Friday, July 04, 2008

Where did the Hippocratic Oath go?

Doctors used to swear to uphold the Hippocratic Oath: "I swear . . . I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone. . . ."

It seems that oath is less and less in anyone's mind these days.

Our daughters are both pregnant, both expecting in the next couple of weeks, and both planning home births under the care of licensed and experienced midwives.

Today, as we gathered for a family 4th of July/Independence Day celebration, they got talking about their experiences.

They began by raving about the wonderful care they receive at the hands of their midwives. No junk food for them! No! Their midwives are almost martinets in the demands they make and the disciplines they require of them. But, boy! Are our daughters healthy. And they expect to bear healthy babies.

They compared their experiences with those of friends they know who are also pregnant: the foods their friends eat, their weights, the blood pressure issues these others are facing, and so forth. Likely because of their poor habits during the course of their pregnancies--or because it is simply becoming more and more "policy" among a lot of Ob/Gyns--a few of their friends expect to have C-sections.

Of course, all of that kind of care is paid for by their health insurance.

And our daughters? Both (together with their husbands, of course!) will have to pay for everything (unless they are transported to the hospital because of some emergency, last-minute complication). Their insurance doesn't cover services by midwives.

"Oh!" said one daughter. "But I was looking at our company's health policy. They do cover abortions. . . .

Oh. And then I just read that, in Britain at least, there is a significant push to permit nurses to perform abortions, no medical doctor required to be present. (Medical doctor "supervision" is sufficient, apparently.)

. . . So the Western world moves more and more toward the denigration of life and the preference for death. . . .

Oh. And concerning that Hippocratic Oath, again.

I had forgotten that it continues beyond the brief portion I quoted above. The next two paragraphs continue:

To please no one will I prescribe a deadly drug nor give advice which may cause his death.

Nor will I give a woman a pessary to procure abortion. . . .
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