“Is There A Doctor In The House”. “Professional Civil Disobedience-Medical-Society Responsibilities After Dobbs”.

By | September 16, 2022

Physician Forum has always believed, and stated that the Medical Profession has ethical responsibilities to individual patients, and also the community at large.

In this weeks’ issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, September 15, 2022, Mathew K. Wynia, M.D.,M.P.H. discusses the ethical role of the Medical practice in response to The Supreme Court’s landmark decision striking down the 50 year protection of a woman’s ability to decide her own medical care.

Citing the unanimity of statements on this issue by America’s Medical Organizations (the AMA, ACP, ACOG ) declaring the ruling “egregious”, “a brazen violation of patients’ rights”, “an affront to all that drew my colleague and me into medicine”, and other like comments, the article enumerates several reasons for these organizations to go further and support civil disobedience by their members. They consider this necessary action as a “public, nonviolent, conscientious yet political act contrary to law” in the attempt to change an inequitable and unjust law.

Appreciative that respect for laws is absolutely needed in a “civil” society, the article quotes the late Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr thoughts, when in 1963 he argued that although “law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice”, but that “an unjust law is no law at all”, and that it is a “moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws”.

King went on to define “criteria” to assist people at that time on how to decide when laws, such as those defending racial segregation, were “ sufficiently unjust as to warrant open disobedience”. That those prejudiced laws were subsequently changed is now a part of America’s history.

Like the efforts of Doctor King then, America’s Medical professional groups must now unite to determine in unison, after all careful thought and consideration, what criteria, and how America’s Medical professionals can coherently support disobedience against this “unjust” law.

It is time for America’s Medical community to stand up in unison for what, and how we ethically must practice to maintain our moral, and ethical promises to our patients, and our entire American family!

If you agree, speak to your physicians and tell them your thoughts.

Peace and stay safe.

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