“Traditional” medicine is under attack on many interrelated fronts, perhaps broadly represented in summary by these specific but interrelated front lines.
Liberty of Conscience in Medicine
The exercise of conscience is foundational to good medicine. It underlies every aspect of good medical practice, to make good patient care our first concern and to practice medicine safely and effectively. See here.
Liberty of conscience lies at the very heart of our integrity. It is conscience that must compel doctors to refuse to participate in treatments they believe to be unethical or that they consider not to be in the best interests of patients.
But this is at risk even from within the profession. “If people are not prepared to offer legally permitted, efficient, and beneficial care to a patient because it conflicts with their values, they should not be doctors”. Professor Julian Savulescu, Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, BMJ 2006;332:294-297 February 4.
For further discussion including doctors not being able to access training places in various disciplines see “Liberty of Conscience“.
Truly informed consent is being suppressed by those of particular ideology, particularly with respect to abortion – the mounting evidence for the breast cancer connection, Post-Abortion Syndrome and pre-term birth with its many consequences including cerebral palsy cannot be so easily dismissed. Our liberty to tell truth is at risk.
Doctors as “providers of medical services” Turning doctors into mere service providers of medical services on demand instead of doctors with conscience, with the traditional doctor/patient relationship being replaced by a service-provider/consumer contract, providing all that is legal whether or not it is consistent with their ethical base.
To sacrifice conscience and be concerned only with service provision is to destroy the heart and soul of medicine. For fuller discussion see here.
Law of the State overriding medical ethics. Governments may legislate to permit certain practices or procedures, but governments must never force doctors to violate their conscience by compulsory engagement in such practices or procedures – as indeed has happened with Section 8 of the Victorian 2008 legalisation of abortion compelling doctors to refer to another doctor for abortion.
The Independence of the medical profession is critical – belief in practice as enshrined in the international covenants of the UDHR and ICCPR and non-derogable, that cannot be overridden even in national emergency (article 4 ICCPR).
When legal code supersedes moral code, the slope of a culture’s decline is steep and swift. J. Scott Ries, MD
Life – its definition, when does it begin and when does it become of value?
Human life has intrinsic value and worth in all states of dependence and disability, from conception to life’s natural end, the need for the definition being highlighted by:
Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide: euphemistically described as MAiD (Medical Aid in Dying); a fundamental shift in medicine turning healers into killers; confusing the problem of suffering with the life of the person, to kill the pain but not the person with it;
Unrestricted even for the non-dying; even for existential distress in teenagers,
Economic strangulation of palliative care services; funding limited for patients seeking palliative care but funding given for assisted suicide.
Giving state approval for suicide as a valid option; weakening of national strategies against suicide
Abortion: the continuing pushfor legalisation with no restriction on time, method or reason (even de-selection of a female twin).
Routine pre-natal diagnosis with implied embryo selection or abortion of the “defective” (even compulsory). Already parents who do not agree to have their babies “de-selected” are labelled “genetic outlaws” and face the accusation “how dare you bring this financial impost on the community.”
With the sinister creation of a list of “defects” that are not “worthy” of life.
Including Down Syndrome to the point of genocide of that happy and educable group of people. See Karen Gaffney (video below).
Promotion of Infanticide as “post-birth abortion” before the onset of “self-awareness” as being equivalent to abortion and therefore OK.
Research and experimentation at frontiers of science
Destructive embryo research for the sake of the living including stem-cell research
Designer babies to provide cells for siblings
Cloning for the sake of cell and even organ provision for living siblings or other relatives, even the clone parent
Other genetic manipulation including three-parent families; genome editing (genetic modification); hybrids – mixing of animal and human genes; cyborgs – mixing of organic and inorganic
Medical Board of Australia
And now, astonishingly and unexpectedly, the MBA with its threatened clamping down (Draft Code 2018) of free speech by doctors and Good Medical Practice being subject to “cultural beliefs” and transgender identity ideology. These changes would add penalty to perceived breaches relating to any of the above threats to the future of medicine and free debate or expression of views on these threats. Is the MBA itself now into unprofessional conduct in the sense of sabotaging Good Medicine? At least now it has reversed its policy to list complaints against doctors even when the complaints have been found to be without substance. Watch this space.
Transgender ideology and child abuse The mutual exclusivity of the two “affirming” pathways of approach to the young child wishing to transgender i.e. affirming and reassuring of birth sex vs affirming of feeling sex, and only one of them can be child abuse as declared.
This is highlighted by – also possibly in contravention of international codes regarding human experimentation – the willingness of doctors to use treatments with known and unknown deleterious long-term effects e.g. hormonal effects on bone density, fertility, thrombo-embolic events; even radical disfiguring surgery to amputate normal breasts or genitalia (further highlighted by reports in USA of mastectomies in thirteen-year-old girls).
To argue on the one-hand that there is no polarity, no heteronormativity, and then to amputate sexual organs in order to achieve what they have been trying to eliminate, is a parody of logic with enormous consequences to the individual concerned.
The transgender argument is gaining momentum in the medical community as illustrated by the inclusion in the Medical Journal of Australia 6 August 2018 Volume 209 No 3 of the Consensus Statement by the Australian and New Zealand Professional association for Transgender Health that states “practices attempting to change a person’s gender identity to be more aligned with their sex assigned at birth… lack efficacy, are considered unethical, and may cause lasting damage…”.
Yet if we have not even queried whether there are possible contributing factors or stressors in children wishing to transgender – such querying itself labelled as abuse by those who insist on affirming the wish – then we have failed our ethical and professional responsibilities as doctors, and our duty as community leaders and parents.
Suicidal risk in some studies is elevated (22 times in a Canadian study), however it is said that this is due to community non-acceptance rather than intrinsic to the dysphoria.
This is a clear ethical divide in which it is essential for medicine, not activists, to be decisive and authoritative. Medical Defence Organisations likewise need to give clear guidance to avoid a future minefield.
Liberty to tell truth that is not “politically correct” Related to many of the above and sometimes labelled as “hate speech” and discrimination. Includes truth in informed consent; promotion of children being preferentially brought up with biological mother and father; medical risks of promiscuity and homosexuality; premature sexualisation of our children; specific risks of anal intercourse including to our young when presented as a “contraceptive” measure in school under “respectful relationships”.
Good Medicine is the heart and soul of Good Medical Practice. It requires and demands skill, knowledge, sensitivity, respect for people and their backgrounds to ensure good health outcomes. It involves understanding, assessing what is happening and what is needed, education and explanation, and working respectfully with the patient to ensure the best possible good health outcome.
The future of medicine is at stake. When Medicine falls, so does society.
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Activists within the pro-LGBT Methodist Church claimed Edwards’ words “distressed” co-workers. They accused the father of five of engaging in behaviour that “was extremely damaging”, arguing that he was also potentially hurting the organisation’s “business plan”.