Monday, 27 June 2022

Post script to the abortion debate

Dunk sent me a link to this article on the Science Based Medicine website, which is very interesting reading (if you have ten minutes or so). It is stepping away from the ethical arguments and talking about how decisions like the one to repeal Roe v Wade have wider implications and are just part of what is happening to attack science based medicine. Health care decisions must be made about what is necessary for the care of the patient, not what some random people think is the 'right' thing to do. There are many circumstances where abortion is medically the necessary thing to do to protect a woman's life; a woman suffering a miscarriage, a woman diagnosed with cancer, a woman suffering pre-eclampsia, a woman who's baby has been diagnosed with a condition that is terminal. He outlines the extreme cases where women have been denied life saving treatment because the foetus in their uterus had a heartbeat. The threat of criminality muddies the water for doctors making decisions about the care of pregnant women; just how near death do they have to be before it is ok to sacrifice their unborn child. There are no other circumstances where one human being is legally obliged to sacrifice their life for someone else. If someone is drowning, you are not obliged to jump in and save them. If your organ is a match for someone who needs it, you are not obliged to give it to them. A pregnant woman should have health care decision made based on her needs, not on the needs of the foetus. 
These things are not straightforward. Don't be taken in by people who say they are.

Stay safe. Live with compassion for other human beings. Imagine living with the consequences of your worst bad decision, and be slower to pass judgement.

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