The doctors’ declaration of faith

The Economist

A.H.

THE scene had a melodramatic touch: two stone tablets with an engraved Declaration of Faith by Polish doctors who recognise “the primacy of God’s laws over human laws” in medicine were carried last month to a sanctuary in Częstochowa, in the south of Poland. The gesture was made out of gratitude for the canonisation of the Polish pope, John Paul II. It was the initiative of a physician and personal friend of the late pope, Wanda Półtawska.

The first 3,000 signatories of the declaration thereby announced that they will not violate the Ten Commandments by playing a part in abortion, birth control, in-vitro fertilisation or euthanasia. Abortion until the 25th week of pregnancy is legal in Poland if the mother’s life is in grave danger, the foetus is known to have severe birth defects or the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest.

Poland has 377,000 doctors and nurses so the signatories represent barely 1% of the medical profession. And among them are many students, dozens of dentists, four balneologists and a dance therapist (number 1805 on the leaked list). . . . [Full text]

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