Extract The question he must answer is, If the fetus is a human being (which indeed he or she is), what should he do? If a woman came in telling him that she was going to kill her 2-day-old baby, would he sit back not wanting to play “godlet”?
Extract “You’re an interferer, not an adviser; like the rest of your ingenuous ilk.” . . . “You have no humility. You underestimate your patients. You assume they don’t know anything, that they just react to circumstances.”. . . He shook his neck and preened his feathers as he delivered the coup de grace. “Let me tell you: that’s what you do because you don’t like what they’re up to.” . . . “Give ’em credit for being able to run their own affairs, you paternalistic autocrat!” . . . “We live in a social democracy now” . . . “Stick to medicine (it’s hard enough for you to get that right). Leave morals for moralists. Too many cooks have spoiled that broth already.”
Extract These two letters, one so clear, the other so impassioned, seem to have the right of it; so too do the arguments of their opponents when I read them. Therein lies the rub: everyone is right, according to his lights. The question for the rest of us is, How bright are these lights? I for one do not know. . . .”In a world where everyone is right, nothing is left but personal responsibility. That will take you down the straight and narrow road to whatever you and yours deserve. That is the true meaning of PR. I wish we all did just that, good PR, instead of living each others’ lives, which is where all the trouble comes from.” . . . “You mind your business, I’ll mind mine; then everyone will have an easier time.”.
Extract “When the doctor thinks he is closer to his god than he is to his patient, that’s when he sins with style and vigour.” (He did not add “ignoramus”; it was implicit in his sarcastic stare.) I beg to offer his advice to all those who would tell their patients how to behave morally. Don’t exceed the DPG ratio. Let the patient make the decision for herself and carry the responsibility. You do likewise – for yourself. After all, you are just another person with specialized knowledge, and that implies specialized limits. By all means don’t do what you don’t want to do, but don’t play godlet. It doesn’t suit the image of dispassionate adviser.
Extract All medical procedures should have proper medical indications; and when these indications are being abused strict guidelines are laid down by the profession; those who ignore them are censured. . . .Bart would have abortion specifically excluded from such guidelines, yet abortion carries certain death for the fetus as well as hazards for the pregnant woman. Medical ethics are specifically designed to curb unwholesome and dangerous medical practices. . . abortion on nonmedical grounds, which includes most, is a male- inspired maneuver. . .
Extract I was present at the death of a woman whose uterus had been torn open and infected by a coat hanger. Anything is better than that: she died through poverty and ignorance, and her whole family suffered. . . .Medical ethics are an extension of personal ethics, not an abstract entity with a special name. I believe what I believe, and he believes what he believes. Sim should not force his opinions upon others. That is what the Nazis did. . . . We are not on the fence, Dr. Sim. We are exercising our free will and not interfering with that of others. We believe that women are capable of decisions without an avuncular physician’s approval. We think that freedom from unwanted pregnancy is a cornerstone of feminine freedom. Without that, society is male dominated, unequal and the poorer for it. Please do not equate abortion with euthanasia. The two are not synonymous. Please do not equate your opinion with moral rectitude either. Anything is better than that.