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As prolife as...the Hippocratic Oath

"It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish." 
-Mother Teresa

I walk by an abortion clinic whenever I walk to the train station on my way to school. Usually, in the morning, there is a small group of people silently praying, handing out pamphlets, or providing encouragement to desperate mothers as well as passersby. One day, as I was walking by, one of them tried to hand me a pamphlet. I stopped and looked the elderly woman in the eye, held up my own rosary, and said "No thank you, I already know." The woman smiled along with the gentleman beside her. "Just making sure. God bless you." I responded  with a "thank you" as well as a "God bless you," and continued on my way. Regardless of whether or not there are people outside of this clinic, I pray whenever I walk by. I usually say a prayer for the mothers that go in there, the children that are lost there or in danger of being lost there, and the practitioners that work there. I ask God to watch over the children and mothers. I also ask God to forgive the mothers and the practitioners as Christ once did "for they know not what they do."

The Hippocratic Oath is a code of ethics handed down from generation to generation of doctors since way before any of us were born. It is a code that physicians have lived by for millennia. It is a code that, crazy as it sounds considering the time it first came about, is pretty pro-life. I'm not a doctor, but I go to school with a lot of future physicians and take class with some people in medicine programs. Near the entrance to one of the buildings where I have class is a large plaque with the Hippocratic Oath. Sometimes it's tough to be prolife in a world that views euthanasia and abortion as beneficial to health and society. Therefore, whenever I pass by this plaque, I skim through the entire thing and look to make sure that the essentials aren't missing or taped over with fliers for Planned Parenthood or Dr. Kevorkian quotes. By "essentials," I mean the words that an alarming amount of healthcare providers tend to ignore as they practice medicine.

These words, however, are some of the most important parts of the oaths they took when they donned their white coats and promised to work for greater good...for the good of those in need of medical attention. Not the good of those who need to satisfy a certain voting demographic in order to win an election. Not the good of those who target minorities, the poor, the disabled, the elderly, and the unborn.

I've read enough books to know that certain words or messages will disappear over time if they are deemed to controversial, dangerous, or challenging. One of the first things to go in a dictatorial regime is the freedom of speech and the freedom to distribute words that question a dictator's authority or their practices. Sometimes I feel that the Hippocratic Oath will one day be edited so that it is no longer an oath designed to protect life...but an oath to protect the self-interests of those who view life as a commodity or inconvenience. Those seduced by the idea that some people don't have the right to live...that their life is somehow worth less than ours. To date, the words that have been there for generations are still there on the plaque...even though the oath is heavily edited when it comes graduation time. Our attitudes may have changed in the millennia since the oath was established...but the original message will always be there...as evidenced by the plaque. It is my hope that our society will one day restore the "pro-life" message present in the original Hippocratic oath and treasure life.

If you aren't familiar with the Hippocratic Oath, feel free to read it over. If you think I've been talking crazy for the first few paragraphs of this post...and don't believe a word of it, please focus on the bolded, underlined words.
"I swear by Apollo, the healer, Asclepius, Hygieia, and Panacea, and I take to witness all the gods, all the goddesses, to keep according to my ability and my judgment, the following Oath and agreement: 
To consider dear to me, as my parents, him who taught me this art; to live in common with him and, if necessary, to share my goods with him; To look upon his children as my own brothers, to teach them this art.
I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyoneI will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan; and similarly I will not give a woman  pessary to cause an abortion. But I will preserve the purity of my life and my arts.
I will not cut for stone, even for patients in whom the disease is manifest; I will leave this operation to be performed by practitioners, specialists in this art. In every house where I come I will enter only for the good of my patients, keeping myself far from all intentional ill-doing and all seduction and especially from the pleasures of love with women or with men, be they free or slaves.
All that may come to my knowledge in the exercise of my profession or in daily commerce with men, which ought not to be spread abroad, I will keep secret and will never reveal.
If I keep this oath faithfully, may I enjoy my life and practice my art, respected by all men and in all times; but if I swerve from it or violate it, may the reverse be my lot."


Pax Vobiscum.

2 comments:

  1. I finally decided to post this after checking this post out: http://notaminx.blogspot.com/2011/07/long-island-life-info.html

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