MEDICAL ETHICS: ITS ACCOMMODATION OF ABORTION
AND THE EFFECTS
TABLE OF CONTENTS
II. History of medical ethics
D. Twentieth century
1. Declaration of Geneva
2. International Code of Medical Ethics
3. Declaration of Oslo
4. AMA Principles
E. Comparison of ethical codes
F. Erosion of medical
1. Roe v. Wade law
2. California Medicine editorial
3. AMA policy statements
G. The new ethic
1. In practice
2. In textbooks
III. Effects of the new ethic
A. On moral climate
B. On physicians
1. Practicing abortion
a. Separate life in womb acknowledged
b. NARAL exposed
c. Doctor's duty recalled
C. Medical technology presents dilemma
1. Treatment in utero
2. Ultrasound imaging
D. AMA's principles vs. practice
1. Principle V
2. Principle I
3. Principle II
4. Principle III
F. Fetal politics
2. Killed for organs
3. Used for soap
1. Nazi Holocaust
2. Roe v. Wade
It is the mission of the doctor to save life. Since induced abortion to save
the life of the mother is rarely necessary, the mission of abortionist
doctors is the destruction of life in the womb. There is a unique set of
ethics for abortions vs. all other surgery. Acceptance of this ethic has
caused an erosion of the former high standards of medical ethics and allows
for some human lives, at all stages of development, to be judged less worthy
of existence than others.
If the physician presumes to take into consideration in his work whether a life
has value or not, the consequences are boundless and the physician becomes the
most dangerous man in the state. Dr. Chistoph Hufeland (1762-1836).
"Ethics concerns the thoughts, judgments, and actions on issues that have
the greater implications of moral 'right' and 'wrong.' A 'morally right'
attitude is usually understood to be directed toward an ideal form of human
character or action, which should culminate in the highest good for humanity
[22:32]." "Law codifies minimum standards of societal behavior; ethics
builds values and ideals upon thatbasis which exceed the minimum [19:14]."
Historically, medical ethics and the law have been closely entwined. It
might then be presumed that ethics would also have evolved to contribute to
the passage of moral laws. Instead, has ethics condescended to accomodate
immoral laws, specifically with reference to induced abortion? Consider a
brief historical review of medical ethics and abortion.
The main principle of the Code of Hammurabi (Babylonian ruler, circa. 1800
B.C.) was that "the strong shall not injure the weak [15:36]."
Traditional ethics was encoded in the "Oath of Hippocrates" (Greek
physician), to which almost all doctors swore from 400 B.C. until recently.
The oath states, in part:
I will give no deadly medicine to anyone if asked, nor suggest any such
counsel; furthermore, I will not give to a woman an instrument to produce
abortion. . . .With purity and holiness I will pass my life and practice
my art [22:32].
In 1803 a British physician, Thomas Percival, developed the "Scheme of
Professional Conduct" upon which the American Medical Association's (AMA's)
first adopted Code of Ethics was substantially based in 1847. Essentially,
it exhorted the physician to dedication, honesty, competence, high personal
moral standards, and good citizenship (19:14).
In September 1948, the World Medical Association adopted the Declaration of
Geneva, which said, "I will maintain the utmost respect for human life, from the
time of conception; even under threat, I will not use my medical knowledge
contrary to the laws of humanity [17:317] ."
In October 1949, the International Code of Medical Ethics stated, "A doctor
must always bear in mind the importance of preserving human life from the
time of conception until death." Chairman of the committee, Dr. Paul Cibrie,
stated that abortionists were condemned in the Declaration of Geneva
In 1970, the World Medical Association reaffirmed its position with the
Declaration of Oslo: "The first moral imposed upon the doctor is respect for
human life as expressed in . . . the Declaration of Geneva [17:318]."
The AMA's Principles of Medical Ethics have been revised in 1903, 1912,
1947, 1957, and 1980. The 1980 revision was done "to clarify and update the
language, to eliminate reference to gender, and to seek a proper and
reasonable balance between professional standards and contemporary legal
standards in our changing society [22:33]."
