Bioethicist Wants to Morally Cleanse Medical Schools

By Wesley J. Smith

Entry into medical and associated professional schools may soon depend on possessing the proper moral views as well as good grades.

Say you’re a brilliant student who dreams of becoming an oncologist and saving thousands of lives from cancer. In the not too distant future, if some bioethicists have their way, you had better be willing to euthanize those you can’t save or you won’t be allowed into medical school.

Or, you are a budding pediatric endocrinologist and hope to help pre-adolescents overcome hormonal imbalances and maladies: Achieving your dream could come at a substantial moral price. Unless you’re willing also to apply your hard-earned expertise to thwart the normal adolescence of children diagnosed with gender dysphoria, you might be better off going into the shoe business or driving a truck.

Maybe you love babies and want to become a midwife helping gestating women bring new little ones into the world. Well, unless you are also willing to kill unwanted fetuses, one awful day you could find yourself declared student non grata.

The ongoing moral cleansing of the medical professions — currently waged in the media and bioethics movement’s policy offensive against “medical conscience” — may soon expand to preventing unwoke would-be doctors, nurses, and pharmacists from obtaining professional educations.

Specifically, the Canadian bioethicist Udu Schuklenk — who generally mouths the mainstream utilitarianish views of the mainstream bioethics movement — has explicitly advocated barring students with unwanted sanctity-of-life ethics from admission into medical school. From the Global News story:

For Schuklenk, a possible solution to prevent such debates [over euthanasia, abortion, transgender interventions, etc..] from cropping up at all would be to screen out would-be doctors who say they would object to providing health care on conscience grounds before they even get to medical school.

This could be done through a survey or asking medical school applicants outright if they foresee themselves objecting to providing certain types of health care.

“The problems that we are having now that lead to the kinds of legislation they are considering now in Alberta is caused by these sorts of doctors who prioritize their private beliefs, ultimately, over patient well-being,” Schuklenk told Global News.

“Medical schools, pharmacy schools should go out of their way to basically eliminate applicants who they know already will not provide these services.”

Anecdotally, I can tell you from speaking to pro-life want-to-be doctors and nurses, that such culling already occurs outside of official policy.

Make no mistake. Schuklenk and his ilk — such as the adamant opponent of medical conscience, Ezekiel Emanuel — are deadly serious about crushing all dissent within the medical professions to emerging cultural paradigms, and plan to morally cleanse the ranks of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and institutions of all wrong thinkers, particularly of the religious and pro-life kind.

Why? Isn’t there room for comity? Nope. This isn’t merely about ensuring that patients receive what they want, when they want it — even death.

Even more particularly, the goal is to silence the powerful message communicated by a doctor when she says to a patient, “No. I won’t do this to you because it is wrong.”

Editor’s note. Wesley’s great columns appear at National Review Online and are reposted with his permission.