By Wesley J. Smith
The usual medical standards of care and competency don’t apply for doctors who assist suicides. That same approach can be seen in new abortion legislation and statutes.
Take New York’s recently passed abortion law. It protects abortionists from facing consequences for mistakes or incompetencies that formerly applied. From, “Building a Wall Against Life,” by Richard Doerflinger:
[The new law] repeals 10 provisions of New York law. Among them: A provision specifying that abortion is legal only with the woman’s consent… a law allowing a manslaughter charge against an abortionist who causes the woman’s death during an abortion…a law requiring care for a child born alive during an attempted late-term abortion.
Think about this. The notorious abortionist Kermit Gosnell was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for killing a woman during a botched abortion. But with New York repealing its law that made death-caused-by-abortion a specific crime, a Gosnell-type practitioners will have less about which to worry if his negligence causes an abortion seeker’s death.
Gosnell was also convicted of murdering infants that survived his late-term abortions by snipping their spinal cords. That would still be illegal, but knowing that the care requirement for living infants was repealed, a doctor without a conscience might passively watch until a living abortion baby died — attaining the same end, but just more slowly. In 2006, this happened in Florida, where a baby was born alive at 23-weeks gestation, and rather than try and save her life, the abortion-clinic owner stuffed her in a medical-waste bag.
And for the life of me, I can’t understand why the state would repeal its consent requirement for an abortion to be legal!
Assisted suicide laws all establish an almost-impossible-to-violate “good faith” test for death doctors in place of the more rigorous professional standard of care criteria that would otherwise apply. Thus, a doctor who writes a lethal prescription with “a sincerebelief or motive” will be in the clear under circumstances — say, a botched diagnosis — in which a treating doctor could be held to legal account.
Why lower professional accountability for doctors who take human life? Most MDs refuse to abort or assist suicide. The authors of these lax laws hope to increase the number willing to participate — even if it means letting the semi-competent or ghoulish Kermit Gosnell-type bottom feeders off the hook.
Editor’s note. Wesley’s great columns appear at National Review Online and are reposted with the author’s permission.