The Corner

Treat Hippocratic Doctors Like Draft Dodgers

Not only does the culture of death brook no dissent, but it seeks to force medical dissenters to kill. That is tyranny.

Now that euthanasia is becoming more widely practiced, the groundwork is being laid to force doctors to kill legally qualified patients and conduct abortions.

A bit ago in this space, I discussed a “consensus statement” issued by ten notable bioethicists, published in Practical Ethics, published by Oxford University. These notables proclaimed from their ivory tower that doctors must euthanize, and if they have conscientious objections, they should be subjected to tribunals, community service requirements, and reeducation efforts.

Now, in the Journal of Medical Ethics, a similar proposal is voiced–using the analogy that doctors should be treated like military conscripts in the great killing of the sick to come! From, “Conscientious Objection in Healthcare: Referral and the Military Analogy,” by Steve Clark:

Many doctors and medical students seem to have acquired the view that they are entitled to conscientiously object to any and every aspect of healthcare; and that they do not have to justify their objection to anyone other than themselves.

Because, in many parts of the world, all healthcare professionals have to do, to authorise a conscientious refusal, is to sign a form declaring that they have a conscientious objection, the right to conscientious objection is ‘unlimited in practice’.

Tribunals have been used to adjudicate over the legitimacy of conscientious objections in many countries which have conscripted citizens to perform military service. In the USA, as a consequence of the 1970 Supreme Court decision Welsh v. USA, 398 US 333, conscientious objectors need to satisfy a tribunal that they have a sincere objection to war and that their objection is based on ‘moral, ethical, or religious beliefs about what is right or wrong’

If the conscientious objections of healthcare professionals were to be examined by tribunals, then, it can be reasonably expected, some would be rejected.

Healthcare professionals have a prima facie duty to conduct legal, efficient and beneficial medical procedures and particular conscientious objections that were judged to be insincere, or not sufficiently deeply held, could also be judged to fail to outweigh this duty in importance.

What is really rich is that bioethicists come from the port side of politics, and I am sure, would mostly object vehemently to the draft. But they want to force doctors to kill.

Moreover, euthanasia and non-therapeutic abortion aren’t medical necessities, but “choice” and “preference” requests. I would submit they are not, properly understood, medical treatments.

We have come to a pretty pass when doctors who believe in the Hippocratic Oath’s proscription against killing patients and fetuses are treated like draft dodgers. And believe me, these bioethicist-authoritarians aren’t kidding.

But, like I always say, if you want to know the next evil that this way comes, read the professional journals.

Wesley J. Smith — Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism.

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