March 21, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Physicians at Holy Family Hospital in Warsaw, Poland, left a child to die after a botched abortion earlier this month, according to local media.
As Republika Television reports, the baby was born March 7, 2016 at the 24th week of gestational age and cried and screamed for an hour before dying. According to witnesses, the baby’s cry is impossible to forget. Nonetheless, medical personnel did not try to help the child in any way.
Hospital spokesperson Dorota Jasłowska-Niemyska explained that a patient at the end of the 23rd week of pregnancy came to the hospital, and her medical tests suggested that the baby had Down syndrome. The hospital claims that everything that happened thereafter was according to the law and medical procedures. The dignity of the patient and the dignity of the fetus were respected, she continued.
When asked by a reporter of Salve TV about the dignity of a child that had been born alive, Jasłowska-Niemyska said: “Those are details which I can’t talk about. It is confidential, and I am not allowed to comment on the details of this procedure.” . . . [Full Text]
Cases such as Dr. Chazan’s should make us think twice
On holiday last week I got into conversation with an atheist friend. The subject of abortion came up and whether a doctor or nurse has a right in conscience to refuse to participate in such a “procedure.” I cited the recent case of a prominent Polish Catholic doctor who had refused to perform an abortion. My atheist friend was annoyed. “What do you mean, he refused?” he said. “If it’s the law he has to comply with it.” By way of bolstering his argument he added, “Don’t doctors know that performing abortions is just part of their job?”
I countered this by saying that saving life and healing the sick was intrinsic to practising medicine; performing abortions wasn’t; indeed, the law of 1967 permitting it had run counter to all traditional notions of medicine from the Hippocratic Oath onwards. I added that I had read that many new medical graduates are now refusing to do abortions – not for religious reasons but because it wasn’t what they thought doctoring should be about. I added that this made medicine quite different from e.g. conscientious objection in war: being prepared to kill the enemy was intrinsic to soldiering; if you were a pacifist you would know this, so you would refuse to join up on conscientious grounds. . . [Full text]
WARSAW, Poland — The most recent case in Poland’s abortion wars will test the country’s conscience.
The case centers around Professor Bogdan Chazan, one of Poland’s top doctors and director of the Holy Family Hospital in Warsaw (Szpital im. Świętej Rodziny). Chazan came under fire last month when he refused to perform an abortion on a deformed baby who had been conceived in vitro in a fertility clinic. Instead of an abortion, Chazan offered medical advice for the mother, hospital care before, during, and after the pregnancy, and perinatal hospice care for the child.
Although Polish law permits abortion of sick babies until viability, it does not create the right to an abortion. It merely decriminalizes abortion for the doctor and the mother. This particular pregnancy did not pose a danger to the woman’s health. Also, according to Polish law, any physician can invoke the country’s conscience clause, which ensures that no doctor or medical professional will ever be required to perform, or participate in, an abortion. Nonetheless, Chazan’s hospital was fined 70,000 zloty (approximately $23,000) for his refusal. [Full text]