Cartoons have always been used to make very important points, as simply as possible. Google ‘pro life’ or ‘pro choice’ and you will get an obvious example.
But these same cartoons simplify a very important debate in Poland – and underline the fact that something very, very scary and potentially dangerous happened in Kraków this week.
Three anaesthetists and a doctor have exercised their right to make a decision based on conscience and refuse to take part in any operation that terminates pregnancy.
Nobody will argue with this. One could cite the fact that a doctor takes the Hippocratic oath and is therefore obliged to act in the best interests of their patient. On the other hand, nobody could argue convincingly whether the patient, in the case of a pregnant woman, is the woman or her potential child.
Nevertheless, the Kraków case does raise an important issue because the doctor in question refused not only to carry out an abortion that was in accordance with Poland’s very strict laws, he also refused to refer his patient to another doctor who would carry out the procedure.
To be sure, he was acting according to his conscience. We must applaud that. A man (and let’s face it, most doctors are) who has the courage of his convictions is truly a man who can stand before his god and accept whatever judgement is handed down. But…
If he had the right to act according to his conscience, didn’t the mother too? What if her conscience allowed the procedure?
This is a very, very sensitive issue, so Inside-Poland.com is not going to present a case one way or the other.
Instead, we ask that you consider this question.
If we were to wake up tomorrow to find that the Polish government had, by unanimous agreement, legalised abortion, would the abortion rate in Poland rise significantly? Would there be a termination clinic on every street corner?
Inside-Poland.com would answer both questions ‘no’. Faith in Poland is more important than law, even more important than the church. The majority of Poles are not against abortion because they are told to be, or because they feel they must be. They are against abortion because they feel that it is morally wrong.
Nevertheless, Poland’s women don’t currently have the choice that our country’s doctors have – that of conscience. Pan always knows better.