Your correspondents (letters, 6 September) argue that public servants should not on grounds of conscience refuse a service to a consumer; and that it is reasonable to dismiss such a public servant. Presumably they would argue for the dismissal of doctors who refuse to carry out abortions. The service they discuss is one that was unthinkable a few years ago, but is government policy today.

In a time of rapidly changing social mores, it is easy to think of practices unthinkable today which could be government policy in the future. What if abortion at any time during pregnancy became government policy, or infanticide, up to say three months, for those who could not have a safe abortion or in the case of disability? Would Dr McCrea and Simon Williams support the dismissal of doctors who refused to offer those services on grounds of conscience, because such doctors are being discriminatory and the provision of services is the ultimate consideration?

Their argument depends on the services in question always being congenial to them - changes in social mores and government policy may not always be so.

Alastair Bates, Sidmouth