Bioethicists Say Doctors Should be Forced to Do Abortions and If They Quit, “So Be It”

International   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Sep 22, 2016   |   12:55PM   |   Ottawa, Canada

Abortion and euthanasia should not be matters of choice for doctors, two leading Canadian and British bioethicists argued in a new article in the journal “Bioethics.”

Professors Udo Schuklenk and Julian Savulescu believe that their governments should stop protecting doctors’ conscious rights and force them to perform or at least refer patients for abortions, euthanasia and other practices that doctors object to on moral grounds, the National Post reports. In other words, these deadly procedures should be unrestricted, easily accessible “choices” for patients, but not for their doctors.

Both Schuklenk and Savulescu are prominent bioethicists who have a strong influence in their field. Schuklenk is the research chair in bioethics at Queen’s University in Ontario and editor of the journal that published the paper. Savulescu is director of the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics at Oxford University and editor of the “Journal of Medical Ethics,” according to the report.

“Doctors must put patients’ interests ahead of their own integrity,” they argued in the paper.“If this leads to feelings of guilty remorse or them dropping out of the profession, so be it.

“There is an oversupply of people wishing to be doctors. The place to debate issues of contraception, abortion and euthanasia is at the societal level, not the bedside,” they continued.

The two also argued that medical schools could screen applicants for religious and moral values and reject those who refuse to perform or promote life-destroying procedures such as abortions or assisted suicides.

The radical proposal has sparked some outrage in the medical community. Larry Worthen, of the Christian Medical and Dental Society of Canada, pointed out how the proposal would be an extreme violation of doctors’ rights.

“In every jurisdiction in the world, conscientious objection is recognized in some form,” Worthen told the National Post. “The only governments in the history of humanity that have stripped away the conscience rights in this way are totalitarian governments.”

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The bioethicists’ argument may seem unthinkable, but it is not far off from what is being pushed in the United States, Canada and many European nations.

Currently, the Obama Administration is trying to force a group of nuns to violate their consciences and pay for drugs that may cause abortions in their employee health care plans.

His administration also has been ignoring a federal law and allowing California to force churches to pay for abortions in their employee health plans, LifeNews reported. Despite continued pleas from churches and pro-lifers for more than a year, the administration has done nothing other than promise to look into the matter.

In May, the Obama Administration also issued a new rule in the name of “equity” that puts pressure on doctors and hospitals to promote and perform abortions or risk losing federal funds from Medicare and Medicaid.

The American Civil Liberties Union also appears to be on a mission to force Catholic hospitals and doctors to perform or promote abortions and other procedures that violate their consciences. In the past few years, the liberal legal group has filed several lawsuits against religious hospitals that did not recommend or perform abortions on pregnant patients.

The ACLU claims that because Catholic hospitals provide a large percentage of health care in America, they are restricting women’s access to abortion. Fortunately, so far, courts have ruled against the ACLU in several of the cases.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and other religious groups have been warning the public about the erosion of conscience protections for doctors and other medical professionals.

In an Oct. 25, 2015, primer, the U.S. bishops’ Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities explained the need for stronger conscience protections. They gave several examples of when employees were coerced into violating their consciences. In a 2009 case, a New York hospital nurse named Cathy DeCarlo was forced to dismember a 22-week-old unborn child in an abortion, the report states.