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0 - Protection of Conscience Project Library
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(Correspondence) Abortion: an issue that won’t go away

Ernest A Johnson

Canadian Medical Association Journal, CMAJ
Canadian Medical Association Journal

Extract
I have, as I am sure do many doctors, a framed version of the Hippocratic Oath prominently and proudly displayed in my waiting room. . . I had a very busy general medical and surgical practice, and during that time it was understandably considered ethical to do a truly therapeutic abortion when this very occasional truly medical necessity arose. . . .Times have changed, but there are some things that cannot change if we are to retain our self-respect as professionals.


Johnson EA. (Correspondence) Abortion: an issue that won’t go away. Can Med Assoc J. 1986 Nov 15;135(10):1062-1064.

Prenatal diagnosis and female abortion: a case study in medical law and ethics

Bernard M Dickens

Journal of Medical Ethics
Journal of Medical Ethics

Abstract
Alarm over the prospect that prenatal diagnostic techniques, which permit identification of fetal sex and facilitate abortion of healthy but unwanted female fetuses has led some to urge their outright prohibition. This article argues against that response. Prenatal diagnosis permits timely action to preserve and enhance the life and health of fetuses otherwise endangered, and, by offering assurance of fetal normality, may often encourage continuation of pregnancies otherwise vulnerable to termination. Further, conditions in some societies may sometimes render excusable the inclination to abort certain healthy female fetuses. In places where abortion for fetal sex alone is recognised as unethical, however, medical licensing authorities already possess the power to discipline, for professional misconduct, physicians who prescribe or perform prenatal diagnosis purely to identify fetal sex, or those who disclose fetal sex when that is unrelated to the fetus’s medical condition.


Dickens BM. Prenatal diagnosis and female abortion: a case study in medical law and ethics. J Med Ethics 1986 Sep; 12(3): 143-144.

Retention of products of conception after therapeutic abortion

Ellen R Wiebe

Canadian Medical Association Journal, CMAJ
Canadian Medical Association Journal

Extract
Failure to remove all the products of conception during a therapeutic abortion is an acknowledged complication whose incidence increases with increased gestational age. In the following case, symptoms of an incomplete abortion were experienced for 2 1/2 years after the abortion.


Wiebe ER. Retention of products of conception after therapeutic abortion. Can Med Assoc J. 1986 Mar 1;134(5):505.

The abortion of thinking

Paul de Bellefeille

Canadian Medical Association Journal, CMAJ
Canadian Medical Association Journal

Extract
The Canadian Medical Association’s policy summary on abortion must be questioned. Although the summary may represent the consensus of some people at the executive level, it does not correspond to the views of the majority of CMA members. . . . medical problems require medical solutions; and when an expectant mother has medical difficulties the medical solution in good contemporary obstetrics is almost never termination of the pregnancy. The solution to socioeconomic problems must also be socioeconomic. To propose medical solutions for socioeconomic problems, and destructive ones at that, is illogical and shows a sad lack of confidence in our society’s ability to care for its own.


de Bellefeille P. The abortion of thinking. Can Med Assoc J. 1986;134(2):115-117.