To preserve, in an age of rapid scientific and technological change, traditional medical ethics consistent with absolute values and to preserve the liberty of medical professionals holding these values to practise medicine according to their conscience.
Medicine With Morality was formed in early 2006 to unite doctors across Australia in response to an increasing drift of medical ethics away from moral absolutes.
The actual trigger was the argument in the RU-486 debate that evidence-based medicine alone should govern the use of such drugs. But this line of reasoning ignored consideration of intent and outcome morality. The application of evidence-based medicine in an ethical vacuum reduces human life to its biological function. It is not enough, for instance, to simply discuss the `best´ technique for euthanasia without consideration of its significance for the individual, the doctor-patient relationship, and the community.
Unless we are prepared to compromise in our own practice of clinical medicine we cannot stay out of the debate. There are already significant voices around the world arguing that doctors who, for reasons of conscience, will not offer services that are legally permitted should not be doctors. But how to do it ‘best’ and ‘legal’ is not all that matters.
The erosion is also evident in the work of prominent bio-ethicists who argue for delayed personhood on the basis of self-awareness. This philosophy then legitimises all destructive embryo research, abortion and is extended to infanticide. This definition of personhood – and its absence – can also be used to legitimise euthanasia.
The specific wording leans heavily on the work of countless others – the latin on our logo is part of the Hippocratic Oath. Those who feel they cannot sign but are supportive of the basic thrust of the statement are free to email me and I can place you on an ‘interest’ list.
**Letters and submissions on behalf of the list will be sent to members before sending except where a rapid response is needed e.g. when a bill unexpectedly comes up for voting and we have already made similar statements.
Professionals in Australia, other than medical graduates, who are working or have worked in the broad field of medical science, biology or ethics, and who agree with the manifesto can also sign in by selecting the “associate list” check box on the sign in form.
Signatories names will not be released to media. Telephone numbers and email addresses will not be included in letters nor given to any third parties.
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