Comparing the wording cited in the 1980 revision to that of all the
aforementioned codes (except Percival's, upon which the AMA's is based),
there was a shift from the concrete to the abstract. Any reference to
abortion was conspicuously absent. This was because the hierarchy of the AMA
embraced a judicial law handed down by the United States Supreme Court on
January 22, 1973, which allows for killing a human being in his or her mother'
s womb throughout nine months of pregnancy for any reason. Roe v. Wade best
speaks for itself as summarily found in the opinion of the two dissenting
At the heart of the controversy in these cases are those recurring
pregnancies that pose no danger whatsoever to the life or health of
the mother but are nevertheless unwanted for any one or more of a
variety of reasons-convenience, family planning, economics, dislike
of children, the embarrassment of illegitimacy, etc. The common claim
before us is that for any one of such reasons, or for no reason at all,
and without asserting or claiming any threat to life or health, any woman
is entitled to an abortion at her request if she is able to find a med
ical advisor willing to undertake the procedure [9:1138].
Instead of Roe v. Wade being challenged by the medical profession both
scientifically and for compliance with traditional ethics, medical ethics
shifted to accommodate the new "law." Perhaps it would be more honest to say
that erosion of medical ethics actually paved the way for the new law. This
was never so boldly admitted as when an editorial appeared in California
Medicine, official journal of the California Medical Association, September
The Traditional Western Ethic has always placed great emphasis on the
intrinsic worth and equal value of every human life regardless of its state
or condition. . . . The process of eroding the old ethic and substituting the
new has already begun. It may be seen most clearly in changing attitudes
toward human abortion.... Since the old ethic has not yet been fully
displaced it has been necessary to separate the idea of abortion from the
idea of killing, which continues to be socially abhorrent. One result has
been a curious avoidance of the scientific fact, which everyone really
knows, that human life begins at conception and is continuous whether
infra or extra-uterine until death. The very considerable semantic gymnastics
which are required to rationalize abortion as anything but taking a human
life would be ludicrous if they were not often put forth under socially
impeccable auspices.... It seems safe to predict that . . . the new ethic of
relative rather than of absolute and equal values will ultimately prevail
How did the AMA separate the idea of abortion from the idea of
killing? A comparative look at their policy statements spanning a century
shows how it was done:
What should the ethics of abortion be?
1871-"Thou shalt not kill. This Commandment is given to all without
exception. ... it matters not at what stage of development his victim may
have arrived" [5:191].
1967-"This is a personal and moral consideration which in all cases must be
faced according to the dictates of the conscience of the patient and her
1871-"The work of destruction; the wholesale destruction of unborn infants"
1967-"The interruption of pregnancy; the induced termination of pregnancy"
What should be done to physician-abortionists?
1871-"They should be made the outcasts of society. We will . . . guard and
protect the public against the machinations of these characters by pointing
out the physical and moral ruin which follows in their wake" [5:191].
1970-"They should be permitted to perform abortions as long as they take
place 'in an accredited hospital"' [S:l91].
Just three years later, in 1973, the Supreme Court ruled that the decision
to abort rests solely with the woman and her doctor, not even specifying what
kind of a doctor. A podiatrist became legally permitted to perform an
abortion. A general practitioner would be disciplined by his colleagues for
doing a heart operation, but the podiatrist-abortionist goes undisciplined,
unpunished, because acceptance of abortion as a private right has allowed
the "new ethic" to prevail.
Since Roe v. Wade, there has been increasing evidence of a schizophrenic
mentality in medical practice and in medical textbooks. In practice,
physician-abortionists have been killing babies at nine months gestation in
one room of a hospital while doctors labor to save the life of a prematurely
born baby at five months gestation in the next room.
Williams Obstetrics, a highly respected medical textbook, published the
Since therapeutic abortion to save the life of the woman is rarely necessary
or definable, it follows that the great majority of such operations
previously performed in this country went beyond the letter of the law
In the same text, same column, the following appeared, which is the first
indication for abortion in the policy of the American College of
Obstetricians and Gynecologists:
When continuation of the pregnancy may threaten the life of the woman or
seriously impair her health. In determining whether or not there is such a
risk to health, account may be taken of the woman's total environment,
actual reasonably foreseeable [46:501] .
This policy is in total agreement with Roe's abortion-on demand, and member
doctors functioning under it would insist that they are operating ethically.
