Friday, April 12, 2019

"Abortion as a moral good" Opinion piece in the Lancet

The Lancet recently ran the following opinion piece, by a bioethicist at Northwestern University's medical school. It gives a sympathetic account of both the pro- and anti- abortion arguments, as she presents them to her medical students.

Abortion as a moral good
Katie Watson

Here's the first paragraph:

"My medical students first hear from a family physician who describes himself as pro-life. He's Christian, and his faith is “a large part of the reason” he refuses to perform abortions. “Christ says things like do to others what you want them to do to you, or love your neighbour as yourself, and when I'm in the room with a pregnant patient I think I have two neighbours in there”, he tells the second years. Then they hear from an obstetrician who specialises in abortion care. She too is a Christian, and some students look surprised when she says her religious beliefs are one reason she sought fellowship training in abortion. “Do unto others as you want done to you, always take care of your fellow man. When a woman needs help, I want to help her. So I take those sayings and teachings to mean that God would be very proud of me”, she explains. These two physicians then take questions together, interacting in a friendly way as each commends the other's deep commitment to patient care. Once they leave, I use the case studies they provided to focus attention on the medical ethics of conscientious refusal and conscientious provision of health care."

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