The American College of Physicians updated its Ethics Manual in 2012. Having read it through once again, two points in the section of Human Rights struck home to my sense of morality, and with which I entirely concur: “Participation by physicians in the execution of prisoners except to certify death is unethical’ and “Physicians must not be a party to and must speak out against torture.”
Why not hold physicians who participate in the execution of intrauterine humans equally accountable for their unethical practice? While it is true that abortion on demand is legal since the U.S. Supreme Court made the horrendous decision of Roe v. Wade in 1973, not all legalities are at the same time morally sound or ethical. The synonyms for that type behavior which is considered ethical are; moral, principled, right, decent, proper, fitting, virtuous, just, honorable, upright, and fair. Under what circumstances would one reasonably conclude that the deliberate taking of an intra-uterine human life fits any of those adjectives?
As for the “torture” clause, anyone viewing the ultrasonic picture of a baby in its intrauterine development is utterly aware of the child’s ability to sense pain after the 6th or 7th week. During the 6th week after fertilization the unborn child can respond to local tactile stimulation by reflex movements. At the end of the sixth week, the unborn child is clearly recognizable as a human being by gross morphological observation. The spread of cutaneous receptors is preceded by the development of synapses between sensory nerve fibers and interneurons in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord, which first appear during the sixth week of gestation and which transmit the sensation of pain to the baby‘s brain. Spontaneous movement begins somewhere in the 6th to 7th week.
Thus, from the 6th week on to full gestation at 36 weeks of life the cutting edge of the abortionist’s metallic curette, the insidious pull on the little body by a suction apparatus into the vortex of rushing negative pressure, or the cauterizing effect of an abortive solution are all dreadfully painful and tortuous. Partial birth, late term abortion, during which all but the human baby’s head is delivered, followed by the insertion of a trocar into his or her brain and sucking out the contents of the cranial cavity, can be nothing but absolute, inhumane behavior. As such, having spent the past 50 years of my life in the practice of internal medicine, and having over the past two years observed the intrauterine movements of five of my great grandchildren on ultrasonic moving pictures, I gladly “speak out against” the execution and torture of these helpless, innocent human beings.