Skip to comments.Polish Prime Minister says doctors must do abortions despite conscience objection
Posted on 06/12/2014 3:32:45 PM PDT by NYer
WARSAW, Poland, June 12, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Poland's prime minister has declared that doctors’ opposition to abortion does not give them the right to refuse to kill a child in the womb, even under Poland's strict abortion rules.
"Regardless of what his conscience is telling him, [a doctor] must carry out the law," Prime Minister Donald Tusk said in a June 10 statement, according to Polskie Radio.
"Every patient must be sure that … the doctor will perform all procedures in accordance with the law and in accordance with his duties," Tusk said.
Poland's laws only permit abortion if a woman's life or health is jeopardized by the continuation of a pregnancy, if the pregnancy is a result of a criminal act such as rape, or if the unborn child is seriously malformed. The abortion must be carried out in the first 25 weeks of the pregnancy.
According to Polish law on conscience rights, doctors may still decline such abortions, but they are obliged to refer patients elsewhere.
Tusk's statement came following the decision by obstetrician Bogdan Chazan, director of Holy Family Children's Hospital in Warsaw, to refuse to grant an abortion to a woman who alleged that the child she was carrying had severe brain damage.
The woman complained to the health ministry, which began a review of the case.
The prime minister said that if prosecutors decide a law has been broken then courts will have to rule on the issue.
Dr. Chazan is one of 3,000 Roman Catholic doctors, nurses, midwives, and medical students who have signed a "Doctors' Declaration of Faith" saying that they will conduct their professional duties according to their religious beliefs.
The declaration states the doctors "recognize the primacy of God's law over human law" and will work to "counter the imposed, anti-human ideologies of contemporary civilization."
Dr. Wanda Półtawska, who initiated the "Declaration of Faith," told Polskie Radio that she did so because some elements of modern medicine go against Catholic morals.
“Modern-day medicine represents evil,” said Półtawska. "The entire problem with abortion, artificial insemination, and finally, rejecting God as the Creator by performing in-vitro fertilization, poses a threat to the eternal life of all people who commit these deeds."
Poland's bishops have endorsed the "Doctors' Declaration of Faith" and declared their support for Dr. Charzan and the other medical professionals who have signed the document.
“The aggression that has been directed against the doctors who were signatories of the declaration is not only incomprehensible, it is also unacceptable,” the bishops said in a statement issued following the June 11 plenary meeting of the Conference of the Polish Episcopate.
“It contradicts the constitutional principle of freedom of conscience and faith, and questions the inalienable right to conscientious objection in medical practice,” the bishops stated.
Moreover, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, attended the bishops’ plenary and voiced his support for Dr. Chazan.
"Developing theories today that the law of the state is above ethics and morals, or that it is a source of proper ethics, regardless of its wording, and that, for example, the state can compel a doctor - contrary to his conscience - to kill an unborn child, and to be threatened to be thrown out of work, are criminal and monstrous," the cardinal said, according to Catholic journal Nasz Dziennik.
The cardinal noted that Dr. Chazan, citing a conflict of conscience, refused to abort the sick child.
"The doctor did not send the woman to another hospital," Cardinal Müller pointed out, "but instead offered her and the child care during her pregnancy, childbirth and after childbirth, and also informed her of the availability of hospice care. For this Dr. Chazan was reported to the Commissioner of Professional Responsibility.”
Prime Minister of Poland Donald Tusk
Secretariat of the Prime Minister
Al. Ujazdowskie 1/3
Phone: +48 (22) 694 74 21
Fax: +48 (22) 694 70 53
The Pope should threaten to excommunicate Tusk. In Poland, that would destroy any kind of hopes he’d have of being elected.
Do we know he’s a Catholic?
I’d assume so. Non-Catholics would have trouble getting elected. Poland remains a very religious country. Definitely the most religious in the EU
Just at the beginning of this article, it contradicts the title. The doctor needs only to refer the patient on. He isn’t forced to perform the abortion himself.
Probably the best bet would be for the 3,000 doctors, nurses, and medical students to announce that they are no longer offering *any* OB/GYN surgical services in Poland.
Imagine how this twerp PM would react to tens of thousands of really irate pregnant women and their husbands.
Remember how bent out of shape breast feeding mothers get when told they cannot breast feed in public? Now multiply that by a bunch if they are told they cannot get OB/GYN surgical care in Poland, so they have to go to Germany.
True, that’s different, but not by much. There’s little moral difference between, “Yes, I’ll shoot your math teacher,” and “No, I won’t shoot your math teacher, but I’ll give you a name and phone number of a guy who will.”
A bit of a challenge to find the answer but, YES, he is a Roman Catholic.
From the Berkley Center:
Donald Tusk became Prime Minister of Poland in 2007, and as of 2011 he was the second longest serving Prime Minister since the fall of the Polish United Workers Party in 1989. A member of the Civic Platform, Tusk has pushed a free market and socially moderate agenda in Poland, including support for gay rights and womens rights. This has led to confrontations with the more conservative political forces in Poland, especially former President Lech Kaczyński. While the Catholic Church has largely stayed out of politics, privately many of Polands upper clergy support the more socially conservative opposition and there remain deep divisions over social policy.
BTW, he recently met, for the second time, with Pope Francis. Source. World Youth Day is scheduled to be held in Krakow, Poland, in 2016.
Doctors who have faith will defy this order. Can they say they don’t treat anyone who wants an abortion without getting into trouble?
**pregnancy is a result of a criminal act such as rape,**
Why should the child suffer? He/She did not commit a crime.
What a message!
Can you tell the difference?
Does this mean brain surgeons must perform open heart surgeries?