By Wesley J. Smith
National Right to Life News Today
Bioethicists want to force doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals to participate in euthanasia, abortion, and other actions that violate their consciences or religious beliefs.
This wasn’t formerly a serious problem. The values contained in the Hippocratic Oath were consistent with sanctity of life moral conscience. That is no longer true.
A “consensus statement” signed by prominent bioethicists from around the world and published by Oxford University would force dissenting doctors to be complicit in such actions. From the statement (my emphasis):
1. Healthcare practitioners’ primary obligations are towards their patients, not towards their own personal conscience. When the patient’s wellbeing (or best interest, or health) is at stake, healthcare practitioners’ professional obligations should normally take priority over their personal moral or religious views.
2. In the event of a conflict between practitioners’ conscience and a patient’s desire for a legal, professionally sanctioned medical service, healthcare practitioners should always ensure that patients receive timely medical care. When they have a conscientious objection, they ought to refer their patients to another practitioner who is willing to perform the treatment. In emergency situations, when referral is not possible, or when it poses too great a burden on patients or on the healthcare system, health practitioners should perform the treatment themselves.
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