The Hippocratic Oath

by Paul T

Doctors can often be the most influential figures for women who are confused and nervous about their unplanned pregnancy. Women see doctors as healers, role models, even important figures when they have no one else to turn to. These doctors, however, even under the Hippocratic oath, are often keen to suggest abortion as the first and only option for the woman seeking help. I seem to remember and quote one of the most important lines in the Hippocratic oath:

Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art.

It seems to me this part of the oath remains as true to the doctor’s role now as it ever did. Isn’t the doctor the one who heals? The one who cures? The one who cares for patients? Let’s remember that pregnancy is not a disease, it is the natural reproductive cycle of the human species. Thus, terminating it is not curing anything. It’s not healing anything either, nor is it caring for the patients, the woman and child.

The doctor plays an essential role in the lives of men, women, and children, and his Hippocratic oath is explicit in its defence of life in all instances. The doctor’s role of curing, and healing, and protecting life can be no more evident in the role of delivery at childbirth. The doctor’s role of delivering the unborn child and handing it to the mother is a much different picture than that of the “doctor” who aspirates the unborn child into a machine, or dismembers it within the mother’s womb. It is up to us, as a just and responsible society, to stand up for the giving of life in all circumstances, and not to be turning a blind eye to “doctors” who recommend and perform the spilling of innocent blood.

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