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Monday, March 09, 2009
In light of Obama's decision last week to overturn the "Conscience Rule," it's particularly interesting to read about a similar situation in Britain (only, in this case, it's regarding life on the opposite end of the spectrum).
One of the key aspects of a free society is the independence of the medical profession from the state.

All professions are bound by a code of ethics which ensures that they always put the interests of the public who use their services above any outside interference.

When it comes to the practice of medicine this protection for the public is of the utmost importance, since doctors have the power to affect the continuation of life itself.

That’s why their cardinal rule is ‘first do no harm’, and why the Hippocratic Oath which frames their ethical guidelines states ‘a physician shall always bear in mind the obligation of preserving human life’.

But now, astonishing as this may seem, the doctors’ own profession is changing its rules to force its members in certain circumstances actually to do harm.

The issue concerns advance directives or ‘living wills’ through which people can indicate that, should they ever become so ill that they can no longer communicate their wishes, they want their treatment in those circumstances to be stopped.

The General Medical Council has decided that if in future doctors ignore such directives and continue to treat such patients, they will [lose their medical license].
The redefinition of killing as ‘treatment’ and refusing to kill as ‘harmful’ is the kind of mind-bending, Orwellian abuse of language and power that one associates with totalitarian regimes.
The terrible irony is that, out of the similar fear of hideous suffering which leads people to make ‘living wills’, they may be instructing doctors to cause them to suffer by starving and dehydrating them to death.

For doctors to face losing their livelihood and their freedom if they refuse to subject their patients to this hideous fate is grotesque, and another step towards the clinical brutalisation of Britain.
What is truly amazing is that it took less than 50 years to go from suicide being illegal in England to it being illegal to NOT help someone die.


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The Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel The Main Thing
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
Overcoming Sin and Temptation
According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible
Disciplines of a Godly Man
Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem
When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor. . .and Ourselves
The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
Respectable Sins
The Kite Runner
Life Laid Bare: The Survivors in Rwanda Speak
Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak
A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I am a missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, fundamentalist/calvinist, ... anabaptist/anglican, metho
Show Them No Mercy
The Lord of the Rings
Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass
The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception
Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming
The Chronicles of Narnia
Les Misérables

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