Restoring the Sacred

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Words of Relevance: ACOG & The Right of Conscience

From a post by Wesley J Smith at "First Things."

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) published an ethics-committee opinion denying its members the right of conscience against abortion:

The first important consideration in defining limits for conscientious refusal is the degree to which a refusal constitutes an imposition on patients who do not share the objector’s beliefs. One of the guiding principles in the practice of medicine is respect for patient autonomy, a principle that holds that persons should be free to choose and act without controlling constraints imposed by others. . . . Respect for autonomy has particular importance in reproductive decision making, which involves private, personal, often pivotal decisions about sexuality and childbearing.

One might be tempted to contrast the above with this quote from the original Hippocratic Oath:
"I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art."
Hippocrates, though, has fallen out of favor with our medical schools as evidenced by the removal of the above quote from the current version of the "Hippocratic Oath."  For more on the changes, go HERE: