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Doctors Let Woman Die to Protect Fetus

A Polish woman named Edyta died because doctors refused to provide medical care. Each physician she approached worried that treating her colon condition could lead to miscarriage or abortion. Eventually her disease worsened until she miscarried, anyway, not long before her death.

Recently, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe failed to pass a resolution meant to keep incidents like this from happening. Unfortunate, because if she had lived in Italy, Hungary, or Croatia she could have expected the same outcome. Doctors in any of these countries can refuse medical care on moral grounds.

Apparently, letting a person die is not a part of their moral compass. At least not when a fetus is involved.

Meanwhile, the Vatican censored their top bioethics official because he defended doctors who aborted the twin fetuses of a nine-year-old child who was raped by her stepfather. He felt that saving the girl’s life called for mercy. The Vatican thought otherwise.

This is what happens when fetal rights come before human rights. Are a fetus and a human being really equivalent?

My brother-in-law was completely against abortion until his wife’s life was threatened by her pregnancy. When the doctors told him he may have to choose between his wife and his unborn baby he knew he would choose his wife. He talked about how his wife was someone who he loved, who he had strong connections to. Losing her would be too great an emotional loss. And, she is an actual human being.

Meanwhile, many think that embryos and humans are equivalent, and protest stem cell research. Yet if a research center caught fire and you had to choose between saving a one-year-old child or a vat of stem cells, which would you choose – thousands of “lives” or one child?

I wonder if doctors and governments would prioritize a fetus or an embryo over a human being if men were the ones who had babies.

The doctors’ refusals remind me of the Arab guards who forced girls back into a burning building to save themselves from seeing women who weren’t properly covered. In each case women were forced to die to preserve men’s moral sensibilities.

Whatever that means.

Georgia Platts

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