Medical Tuesday Blog
Letter to an aspiring Doctor – Concluded from September By Theodore Dalrymple
Moreover, though we pay lip service as a society to diversity and tolerance, we increasingly demand uniformity. A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine argued that doctors should not be permitted to opt out of performing procedures that they considered unethical on the grounds of conscientious objection. Once the profession, guided by ethicists, had decided as a whole that something was ethically permissible, no doctor should be allowed to go against the consensus. This, of course, would have the corollary that mass murder by doctors would in theory be permissible, or even obligatory. Never mind: It can’t happen here. But what was once unthinkable can become thinkable very quickly.