impact on Marginalized Women and Girls. This article delves into the contradictions in Salvadoran law, as well as the abuse and malpractice involved with the full force of criminalization that takes place in hospitals as a result of the anti-abortion law. This article examines the role of physicians in upholding and enforcing the anti-abortion law as it is necessary for its functionality and additionally describes the position that health care professionals are put in that undermine their ethical duties that are also defined in their Hippocratic oath and El Salvador’s Penal and Health Code. The authors’ strengths are in their organization of the article and examination of the dynamic ways in which health care professionals and medical institutions contribute to human rights violations.
This source offers information useful for someone studying human rights in relation to reproductive rights, patient rights, health care workers’ rights or somebody interested in the study of medical and health law. This article while very informative and interesting will not serve me or my group with our Dossier project topic on LGBT rights in Brazil. But, this reading has inspired one way in which we can go with our research which is looking at LGBT rights in a medical environment. In relation to the larger themes of our class, we will be looking into El Salvador and having this background will help with analyzing further topics of human rights violations specifically directed at women.