Wednesday November 28, 2007

700 Portuguese Doctors Sign Petition Urging Medical Association to Continue Opposing Abortion

Petition still being circulated compares abortion to racist eugenics movements

By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

PORTUGAL, November 28, 2007 ( – Members of the Portuguese Medical Association are circulating a petition on the Internet to urge the Association leadership to maintain its anti-abortion ethical code, asking it to “maintain with the greatest rigor and commitment the intransigent struggle for the ethical independence and autonomy of the medical profession.”

The Portuguese government, which is currently headed by socialist president Jose Socrates, legalized abortion on demand earlier this year during the first trimester of pregnancy, and says it is now initiating legal proceedings against the nation’s doctors for refusing to alter their code of ethics, which prohibits abortion (see recent LifeSiteNews coverage at:

The Code of Ethics of the Association states that “doctors must maintain respect for human life from its beginning”, and “the practice of abortion constitutes a grave ethical failure”.

Denouncing the “misuse of medical knowledge that various powers and pressure groups” are attempting to impose on the Association, the signatories compare the government’s demands with earlier movements for “forced internments in psychiatric institutions, sterilizations, and elimination of human beings for eugenic or racist reasons”.

The doctors remind the Association that the 2,500-year-old Hippocratic Oath exists to resist the moral fashions of the times, which have often been a threat to the dignity of human life. They wish to avoid “the subjection of this Code to a changing ‘ethic’, molded to the taste of the interests, conveniences, ideologies or convictions of those who happen to have power or influence at the time.”

Over 700 Portuguese doctors have so far signed the petition, which is addressed to the Bastonario (official spokesman) of the Medical Association, Pedro Nunes. Nunes has repeatedly denounced the government’s threats and has refused to capitulate.

Read the Full Petition Here:

The original petition, in Portuguese, can be found here (but can only be signed by Portuguese members of the Medical Association):

Contact Information:

Embassy of Portugal in the United States
2125 Kalorama Rd., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008
Phone: 202-328-8610
Fax: 202-462-3726
E-mail: [email protected]
i[email protected]

Embassy of Portugal in Canada
645 Island Park Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, K1Y 0B8, Canada
Tel.: (613)729-0883, Fax: (613)729-4236
Email: [email protected]

Embassy of Portugal in other countries:

Previous LifeSiteNews coverage:

Portuguese Government to Prosecute Doctors Group Over “Illegal” Anti-Abortion Ethics Policy

Portuguese Government Orders Doctors to Remove Anti-Abortion Restrictions from Code of Ethics

Portugal Offers Free Abortions for Women Followed by Mandatory Education on Contraception

Portuguese Parliament Approves Abortion – Waiting For Pro-Abortion PM’s Signature

Portugal Abortion Bill Approved by Legislative Committee

Portugal Government Shows Hypocrisy in Abortion Vote Bias

Socialist Portugal Government to Introduce Abortion Vote January 2007

Abortion-Pushing Socialists Elected in Portugal

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