Canadian Doctors state that Human Life Begins at Birth and the Thing in the Womb before that is not Human

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 25th, 2012

Week in Review

The Canadians aren’t redefining when life begins.  They’re just putting medical science behind the 400 year-old English common law that defines it.  Yes, the Canadian doctors are inserting themselves into one of the most contentious debates ever to consume mankind since the Protestant Reformation (see Opinion: doctors dodge hot-button life debate by Paul Schratz posted 8/20/2012 on The Vancouver Sun).

Canada’s doctors voted last week to take a political rather than medical position that human life begins at birth, in the process closing their eyes to science and the evidence of their own senses.

In a spectacular act of bio-redefinition that has many observers scratching their heads, the Canadian Medical Association voted to support the maintaining of a section of the Criminal Code of Canada that declares a child becomes a human being at the moment of birth…

So they’ve chosen the intellectually indefensible position that an unborn child, moments away from birth, is not human, which essentially means scores of medical textbooks, not to mention the entire field of fetal medicine, now need to be retired. After all, if doctors who are removing tumours or repairing spinal cords on unborn babies aren’t working on humans, one wonders why they would spend years training to be doctors rather than veterinarians.

If a life is only human at birth it does raise some questions.  A mother could smoke and drink during pregnancy as she wouldn’t be harming a human life.  Bad doctoring that results in birth defects would not cause harm to a human.  A new drug that has a dangerous side effect on an unborn life would not harm a human life.  Physical abuse that results in a miscarriage would not harm a human life (in the womb).  Such an act would only rise to the level of battery against the mother.  Not homicide of the unborn non-human life.  Sad as these events may be we would not be able to redress them through the courts.  As the courts are for people.  Humans.  Not things that aren’t human.  There are penalties for people found guilty of cruelty to animals.  But usually that’s because people consciously do these things.  They’re not accidents.  Or things that result un-expectantly from other actions.

But the current debate is not about changing the definition of when life begins.  It’s about leaving the definition as it is now.  Life begins at birth.  So it is confusing because we do act as if the preborn life within the womb is human.  So why do these doctors come out giving medical sanction to a 400 year-old English common law definition of life?  From an era some will say we weren’t all that smart?  Especially those who like to point to all that warfare between Protestants and Catholics around that time.  So it would appear that the Canadians are opening the door for a lot more prenatal harm in the womb.  Why?  Is it because they don’t respect human life?  That depends where you are in the span of human life.

It’s par for the CMA, however, which has been developing a habit recently of wading into political issues. At their annual meeting in Yellowknife, the MDs also passed a motion calling for a public debate that would lead to a free vote in the House of Commons on the issue of end-of-life care.

That echoes an editorial in their CMA Journal last month which called for a national debate on death and dying. The country’s leading medical journal said it’s time for Canadians to debate whether we are prepared to embrace “therapeutic homicide…”

So why is it that the same doctors who, when it comes to euthanasia, are in favour of debate and open to rethinking when life ends, are at the same time opposed to discussion that might lead to a rethinking of when life begins?

It’s especially curious since the issue of end-of-life care in Canada has been studied and voted on countless times — as recently as last November’s parliamentary committee on compassionate and palliative care, which called for improvements to palliative care and a commitment to a national suicide prevention strategy. The CMA welcomed that report, saying “End-of-life care is an area that requires urgent attention.”

Indeed, through the years and all the many debates, reports and votes on euthanasia and palliative care, there has been one consistent conclusion: Parliamentarians and Canadians want more and better end-of-life care, not euthanasia.

So if you’re sick and dying they do respect human life.  It’s just in the womb where they can take it or leave it.  So the in-the-womb life belief is more of a political belief than a medical belief.  So what are the politics behind it?  Ontario Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth’s Motion 312.  Which seeks to redefine when life begins.  In the womb.  Or out of the womb.  The fear of Motion 312 is, of course, what will happen to abortion?  As the law is right now you can do anything you want to the life in the womb.  Because it’s not human.  Which includes having an abortion.  However, if they redefine the beginning of human life as occurring at a time earlier than when exiting the womb it could make abortion murder.  Like an assault and battery that results in a miscarriage.  Which could really complicate the abortion debate.

So those who are old, sick and in pain have no choice in ending their life.  They must live and suffer even if they want to die.  As doctors will protect these lives to the bitter end.  But a baby in the womb?  You’re on your own, kid.  The best we can offer you is to wish you good luck.  And this coming from the doctors we entrust our lives to.  It makes you wonder what’s next.  Limited use of euthanasia?  As determined by the state for political reasons.  Such as the growing cost of health care can’t justify treating people that can’t fully recover and live a normal life again?  Without continuing expensive medical treatments?  Anything is possible when you play fast and loose with defining the beginning and ending points of human life.

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