This article was published on Wesley's blog on April 18, 2015.
By Wesley J. Smith
Medical martyrdom is coming, a term I coined to describe doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other such professionals being forced to choose between their callings and participating in the intentional taking of human life.
Canada’s Supreme Court recently imposed euthanasia across the country, including for “psychological pain” caused by a diagnosable medical condition. The question now posed is whether doctors will be able to opt out.
So far, it doesn’t look good. The Canadian Medical Association – already weak-kneed on assisted suicide/euthanasia – wants doctors protected. But the Ontario and Saskatchewan Colleges of Doctors and Surgeons want doctors forced, as in Victoria, to do the deed, refer, or if no references are available, forced to kill.
Canadian bioethicist Udo Schuklenk agrees. From his blog:
The very idea that we ought to countenance conscientious objection in any profession is objectionable.
Nobody forces anyone to become a professional. It is a voluntary choice. A conscientious objector in medicine is not dissimilar to a taxi driver who joins a taxi company that runs a fleet of mostly combustion engine cars and who objects on grounds of conscience to drive those cars due to environmental concerns. Why did she become a taxi driver in the first place? Perhaps she should have opened a bicycle taxi company instead.
The very idea that Schuklenk compares driving a taxi to practicing a medical profession, and worries about pollution to the active and intentional taking of human life tells you so much about what has gone wrong in bioethics.