The satisfaction of treating patients
Dominique Roynet, MD, Belgium
Because I’m working there with young women, in good health, sexually active, even if it is
very emotional, we are on the field of health and not on the one of pathology.
If sometimes emotions, ambivalence, psychological difficulties may exist, in most cases,
the woman shows her satisfaction, she feels relieved because her problem has been
Often I’m not mostly touched by the abortion itself, but more by the circumstances in wich
the woman has to live her abortion (problems of couple,violence, loneliness, lack of
money, social poverty, extramarital pregnancy, very young woman,..), and always by the
guilty feeling and the loneliness wich accompanies so often those women ( in Belgium,
catholicism is very present and influential on the mentalities)
Because it’s a work that gives me personal valorisations.
As a general practitioner, I have to perform several technical acts in other fields of
medicine. I must say that no other work generates such a positive(valorisating) image of
myself. Nowhere else I do recieve such a lot of small presents, flowers, post cards and
thanks than after an abortion.
And all those phrases women say to me: “ you have saved my life”, “I’ll never forget you”,
“you are so kind”, “I never have been welcomed so warmely”...
Because it’s work which contributes to my personale evolution.
Listening to women asking for an abortion, it’s impossible not to doubt about our own
certitudes, not to question our own prejudices.
The motivations advanced by women make me often question myself about ethical issues
(“Is it possible to abort just because of the gender of the fetus?”...)
The sadness wich always comes with the determination to abort forces me to find the right
tone, the right distance.
The dignity of some women forces my respect. The indifference or the aggressiveness of
others have sometimes induced my own aggressiveness.
In front of those women who trust me (but do they really have a choice?), who confine in
me their physical, psychic and emotional intimacy, I feel myself humble and modest.
Finally, I must say that those women did teach me the biggest part of my present experience.
I do thank them warmly.
Because it’s work that gives me the opportunity to meet progressive, humanist, feminist
colleagues, in a proportion much more important than between surgeons, urologists or
other gynecologists and gastroenterologists.
The experiences I lived, the tecnics I used, the difficulties of the legal context, the
activities of other activists, the enconter with other mentalities, cultures, values..just make
me more convinced than ever:
“Abortion has to be a fundamental right of women and the access to
abortion has to be free and without charge.”