A Frank Ob/Gyn's Message

An honest assessment of all things medical and ethical.

Archive for the month “January, 2012”

What did Roe vs Wade legalize?

On January 22, 1973, the United States Supreme Court handed down two infamous court decisions.  The first, Roe vs. Wade is quite well-known, however the companion case of Doe vs. Bolton is far less  known.  Every year since, hundreds of thousands of pro-life advocates come to Washington, D.C. on this day to join in solidarity with their millions of brothers and sisters whose murder has been legalized by this most shameful and disgraceful of court rulings.  Despite the massive crowds descending on the nation’s capital to protest the resulting legalization of the most violent forms of child abuse, the event is arguably the most peaceful of marches ever seen in the city.  Such a stark contrast demonstrates the fundamental nature of the pro-life cause as a cause for peace, whereas in the words of Blessed Mother Teresa, “abortion is the ultimate destroyer of peace.”

As a natural-born citizen of the United States of America, there are truly many noble attributes of our country, its founding principles, and its heroes.  However, I can scarcely find the words to describe the shame I feel every year that this unconscionable Supreme Court decision is left in place.  The past 39 years since these crimes against humanity were forcibly legalized (in all 50 states throughout all 9 months of the child’s pre-born life) have been the darkest years in the history of the United States.   Although many courageous leaders have and continue to work diligently for a reform of such violations of basic human rights, it is quite appalling to see the profound ignorance, the persistent apathy, widespread dishonesty surrounding this issue of induced abortion.

I also find it rather astounding that few in the medical profession, even among those specializing in women’s health are aware of the extreme nature of the Roe vs. Wade and Doe vs. Bolton decisions.  For example, many mistakenly believe that Roe vs. Wade decision only legalized abortion in the first trimester (first 3 months) of pregnancy.  Others believe that abortion is legal in the second trimester (the 4th–6th months) only to save the life of the mother.  What so few people understand is that the combined court decisions mandated that abortion be legal throughout all nine months for any reason.  The technical language of Roe vs. Wade states that individual states may regulate or limit abortions after 6 months of pregnancy, however such laws could in no way prohibit abortions that are supposedly done to preserve the life or health of the mother.  Since there are rarely cases where a doctor would even claim that an abortion is necessary to save a woman’s life, the pro-abortion judges were careful to include an additional provision for the so-called “health” of the mother.  Here lies the key point that is missed even by most ethics textbooks teaching the issue, and also where the little known companion case Doe vs Bolton comes in.  Under what circumstances might an abortionist  be able to defend the performing of late-term abortions justified in the name of the woman’s health?  According to the Doe vs. Bolton decision, “health” is broadly defined to include “all factors—physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age.”  Thus, if a claim for emotional well-being is sufficient to justify any abortion, then all abortions were effectively ruled legal by judicial fiat.  In other words, an abortion must now be allowed until the moment of birth for any reason whatsoever provided by the mother or the abortionist.  Not surprisingly, such extremism in the name of legalized abortion on demand far exceeds the will of the people.  Accordingly, very few Americans would ever support such pro-abortion fanaticism, and sadly fewer still are even aware that it currently exists as such.  Let us hope that as more become aware of the existence of such inhuman laws, such unjust laws will be soon be extracted like the destructive cancer they truly are.  I share this with you, my dear brethren and kin of Ireland in hope that you will be better prepared to prevent the same dishonest legal tactics from forcing a similar legalization of unrestricted death penalties against the pre-born children of your blessed nation.

–Dr. Frank

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Is all stem cell research unethical?

This week, I’d like to discuss the issue of stem cell research. More specifically, I find it urgently necessary to do what few commentators on the subject do―point out the profound differences between embryo-destructive stem cell research and “adult” stem cell research. Unfortunately, most media reports speak of the subject either as if there is no distinction or as if the embryo-destructive techniques are the only ones possible. Such an approach shows at best, childish ignorance, and more probable, intentional deception through calculated misrepresentations.

The whole issue portrayed in such a dishonest manner has provided renewed incentive and apparent justification for further marginalization of any organization opposing the destruction of human life. Such renewed persecution is most blatant when Christians, especially Catholic Christians, speak out in defense of pre-born human life. A false dichotomy between faith and reason, between true religion and science is presented as if the two were mutually incompatible and exclusive of one another. Rather than confronting the arguments against the unethical and unnecessary embryo-destructive research, the pro-life scientists who reject it themselves are disparaged as irrational religious zealots who lack compassion for the suffering of those with various chronic illnesses like diabetes and Parkinson’s.