However, there is an implicit admission of the "new ethic" prevailing. As
noted, pregnancy rarely threatens a woman's life and doctors abused the "life
of the mother" excuse prior to Roe. "Risk to health" was broadened to mean
any excuse to get rid of the unborn baby, whose total worth is no longer
intrinsic, but based on wantedness.
Another textbook example of the schizophrenic mentality is demonstrated by
the following three paragraphs, which appear in sequence, uninterrupted, in
the college text The Medical Assistant:
The physician is not prohibited by ethical considerations from performing a
lawful abortion in accordance with good medical practice.
The discovery that a patient is abusing a child or a parent creates a
difficult situation for the doctor's office. The law requires that such
abuse be reported.
The physician, being a member of a profession dedicated to preserving life,
should not participate in a legally authorized execution [22:34].
The reader is referred to Figures 1 to 7. The above textbook quote (all three
paragraphs) raises several questions: How can killing another human being
(abortion) ever be considered "good medical practice"? Is not induced
abortion also child abuse? Are only abortionist-doctors allowed to abuse
patients? Is not induced abortion "legally authorized execution"? In 1871
the AMA thought so, calling physician-abortionists "educated assassins;
modern Herods; the executioners [5:191]."
What are some of the effects of Roe v. Wade? The public did not
overwhelmingly accept abortion-on-demand as "morally right." In an apparent
effort to gain moral respectability for killing by abortion, a referral
service called Clergy Consultation Service was put together in 1967 [29:42].
They referred many women to a Dr. David Sopher, known for his late
abortions at 14 to 26 weeks gestation. As he described his technique at a
Planned Parenthood meeting in Des Moines in 1973, he showed. . . the fetus
reconstructed at the end of the abortion like a grisly jigsaw puzzle. One
could see where the arms and legs had been ripped from the body and removed
separately, how the spine had been snapped in two, . . . how the skull had
been crushed and the brain drained out before the bony parts were removed
Other physician-abortionists have related the emotional turmoil this
procedure inevitably wreaks on themselves and staff. Drs. Roaks and Cates
Ossified parts such as the skull must often be crushed and the bone
fragments extracted carefully to avoid tearing the cervix. Reconstruction of
the fetal sections after removal is necessary to ensure completeness of the
abortion procedure. Clearly, D & E transfers much of the possible
psychological trauma of the abortion from the patient to the professional
It is ironic that, just months after the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, Dr.
Bernard Nathanson, who had done so much to bring the decision about, began
to rethink his position:
I am deeply troubled by my own increasing certainty that I had in fact
presided over 60,000 deaths. There is no longer serious doubt in my mind
that human life exists within the womb from the very onset of pregnancy
Dr. Nathanson was a founder of the National Association for the Repeal of
Abortion Laws. It was later renamed National Abortion Rights Action League.
Dr. Nathanson commented on NARAL's opening of a new headquarters in
Jersey on June 24, 1990:
In over twenty years, NARAL has learned nothing and forgotten nothing.
They're still perpetuating the same lies Larry Lader and I invented two
decades ago before abortion was legal. To sway public opinion we created
abortion statistics which claimed 10,000 women a year died from illegal
abortions when the real figure was probably closer to 200. I helped unleash
the abortion monster which since 1970 has claimed the lives of 25 million
children. All that has changed with NARAL in these years is that their lying
has become more audacious, their budget has become more bloated and their
murderous intent more nakedly obvious  .
Dr. Nathanson's complete turnaround is a witness that concurs with Dr.
Walter F. Judge's opinion: "Medical ethics deals with the physician's
obligation to the patient. These obligations are furnished by a moral code
as commanded by a higher law-the law of nature itself  ." Dr. Nathanson
could no longer ignore the "higher law," could no longer accommodate the
"new ethic," but now works tirelessly for a return to traditional ethics. He
reminds fellow doctors that "the science of fetology-the study of the fetus
in his own environment- shows incontrovertibly that the unbom child is a
human being. It is a doctor's sworn duty to protect that second patient, not
kill it ."
The very fact that the prebom human can be treated in utero establishes him
or her as "patient" [16:1582-1584]. When any pregnant female presents
herself for medical attention, there are at least two patients present.
