Conscience is not relative. Conscience is not subject to feelings, but is rooted in intellect capable of differentiating right from wrong. For a doctor to espouse conscience as a reason to terminate an innocent life is nothing short of unconscionable. A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) on Sept 13th quoted Lisa Harris, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Michigan Health System, “doctors can be “conscientious” providers of abortion.”
Dr. Harris highlights both historical and contemporary evidence that conscience motivates abortion provision. She cites sociologist Carole Joffe’s study that shows skilled mainstream doctors offered safe, compassionate care before Roe v. Wade, risking fines, imprisonment and loss of medical license. “They did so because the beliefs that mattered most to them compelled it. They saw women die from self-inducted abortion and from abortions performed by unskilled providers,”
Now, the NEJM is a well-respected journal, which provides valuable medical information to physicians around the world. But I must say this article is suspect – if not borderline unethical. Point in case:
- It is curious as to why the NEJM does not disclose that Dr. Harris is the Co-Medical Director for Planned Parenthood of Michigan the largest abortion provider in Michigan.
- The NEJM should have disclosed that Carole Joffe is a long-time abortion advocate; she is not an unbiased sociologist as she is portrayed.
In the article, Dr. Harris writes, “Certainly, if abortion providers’ conscience-based claims require scrutiny, so do conscience-based refusals, to ensure that refusals are indeed motivated by conscience and not by political beliefs, stigma, habit erroneous understanding of medical evidence or other factors.
For Dr. Harris to talk about “medical evidence” as an abortion advocate is laughable. Most every embryology text book in most every medical school gives us this definition for the word ‘life’: “From the earliest stages of development, the preborn are distinct, living, whole, human beings. They are immature and yet to grow.” Possibly the most scary thing is that she knows this, yet still espouses the termination of viable pregnancies. She refuses to accept the medical evidence in order to advance her eugenics based medicine.
There is nothing courageous or ethical about a physician bound by the Hippocratic Oath willing to take the life of a pre born patient, no matter the circumstance.
More information: New England Journal of Medicine, N ENGL J MED 367; 11
Journal reference: New England Journal of Medicine Provided by University of Michigan Health System