Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Don't legislate medicine

Don't legislate medicine
Letters to the Editor
Copyright by The Chicago Sun-Times
April 25, 2007

As a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist, I am deeply troubled by the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision approving a ban on partial birth abortion without taking into consideration the health of the mother. As a physician who took the Hippocratic oath, I am sworn to do no harm.

In difficult situations where I've had to choose between the health of the baby and the mother's, the most important factor is the health of the woman. I have practiced partial birth abortions only on dead fetuses, where the risk of a severely ill mother (diabetic or hypertensive) would endanger her life if subjected to a Caesarean section.

The worst mistake this country can do is to legislate the practice of medicine. Medicine should be regulated by our respective medical associations. Groups such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists argue that depriving physicians of this option would create real danger. Difficult ethical choices should be decided between the physician and his patients. This is precisely an area where less government is the best choice.

Dr. Carlos T. Mock, Uptown


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