by Steven Ertelt
May 9, 2006
Norfolk, England (LifeNews.com) — A British hospital is refusing to provide medical treatment to a pro-life advocate who was recently jailed because he mailed graphic abortion pictures to the hospital. Edward Atkinson, who is 74, mailed the graphic abortion pictures to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and some of its staff.
Now, QEH has decided that it will take him off of a waiting list for a hip replacement surgery. The hospital has also banned Atkinson from receiving any medical treatment other than care for something life-threatening.
QEH chief executive Ruth May, who testified against Atkinson in court which ultimately led to the jail sentence, told EDP News in the UK that, “We take such matters extremely seriously and because he continued to send extremely graphic material to us we exercised our right to decline treatment to him."
But the decision is drawing criticism from pro-life groups and lawmakers.
Henry Bellingham, a member of Parliament from Norfolk, told EDP he would be meeting with hospital officials to discuss its decision.
Bellingham said Atkinson was "out of order" to send the graphic abortion pictures to the hospital but added that QEH’s reaction of withholding medical treatment was a wrong response.
"I don’t believe anyone should have treatment withdrawn, whatever they have done. Whatever the hospital may feel about him, everybody should be treated the same," the MP said.
Meanwhile, the pro-life group LifeLeague issued a statement responding to the QEH decision.
"This is morality turned upside down," the group said. "Regardless of one’s views on abortion, it is outrageous that the hospital should persecute him and strike him off the waiting list.”
Atkinson was sentenced to 28 days in jail by Magistrates’ Court on Thursday last week after sending the graphic pictures to the hospital and its staff between January and April.
He is expected to be released soon and will only serve part of the sentence. But afterwards, he will be obligated to report to a Anti-Social Behavior Order for a period of five years.