Bioethicists want to force doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals to participate in euthanasia, abortion, and other actions that violate their consciences or religious beliefs.
This wasn’t formerly a serious problem. The values contained in the Hippocratic Oath were consistent with sanctity of life moral conscience. That is no longer true.
A “consensus statement” signed by prominent bioethicists from around the world and published by Oxford University would force dissenting doctors to be complicit in such actions. From the statement (my emphasis):
1. Healthcare practitioners’ primary obligations are towards their patients, not towards their own personal conscience. When the patient’s wellbeing (or best interest, or health) is at stake, healthcare practitioners’ professional obligations should normally take priority over their personal moral or religious views.
2. In the event of a conflict between practitioners’ conscience and a patient’s desire for a legal, professionally sanctioned medical service, healthcare practitioners should always ensure that patients receive timely medical care. When they have a conscientious objection, they ought to refer their patients to another practitioner who is willing to perform the treatment. In emergency situations, when referral is not possible, or when it poses too great a burden on patients or on the healthcare system, health practitioners should perform the treatment themselves.
Euthanasia (e.g., homicide) and assisted suicide are considered by these zealots to be a “treatment” where legal. Ditto, non-therapeutic abortion, even though a healthy pregnancy isn’t an illness.
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This statement could also apply to procedures such as sex change surgery and providing treatments made from destroyed embryos or fetuses.
Also organ transplants taken from mentally ill and disabled euthanized patients, as happens in Netherlands and Belgium, not to mention those live-harvested, still illegal but advocated in the most prominent medical and bioethics journals.
Medical professionals are being pushed toward what I call “medical martyrdom;” either be complicit in killing, commit what the professional considers a grievous sin, or suffer professional discipline, perhaps even loss of license.
Make no mistake, these bioethicists and many in the medical establishment want to drive orthodox Christian and other faith believers, along with pro-lifers, out of the medical professions.
The question of medical conscience–as a subset of religious liberty–is going to be one of the most contentious issues facing society in the next decade.
LifeNews.com Note: Wesley J. Smith, J.D., is a special consultant to the Center for Bioethics and Culture and a bioethics attorney who blogs at Human Exeptionalism.