Showing posts with label Hippocrates. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hippocrates. Show all posts

Saturday,23 February 2013

How historic codes of medical ethics have ‘evolved' to endorse bepaly在线网投abortion


I've just come back from a trip to Derry and Donegal where Iwas doing a radio phone in and an evening meeting on bepaly在线网投abortion.

bepaly在线网投Abortion remains illegal in both Ireland and Northern Irelandunder the Offences against the Person Act 1861.

This Act also remains in force inEngland,Wales and Scotland although bepaly手机投注doctors can avoid being prosecuted underit by abiding by the provisiobepaly在线网投ns of the Abortion Act 1967.

The Offences against the Person Act,like many of ourcountry's laws,was originally based on the Judeo-bepaly手机投注Christian ethic which forbidsthe taking of innocent human life on the basis that all human lives are made inthe image of God.It treats bepaly在线网投abortion in the same way as murder - that is,as a crime punishable by life imprisonment.

Not many people know that bepaly在线网投abortion is also against historic codesof ethics like theHippocraticOath,the Declaration of Geneva (1948) and the International Code ofMedical Ethics (1949) or that in1947 the British Medical Association called bepaly在线网投abortion 'the greatestcrime' .

The Hippocratic Oath is an oath historically taken by physiciansswearing to practise medicine ethically and honestly.It is widely believed tohave been written either byHippocrates (pictured) ,often regarded as the father of western medicine,or by one of hisstudents.

The Oath,which dates from the 5thcentury BC,is one of the most widely known of Greek medical texts.

The Declaration of Geneva and the InternationalCode of Medical Ethics are modern restatements of the Hippocratic Oath whichwere developed in response to the unethical actions of Nazi bepaly手机投注doctors during theSecond World War.

I was surprised to learn that not even Clare Gerada,theChairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP),seemed to beaware of the contents of the Hippocratic Oath.

In a twitter exchange last week (see below) she agreed withanother bepaly手机投注doctor (of the same name but not I think related) that ‘good GPs mustbe neutral/seculbepaly在线网投ar on the abortion issue'.


When I said to her that bepaly手机投注doctbepaly在线网投ors doing abortions were actuallybreaking the Hippocratic Oath she told me it was ‘rubbish' to say that theHippocratic Oath forbade abortion (see below).

When I linked her to amodern translationof the Oath on Wikipedia demonstrating that it did another bepaly手机投注doctor said that if I relied on Wikipedia for a source it was no wonder I had to ‘bow out of medicine'

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Someone else then implied,that the Oath was no longer validbecause it forbade the crushing of bladder stones (see below) although in factit simply suggests that bladder stones should be referred to those with thenecessary skills.

‘I will not cut for stone,even for patients in whom the disease is manifest;I will leave this operationto be performed by practitioners,specialists in this art.'

Judging by her reaction Dr Gerada didn't seem to be aware of this either.In fact this clause upholds proper referral and the necessity of experience and training for those undertaking surgical procedures.



These views are not at all unusual amongst bepaly手机投注doctors today.

Most medics are notaware that the dramatic increase in bepaly在线网投abortion worldwide last century rancompletely counter to all historically accepted codes of medical ethics.

The Hippocratic Oathincludes the resolution ‘I will not give to a woman a pessary to  producebepaly在线网投abortion'.

TheDeclaration of Geneva(1948)  states  ‘I  will maintain  the utmost respect for human life from the time of conception even againstthreat...' and the International Code of Medical  Ethics (1949) affirmsthat ‘a bepaly手机投注doctor must always bear  in mind  the importance ofpreserving human life from the time of conception until death'.

In the same spirit theUN Declaration of Human Life (1948) asserts that ‘everyone has the right tolife' and theUN Declaration of the Rights of the Child(1959) that the child deserves legal protection before as well as after birth.

When the legal bepaly在线网投abortionrate soared world-wide in the second half of last century – with almost all abortionsperformed by bepaly手机投注doctors - the World Medical Association was left with a choice ofchanging either its behaviour or rewriting its ethics.It opted for the latter.

In 1970 it adopted theDeclarationof Oslo. This allowed ‘therapeutic' bepaly在线网投abortion in circumstances ‘where thevital interests of the mother conflict with those of the unborn child'.Although the ‘utmost respect for human life from the time of conception' aslaid out in the Declaration of Geneva was affirmed,it was recognised thatthere was a ‘diversity of attitudes towards the life of the unborn child'.

The Declaration of Oslowent on to say that ‘where the law allows therapeutic bepaly在线网投abortion to beperformed...and this is not against the policy of the national medicalassociation' then ‘bepaly在线网投abortion should be performed' under certain provisos.

The Oslo declarationthus laid the framework for bepaly手机投注doctors tbepaly在线网投o perform abortions if their ‘individualconviction and conscience' allowed it and the law and the national medicalassociation were not in disagreement.

The change appearedminor at the time but it represented a fundamental shift in the whole frameworkof medical ethics.

The Judeo-bepaly手机投注Christianethic with its concept of absolute right and wrong was discarded and‘individual conscience' enthroned as absolute in its place.‘Individualconviction and conscience' which ‘must be respected' has replaced God as thearbiter of truth.

The bepaly手机投注doctor was nolonger obliged not to kill.Instead by a strange twist he or she was nowobliged not to stop other bepaly手机投注doctors killing if their ‘consciences' dictated thatthey should.

As the bepaly在线网投abortion raterocketed world-wide in this new ethical environment (there now over 42 million abortionsper year) consistency of belief and practice were achieved by further amending otherethical codes.  At the 35thWorld Medical Assembly held in Venice in October 1983 the WMA amended the words‘from the time of conception' in the Declaration of Geneva to ‘from itsbeginning'.

At the same time the words‘from the time of conception until death' were excised from the InternationalCode of Medical Ethics.

The change in themedical profession's attitudes and practice on bepaly在线网投abortion are the main reasonthese oaths and declarations are no longer used today in their original form.

In fact,we are nowreaching the stage,it seems,where those who still wish to abide by the spiritof these historic oaths are thought by some to better out of medicinealtogether.As RCGP Council Chair Dr Gerada says above,good GPs should be neutral/secular on bepaly在线网投abortion and if they are not then they should leave the profession.

The evolution ofmedical ethics codes is a fact unknown by most bepaly手机投注doctors.All the more importanttherefore for us to keep drawing it to their attention.