The owners of the Harley Street estate have banned abortion clinics from opening on their premises, insisting that the district should be concentrating on necessary treatments rather than lifestyle medicine or cosmetic surgery.
Although the 71-year-old owner, Mary Hazel Czermin, is a Catholic, the estate insists that the decision was not made for moral reasons, rather to ensure that areas such as cancer treatment and heart disease are the main priority.
Managing director Simon Baynham told the Estates Gazette magazine that "the cosmetic side" of Harley Street has been criticised by the tabloid press, but that "the vast majority of what goes on is serious medicine".
"We want the reputation of Harley Street to be about serious rather than controversial medicine. That can take place elsewhere," Mr Baynham commented.
Chief executive Toby Shannon said that while abortion was an emotive subject, the estate felt that dealing with illnesses such as cancer was more important.
"There is an awful lot of leading-edge medicine going on and what we are doing is trying to focus as far as possible on that end of the spectrum," he told the Evening Standard.
"We have a limited number of clinics that we own and we want to make sure that as far as possible these people are practising necessary medicine rather than lifestyle or cosmetic medicine."
The list of prohibited procedures on the Harley Street estate, which boasts over one million square feet of medical clinics, also includes human cloning and euthanasia.
© Adfero Ltd
Harley Street News update: March 2007