What happened to our Doctors?
Here is a story which appeared in the most recent London Right to Life Newsletter. It is probably not factually true, but is a parable with a very striking lesson. I shall tell it briefly in my own words. A young mother carrying a baby came into a doctor’s office. She said, “Doctor, I want you to get me out of a difficulty. This baby is only a year old and I find I am pregnant again. Having two so close in age would be most inconvenient. Would you please terminate the pregnancy?” The doctor thought for a while. Then he said, “I have a better idea. Why don’t I kill the child on your lap. That would spare you a nasty and somewhat dangerous operation. Then you would be free to prepare for the arrival of the new one.” He took a knife from the drawer of his desk and said, “Just bend his neck a little and turn your head away.” The woman clutched the baby to her heart and said, “You mean you would murder my child?” That, “said the doctor, “is exactly what you would have asked me to do. The only difference between the baby in your arms and the baby in your womb is one of age. They are both human beings.”
The story ends there but the truth remains – abortion is murder! And every doctor knows that. This is not a private opinion or a religious teaching. It is a scientific fact confirmed by experts in the relevant sciences. Here are just a few examples. When the U.S. Senate considered the “Human Life Bill” in 1981, extensive hearings were conducted with 57 witnesses of national and international repute. A quote from the official Senate Report, 97th. Congress, First Session, reads, page 7, “Physicians, biologists and other scientists agree that conception marks the beginning of the life of a human being – a being that is alive and a member of the human species. There is overwhelming agreement on this point in countless medical, biological and scientific writings.” The report lists a “limited sample” of 13 medical books, all of which state categorically that the life of a human being begins at conception. The report quotes several outstanding authorities who testified personally: Professor Jerome Lejeune, discoverer of the chromosome pattern of Down’s Syndrome: “Each individual has a very neat beginning, at conception.”
Professor H. Gordon, Mayo Clinic, “It is an established fact that human life begins at conception.”
Professor M. Matthews-Roth, Harvard University, “It is scientifically correct to say that individual life begins at conception.”
The first International Conference on Abortion took place in Washington, D.C., in 1967. It brought together experts in related fields from all over the world. A quote from the report, “The majority of our group could find no point in time between the union of the sperm and egg or at least the blastocyst stage and the birth of the infant, at which point we could say that this was not human life. The changes occurring between implantation, a six-week embryo, a six-month fetus, a one-week old or a mature child are merely stages of development and maturation.”
If these statements are true – and I defy any doctor to dispute them – the abortion is the killing of an innocent human being. And the killing of an innocent human being in any language and any culture is called “murder.” You may call it by any euphemism you wish – termination of pregnancy or the evacuation of the uterus – but if a rose by any other name can smell as sweet, murder by any other name smells just as sour?
I am writing this in protest against the shocking recommendations of the General Council of the Canadian Medical Association meeting in Vancouver last August. The Council approved abortion on demand up to the twentieth week of pregnancy, declaring it to be a decision between a woman and her doctor. Abortions should be uniformly available to women across Canada. Abortion should be permitted outside hospitals if facilities meet approved standards. Health care insurance should cover the costs.
A little more than a century ago the American Medical Association took an entirely different stand on the question of abortion from that taken by the Canadian Medical Association today. In 1859, in reply to the question, “What is abortion?” the AMA replied, “Abortion is the slaughter of countless children; unwarrantable destruction of human life.”
The following three replies of the AMA should make the members of the CMA ponder and examine their consciences. The question was asked, “Who should perform abortions?” The AMA (1871) was unequivocal – “It will be unlawful and unprofessional for any physician to induce abortion.” And to the question, “Who are physician-abortionists?” The answer was “Men who cling to a noble profession only to dishonour it; false brethren; educated assassins, modern Herods; executioners.” Finally, “What should be done to physician-abortionists?” “These men should be marked as Cain was marked; they should be made the outcasts of society.” Sad to say the present AMA has completely reversed its teaching on abortion. Its present policy makes a chilling comparison with that of one hundred years ago.
Dr. Christoph Hufeland
What has happened to our doctors? Over the centuries they have been admired and respected as the preservers of life and the healers of the sick. I do not know but I suspect that – like so many in the scientific field – they have fallen for the secular humanistic philosophy of our age. Human life is no longer sacred and therefore may be sacrificed to the convenience of social expediency.
In the 19th. century a physician named Dr. Christoph Hufeland seemed to have a vision of things to come. Here is a quote from him, “If the physician presumes to take into consideration in his work whether a life has value or not, the consequences are boundless and the physician becomes the most dangerous man (woman?) in the state.” That situation is now upon us – and don’t let us be foolish enough to imagine that they will stop at the unborn!