As I’ve demonstrated in various other situations, the truth here is actually quite the opposite of what is frequently believed by the public at large. In other words, the advocates of embryo-destructive research are motivated solely by a misplaced faith, not scientific evidence. The persistent failure of such embryonic research to produce even one medical treatment can be overcome only by deeply held and religious belief that it will eventually work. We see again a recurrence of utter hypocrisy. The irrational religious zealots are not the pro-life scientists who oppose embryo-destructive procedures on ethical principle. Rather, the ones motivated by a misguided religious faith are the ones promising that such embryonic stem cell research will provide cures to all of the chronic illnesses that we have to date unable to cure. This despite one shred of evidence to support their outlandish claims.

Amazingly, the only type of stem cell research that has borne fruit and has actually resulted in actual treatments is the ethically aspect know as adult stem cell therapy (which does not involve the destruction of human life). For example, adult stem cell research and therapies have already successfully treated more than 73 different medical diseases. A sampling of the diseases being treated with adult stem cells are brain cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, skin cancer, testicular cancer, many forms of leukemia, juvenile diabetes, Crohn’s disease, and Parkinson’s. For the full list see http://www.stemcellresearch.org/facts/treatments.htm

Interestingly, just about every condition that the advocates of embryo-destructive research promise will be treatable with human embryo derived cells is already being treated with adult stem cells! The difference is that the adult stem cell therapies are based on solid scientific evidence.

After decades of research, funded by billions of dollars, how many treatments have been developed using embryonic stem cells? ZERO. In other words, the proponents of embryonic stem cell therapies are appealing to faith-based arguments that have never been backed up by science. Their misplaced faith in embryo-destructive therapies is so deep that they refuse to take “no” for an answer despite repeated failures in every attempt to created an actual medical treatment. Their bias is so blinding that they are not interested in the objective and scientifically verifiable truth. The only answer they will accept is “yes, we can save lives by destroying human embryos.” For as long as science fails to support this conclusion, they’ll believe it anyway with unwavering conviction. Amazingly, government funding has heavily biased toward these faith-based, unethical, and thus far unsuccessful attempts of embryo-destructive treatments. Let us hope that sound logic and reason will soon return.

Sincerely,

Dr. Frank

Are there too many people?

During this past new years celebration, I was impressed by the universal nature of celebrating the new year. I saw video clips of firework celebrations in Tokyo, Sydney, Beijing, Berlin, London, and New York. At the deepest level, what were we all celebrating? Certainly, there is more reason for joyous celebration than simply the fact that the earth has completed one more orbit around the sun. I propose that it is life itself! The fact that we still exist and are conscious of it is a wonderful thing to behold, especially in a world that has largely lost its sense of wonder.

Notice that there wasn’t world-wide mourning that human beings populate the earth. Doesn’t it seem somewhat odd then that so many people believe in the idea that the world is over-populated? Where do these ideas come from and what sort of actions have been rationalized in the name of such an ominous theory?

In 1798, the Englishman and Anglican priest, Thomas Malthus (who also fancied himself a mathematician), proposed that human population was growing faster than food production. He then calculated that the world food supply would be depleted by 1890. For this reason he advocated policies that would kill off the poor. In his own words the Rev. Malthus taught “we should facilitate, instead of foolishly and vainly endeavoring to impede, the operations of nature in producing this mortality; and if we dread the too frequent visitation of the horrid form of famine, we should sedulously encourage the other forms of destruction, which we compel nature to use. Instead of recommending cleanliness to the poor, we should encourage contrary habits. In our towns we should make the streets narrower, crowd more people into the houses, and court the return of the plague.”

Certainly, we recognize how the unjust British agricultural and land ownership laws imposed upon the Irish laid the foundation for the Great Famine of Ireland. (For example, there was no shortage of grain or even pork being raised on Irish soil. However, the protestant landlords controlling the vast majority of Irish farmland insured that grain, meat, and similar valuable produce was sent to England.) What is less appreciated is how the most wealthy society in the world at the time could ignore the suffering of their Irish neighbors, especially when they were in many ways responsible. The answer lies in the prejudiced over-population theories of Malthus. Such ideas played well to the anti-Irish sentiment among many in England where the Irish were disparaged as ignorant, primitive, and even depicted by London cartoons with ape-like features. Sadly, similar injustices were soon after repeated during the Great Famine of India under British colonial rule.

The point I’m trying to illustrate is that recent human history demonstrates that humans suffer from starvation more from unjust governmental policies than from natural causes and their very existence. Consider the following calculation based on an estimated would population of 7 billion: Given an average four person family, every family would have a 66 x 66 foot plot of land, which would comfortably provide a single family home and yard — and the entire world’s population could thus fit on a landmass the size of Texas (while the rest of the planet could be a wildlife refuge). Furthermore, U.N. population analyses now point to a peak population in about 30 years followed by a decline thereafter. In fact evidence is mounting that the real danger our world faces is not a population explosion, but rather an implosion. For more information I recommend the website http://overpopulationisamyth.com/

–Dr. Frank (Ob/GYN)

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