However, the prebom human is not acknowledged as patient if he or she is
unwanted. Some of the wording on the patient information sheets from
Pennsylvania Hospital's Antenital Testing Unit for "Real time Ultrasound
Examination" and "Real time Ultrasound Examination Prior to Termination" may
be compared to illustrate this. When the baby is wanted, it reads:
You have been scheduled for real time ultrasound for your baby. This procedure
uses reflected sound waves . . . to form a picture of your pelvic organs
and your baby. This picture . . . can help the doctor estimate your due
date, show the position of the baby . . . show if your baby is growing well,
and show movements of the baby....there is no known risk of harm to you or
your baby . . . [47:241].
When the baby is not wanted, he or she is literally removed from the picture
by this wording:
You have been scheduled for real time ultrasound to determine how far your
pregnancy has progressed. This procedure uses reflected sound waves to form
a picture of your pelvic organs and your pregnancy. This picture . . . can
help your doctor determine which procedure will be appropriate for
termination. ...there is no risk of harm to you [47:242].
It seems that advances in technology, such as ultrasound imaging and medical
care for the preborn baby, are inversely proportional when abortion is the
choice. Meanwhile, Principle V of the AMA's Code of Medical Ethics states,
"A physician shall continue to study, apply and advance scientific
knowledge, make relevant information available to patients. . . [22:32]."
AMA's Principle I states, "A physician shall be dedicated to providing
competent medical service with compassion . . .[22:32]." There is no
compassion for the baby involved in an abortion. Dr. Liley, known as the
Father of Fetology, observed that "the unborn knows perfectly well when he
has been hurt, and he will protest it just as violently as would a baby
lying in a crib [24:50] ." Dr. Jay Kelinson learned this the hard way when he
consented to be filmed in "The Silent Scream" while performing an abortion.
That was the last time he walked into an abortion facility. He testified to
the authenticity of the film in another film called "The Answer": "There
was no manipulation of that tape; there was no misrepresentation. I was
horrified at what I had seen."
AMA's Principle II states, "A physician shall deal honestly with patients
and colleagues, and strive to expose those physicians deficient in character
or competence, or who engage in fraud or deception [22:32] ." One example
of dishonest dealings in the abortion industry is a procedure termed
"menstrual aspiration." It also goes by the names of "menstrual extraction,"
| "menstrual induction," "instant period," and" a traumatic abortion" [46
:501]. When a female's menstrual period is one to three weeks late and
pregnancy is usually uncertain, she is given a suction curettage operation
and told that it's "just regulating your period." Besides being immoral,
illogical and unsafe, this is an ethical violation of her
Principle III states, "A physician shall respect the law and also recognize a
responsibility to seek changes in those requirements which are contrary to
the best interests of the patient [22:32]." It cannot be presumed that the
unborn patient would consent to his or her own death.
Also, physician-abortionists are operating under a law based on fraud. Roe
v. Wade and its companion case Doe v. Bolton are based on fraud. Both
plaintiffs, Norma McCorvey ("Jane Roe" of Texas) and Sandra Bensing ("Mary
Doe" of Georgia), have come forth and disclosed how they lied. "Roe" was not
raped and "Doe" never sought an abortion but was "manipulated" by
pro-abortion lawyers seeking a test case to challenge the laws prohibiting
abortion [38:4]. Many in the medical profession are aware of this but do not
bother to challenge the fraudulent law. Where are the ethics? Are not
ethics and the law presumed to be based on truth?". . . from the fact of
[the Court decision, Roe v. Wade], no conclusion follows for morality or
for the ethical practice of medicine [34:41]." Fetal experimentation did
follow, plus infanticide and euthanasia. Writing on "Fetal Politics," Dr.
Willard Gaylin and Dr. Marc Lappe' continue:
Affording the fetus the same protection as the child [both innocent and
non-consenting subjects] seems ludicrous in the light of prevailing public
acceptance and government approval of abortion. In abortion we more or less
readily condone procedures which subject the fetus to dismemberment,
salt-induced osmotic shock, or surgical extirpation; . . . Mere consistency
would seem to demand that society cannot condone abortion procedures which
must subject the live fetus to unimaginable acts of violence, and then balk
at giving a mother an aspirin prior to those procedures in order to
determine if the drug crosses placenta-with hopes, thereby, that the
knowledge will prevent damage to future wanted babies [34:41, 42].
