Friday, September 5, 2008

Machinations of Bush, the Younger

This article, "NEW BUSH RULE..." was posted on Huffington, August 21, 2008. I posted the following comments. Sandwiched between is a rejoinder from another poster, DELVINMcGEE.

My response to the actual article...

First of all, the nation was not founded on free speech. It was founded on the backs of fur traders, tobacco farmers, and slaves. Free speech was a right for which many Americans fought and died. They fought and died for many freedoms, wresting them away from a British Crown that was loath to provide them. Free speech resulted in Roe vs. Wade. The Supreme Court means that the argument is over. The only creed that a doctor must follow is "First, do no harm." That's it. There is no other moral question to be raised when considering dispensing medical care. If you are an obstetrician who has a problem performing abortions, then let me suggest that obstetrics is not for you. You help your patients in the manner that they expect, period! This proposal is like saying to cops, you only have to arrest suspects against whom you have no moral objection. If a doctor can say, I refuse to perform that procedure, and there is no way to compel them to do so, then what is the point of the Supreme Court, even the structure of laws themselves?

Candide Franklyn
September, 2008

DELVIN's Response

wow, don't you think "do no harm" might apply to the living human fetus you are killing?

And, my response to DELVIN...

Delvin, that is an interesting point. Leaving aside the somewhat simple way in which you associate "killing a living human fetus" with a human being exercising her constitutional right to privacy, I'd like to point out that the 14th Amendment was the underlying constitutional basis that secured abortion rights for women, nationally, in the US. Detailed medical research on human development combined with landmark Supreme and lower court decisions that have defined and are continuing to define US abortion law, informs women and men as to the differences between zygote or fetus, viability or not, and appropriate standards of health. Do you truly believe, leaving aside any particular personal ideology or morality, that women considering ending a pregnancy are cavalier in their intent, callously sailing into their doctor's offices with nary a care in the world? I know there is an irrational angst about the threat to the fabric of society of the "serial abortionist" but I think that sort of fear mongering amounts to nothing more than "Fear of a Black Hat." I believe these women are consumed by the process of their decision, thinking about it rationally all day, and praying about it all night. I believe they contemplate every possible outcome, in an exhaustive, emotional, meditative, passionate, and substantive manner. I believe that to accuse them of "killing a living human fetus" is a gross oversimplification of the entirety of the process.

Again, if an ob/gyn is morally opposed to performing a legal request for an abortion, believing that the process uniformly is murder, then they are going against established medical theory and case law. I'm assuming by your comment that you may be a person who holds this to be true, that what the doctor is doing is killing. This seems to presume that a person who is not born has the same rights as a person who is born. In fact the 14th amendment specifically defines citizens of the United States, as "persons born, or naturalized." Now, of course, there is always subjective interpretation. However, where does it stop? As soon as you venture into the dimly lit world of "the unborn," you're on thin ice. Men carry billions of sperm cells. Are they all persons, or some Orwellian type of "semi-persons," guaranteed rights under the constitution? I don't mean to be flip, but either this is a nation of laws or it is not. Laws proscribe limits on systems of thought as well as materialism.

One other thing... I fail to see how freedom of speech can be seen to justify an attack on fundamental rights. Congress is prohibited from "abridging the freedom of speech," a prohibition that can only serve to strengthen fundamental rights. If the government can say that that portion of the amendment can recuse a doctor from performing his bound duty to a LIVING, FULLY BORN citizen, doesn't that leave government open to some very large legal challenges of its own? Can soldiers refuse to kill the enemy, endeavoring only to capture or otherwise debilitate them? Does a judge or a juror have the right to make a decision based solely on their conscience, guaranteed by a right to speak freely? Would a poor tortured soul, who after failing at suicide, and enduring a lengthy recovery, be charged with multiple counts of attempted murder, one for each endangered reproductive cell that they carry in their body? These things don't happen regularly, and were they to occur, future case law no doubt would be defined by them. Doctors, along with all other Americans, live in a limited Republic. That res publica has already spoken, and Bush's rule, and support of it, is legally unsound. Your conscience is your own, right up until you raise your hand and swear an oath...

Candide Franklyn
September, 2008

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