BP #4 Should doctors be forced to perform abortions or assisted suicides?

Doctors have a right to conscientious objection, aka the right to refuse a service that they feel violates their ethics or morals. Likewise, they shouldn’t be forced to perform such procedures regardless of the doctors’ morals.

Yet Queen’s University bioethicist Udo Scuklenk and Oxford bioethicist Julian Savulescu argue completely against that and even say that anyone who refuses to perform such procedures based on their ethical or moral standards shouldn’t even be allowed to enter medical school. They say that there are plenty of people who want to be doctors or study in medical school and that “we should select those who are willing to provide the full scope of professional services.” They also said, “Medical schools and training programs should carefully outline the nature of the job and screen for conscientious objection where it is relevant to job performance.” They sneer at the idea of physician integrity,and they claim that patient interest should always come before a person’s integrity.

I agree and I disagree with their argument. Can they really be upset at a doctor for being “too ethical?” Yet I agree that a person’s interest should come before a doctors integrity and morals.

If a doctor feels uncomfortable performing such procedures then he or she should direct such patient to a doctor that is able to perform it. There’s no reason for any doctor to be forced to perform it.

I see their reasoning behind it though. The abortionist lobby complains that fewer and fewer medical students are learning how to perform abortions and ones who do go down that path are supposedly shunned. Abortionists complain they get no respect and are looked down upon.

It’s easy for me to say whether the doctor’s morals come first or the patients morals come first (hint it’s the patient’s). I say the patients have the final say so on if they want to go for an abortion or assisted suicide. They have the final say on if they want to go through chemotherapy or not, and a doctor can’t say no to that–or hasn’t ever in the past. So the same should go for assisted suicide or abortion.

Someone shouldn’t probably go to medical school if they have such strong morals against certain procedures fully knowing the job descriptions may require them to perform them.

Yet a doctor shouldn’t be forced to perform anything they don’t want to, that’s the perk of spending thousands on medical school. Same school of thought, a patient can’t be forced to go under the knife so a doctor shouldn’t be forced to hold one.

Source: http://liveactionnews.org/bioethicists-push-for-doctors-forced-commit-abortion-assisted-suicide/


4 thoughts on “BP #4 Should doctors be forced to perform abortions or assisted suicides?

  1. This is a rather divisive in our society today, and my only curiosity is this: if a patient wants an abortion or assisted suicide, and the doctor absolutely refuses, and there is not a time constraint on the situation, it’s the easy way out; get a different doctor who will. When a time constraint is in place, if a pregnancy will kill the mother, for example, and action needed to be taken immediately, should the be forced to then? I’d think so, and could argue it from a few ethical points, such as maximizing the good/minimizing the bad (utilitarianism) or perhaps a Kantian rule-based argument, but it feels wrong still.

    So, i guess my question is in regards to what happens when a decision needs to be made right away and they’re the only doctor around, are they forced to then?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When its down the the nitty gritty, who’s morals stand higher? I think there will always be a doctor willing to perform such procedures so there’s no need to force any doctor.


  2. I really enjoyed you blog post. All I could think about was the Hippocratic oath and how it may have changed in meaning to some. All health professionals take an oath to “do no harm” but harm may become a relative term. Do you believe you are causing harm to a terminally ill patient with an assisted suicide or harm by making them live the rest of their days out in pain and suffering. Do you believe if a child is killing the mother you must “harm” the baby to save the mother, or “harm” the mother to save the baby. I agree there will always be a health professional that will perform such procedures but who is in the right? If it is the doctor’s duty, is it a matter of force or non-compliance with physician standards?

    Great job, just questions I had while reading through your blog. I am grateful you wrote on a topic others stray away from.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I feel that doctors should not be forced to doing these types of procedures if it goes against their moral or ethical beliefs. That being said, I do agree that the patient’s moral beliefs should come first and that they should be able to get any procedure they want done to them. It is a big concern that there could be an individual who is in a situation where they need a procedure done they goes against a doctor’s moral belief but is necessary in order for the patient to survive, such as an abortion in certain circumstances. In this case, I do think that the doctor needs to put his beliefs aside in order to save the patient.

    Liked by 1 person

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