Some would argue that if the fetus (Latin for "young one") is going to die
anyway, why not put it to "good use" such as research (often live) or for
"spare parts"? One U.S. woman demanded to be artificially inseminated with
her father's sperm so she could abort the baby and have the kidneys
transplanted to replace the father's diseased kidneys [30:19].
Even more bizarre was a practice admitted to by a British gynecologist. He
sold babies to soap manufacturers. This was done without the approval of the
Ministry of Health, but done, nevertheless, because his colleagues turned
their backs. He spoke to two undercover reporters:
Now, many of the babies I get are fully-formed. . . . One morning, I had
four of them lined up crying their heads off. I hadn't the time to kill them
there and then because we were so busy. I was loathe to drop them in the
incinerator because there was so much animal fat that could have been
used commercially. . . . They could live at that stage if they were put
in an incubator . . . [but] it would be a breach of contract if I allowed
that child to live [25:146-148].
Late-term hysterotomy abortions are commonly done in the United States when
the babies are fully formed and developed. With proper care, most of these
babies could live, but they do not qualify for care because they are not wanted
by the natural mother. Hysterotomies do qualify, though, being done often
enough to qualify for code 59105 in the AMA's 1989 CP] manual. (The Current
Procedural Terminology manual is a physician's guide for setting fees. One
requirement for inclusion of a medical service in CPT is that it must be commonly
performed.) Code 59850 even acknowledges "delivery of fetus" in its listing for
the abortion procedure [10:238, 240]. Could this be infanticide? Dr. Koop, former
Surgeon General, said of hysterotomy abortions, "These babies are truly
alive and they are allowed to die through neglect or are deliberately
killed by a variety of methods [23:31]."
Abortion is the beginning of the slippery slope in America. The Nazi Holo
caust also sprang from "small beginnings." In the novel Judgment at Nur
emberg, American Judge Haywood visited his German colleague Judge Janning
in his cell. The one-time Nazi judge said of the deaths of millions of
men, women, I and children in gas ovens, "I did not know it would come to
that." Haywood replied, "Herr Janning, it came to that the first time you
sentenced to death a man you knew to be innocent [17 :263] ."
America's death toll from abortion alone has far surpassed that of the
Nazi Holocaust. Now the Planned Parent hood inspired slogan "Every child a
wanted child" has progressed to "Every grandparent a wanted grandparent."
Many abortion advocates are also active in the euthanasia movement. Before
his death, Dr. Alan Guttmacher, head of Planned Parenthood World Popula
tion, was also a prominent member of the Board of the Euthanasia Society
of America [47:218]. Chapters of the Euthanasia Society, sometimes called
Society for Concern for Dying, often have the same address as abortion pro
viders. The intent of Roe v. Wade can be extended to include euthanasia be
cause of Roe's discussion of "quality of life [20:A8]."
Ethically, society has moved from the eighteenth century B.C., Hammurabi's
time, when a physician would lose one of his hands if he violated codes of
law and ethics, to the twentieth century A.D., when physicians dismember the
hands of preborn babies and it is both legal and acceptable medical
Reality sets in. It is 1990, the year for college applications for the class
of 1994, applicants conceived in 1973, the year of Roe v. Wade. The Boston
Globe headline on June 16, 1990, reads, "The College Pool Dwindles: New
England Schools Resorting to Unfamiliar Measures to Attract Incoming
Freshmen." (One measure proposed is to lower academic standards [44:1].)
Where have all the students gone? Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that
30 percent of America's babies (1.5 million per year) are induced abortion
Is it possible to return to the old ethic? Is it too late to try?
The most merciful thing that a large family does to one of its infant
members is to kill it.
-Margaret Sanger, Founder of Planned Parenthood
(Woman and the New Race)
From eight in the morning until midnight, seven days a week, doctors working
in ten operating rooms performed vacuum aspirations on an endless parade of
-Dr. Bernard Nathanson
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