In a contradiction of great proportion, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) has passed a motion to “foster a public debate” on end-of-life care, yet they are closed to debating when the very lives some doctors may end first began.
The Globe and Mail reported, “At the general council meeting of the [CMA] on Wednesday, delegates called on the federal government to reject attempts by a Conservative backbench MP to amend the Criminal Code so that a fetus is defined as a human being.”
The CMA’s own report said that Quebec physician, “Dr. Genevieve Desbiens, who brought the motion, said the aim was to prevent a ‘backdoor’ attempt to reopen the abortion debate.”
What is she afraid of? Canadians realizing that where you are does not determine what you are? Canadians realizing that since the pre-born are human and abortion slaughters those humans, that any physician involved with killing would be, uh, I guess guilty of killing? That wouldn’t reflect so well on the profession that is supposed to shed blood to heal, not shed blood to kill.
And people might want to pick another doctor. Oh wait—they would be forced to, for the doctor wouldn’t be available to practice medicine from jail. And it seems incarceration is a concern for this Quebec physician: The Globe reported that “Dr. Desbiens also warned that doctors who counsel or provide abortion services could become criminals.”
Wait a minute: If the pre-born are human, and if abortion dismembers, decapitates, and disembowels those humans, what’s wrong with classifying those who do the cold-hearted deed as criminals?
Dr. Desbiens’ attitude is self-serving and lethal. Don’t consider whether abortion kills the youngest of our kind. No, just make sure you don’t put her or her profession-betraying friends in jail. That wouldn’t be very nice. Just let them continue to shred the youngest of our kind in peace. Delivering babies involves working at all hours of the night; killing them, however, is a quick way to make cash during regular business hours. If some physicians wish to choose the latter instead of the former, shouldn’t they be allowed?
Actually, not according to the CMA’s Code of Ethics. Clause 9 of their Code clearly states that physicians must “refuse to participate in or support practices that violate basic human rights.” And the right to life, which abortion violates, is guaranteed in both our Charter as well as the UN’s Declaration of Human Rights. Further, the UN’s Declaration of the Rights of the Child goes so far as to say “…the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth.”
The UN considers that prenatal protection is so important, that in article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, a document it adopted, it says capital punishment “shall not be carried out on pregnant women.”
What makes a pregnant woman different from a non-pregnant one? The existence of another individual. And this is where Dr. Desbiens would do well to read her own code of ethics. In Policy 4 of the Quebec Code of Ethics of Physicians it says, “A physician must practice his profession in a manner which respects the life, dignity, and liberty of the individual.” Now perhaps Dr. Desbiens would say the pre-born aren’t individuals. Well if they aren’t, then what are they? And how is her definition—siding with the Criminal Code—that they aren’t human until out of the mother’s body, at all scientific? She would do well to also heed Policy 6 of the code which says, “A physician must practice his profession in accordance with scientific principles.”
Science clearly teaches that if something is growing it’s alive, and if you have human parents you are human offspring. Science teaches that life begins at fertilization.
Finally, it is worth noting that while some physicians seem okay with killing children, most are not okay with mutilating them: Consider the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC and Ontario which have policies against female circumcision. Ontario goes so far as to say “performance of, or referral for, [female genital cutting/mutilation] procedures by a physician will be regarded by the College as professional misconduct.”
Let’s get this straight: It’s professional misconduct to mutilate but okay to decapitate?
Stephanie Gray is the co-founder and executive director of the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform, and author of A Physician’s Guide To Discussing Abortion. This op-ed is reprinted with permission from UnMaskingChoice.ca.