Natural family planning methods historically were considered as a separate group of family planning methods opposed to conventional contraception methods. However, in the 60‘s of the last century family planning became an international demographic policy issue and lately included into the international public health agenda. Since that time family planning experienced a radical transformation in conceptual terms, accompanied by terminological chaos. In the last two decades the term of natural family planning was almost completely eliminated by international intergovernmental organizations, such as World Health Organization. Natural family planning methods terminologically are incorporated into the concept of contraception, contrasting them with the so-called „effective modern contraceptive methods“. On the other hand, these terminological innovations arise from working definitions developed by various internal working groups and thus they may not be formally considered as legally or politically binding international community.
After the regaining of the independence family planning issues have been actualized in Lithuanian context. Current article is the first attempt in Lithuanian legal doctrine to identify legal contours of family planning with special reference to natural family planning.
Unfortunately these issues are not reflected in the primary legislation. After the examination of the secondary legislation developed by the Ministry of Health Care from the 90‘s till now it can be concluded that unofficial international terminological trend is significantly reproduced in our legal acts regulating professional requirements and qualifications of GPs and gynaecologists obstetricians. Such an elimination of effective fertility awareness-based methods and a tendentious promotion of „effective modern contraception“ works against the rights and the interests of patients to received unbiased and comprehensive information about the services and to make an authentic autonomous decision.
Keyword(s): Family planning, natural family planning, fertility awareness, contraception.
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