November 13, 2009

Letters to the Editor

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Medical profession dedicated to ‘doing no harm’ must not be silent on abortion issue, reader says

I was struck by a recent article in The Indianapolis Star regarding the “problem” the state of Ohio has in finding qualified medical professionals willing to assist in putting condemned inmates to death. The problem apparently derives from the American Medical Association prohibition of members doing anything “to contribute to the ability of another individual to directly cause the death of the condemned.”

The AMA board chairman expands on that position by correctly stating the physician’s role is that of the healer, and to be involved in the conscious ending of life undermines that role.

The AMA’s position on this issue is commendable. However, I would very much appreciate an equally strong AMA statement regarding the role of licensed physicians in destroying more than 54 million innocent human babies in the womb over the last 36 years.

Condemned criminals enjoy the benefit of many appeals prior to execution, but the innocent lives in the womb lack any such advocacy in spite of the fact that their organ systems are fully functioning by the end of the first trimester.

I am not a physician, but I would think a medical profession dedicated to the principle of “doing no harm” might have some difficulty in defending its silence on the abortion issue.

- David A. Nealy, Greenwood

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