URBANUS, Nov 20, states: The acquittal of Dr Leonard Arthur has produced a wave of revulsion against certain well-meaning activists in the anti-abortion lobby.
As a member of 'Life' Nurses, I wish to put forward our views which have been reported in an inaccurate and biased way by some of the press and media, Life has been accused of undermining confidentiality between patients, of making the doctors work impossibly difficult of "snooping" even of turning nurses into spies.
The truth is that we accept the importance of confidentiality, but confidentiality is not the same as conspiracy. It cannot be a cover for crimes. There is a higher law than confidentiality, important as that is.
What 'Life' has been reporting to the police are allegations of serious offences against the law. Doctors are not above the law and it is a citizen's duty to report suspected crimes to the authorities. Not to do so, to remain silent is to be guilty of collusion.
This is not 'snooping'. To describe those who inform as 'spies' is a wilful misuse of language. It is true we ask nurses etc, to report to us if they so wish, any case of neo-natal killing, and we promise to repect their desire to remain anonymous.
We are not engaged in an antidoctor vendetta — on the contrary, the practice of killing newly-born handicapped children is in flagrant contradiction of the wonderful, positive achievement of modern paediatrics and child development medicine.
Paediatrics is being corrupted in the same way as obstetrics has been since the 1967 Abortion Act.
The throw-away attitude to newly-born handicapped life is an obvious spill over from abortionism. More people are shocked by neo-natal killing than by pre-natal killing. If they reiect the former we can go on to ask "Why is it any less wrong to kill a few weeks earlier?" In other words we can use these cases to help people to realise the enormity of abortionism.
I would like to end on a personal note. I am not a Catholic or religious in anyway. But once you accept the biological fact that the foetus is a human being, the rest follows. Abortion is a human rights issue involving a baby before birth. It is a public issue because someone is
being killed. Ruth Heath Life Nurses I AM IN no doubt that the 1967 Abortion Act is iniquitous and that it paved the way for the current tragic debates concerning the treatment of the newly-born handicapped.
However in discussing these issues with non-Catholic friends and acquaintances one finds, for the most part, they feel abortion is the "kindest option".
These people are not monsters. they are kind, ordinary and moderate: the same people who unwittingly add to the anguish of parents of newly-born handicapped babies by suggesting it might be kinder to allow these children to die.
As a handicapped person myself, I can hardly be neutral in this matter and I do try to put the pro-life point of view. Indeed if we ever succeed in this battle it is these moderate people we must win over.
Recent events have enabled the media to present the pro-life lobby as hard. cruel and interfering: hardly attractive qualities. The intervention at Crosby by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children could be similary damaging. It could be interpreted as "telling people how to vote".
Mrs Williams as a parliamentarian is probably more aware than any of her opponents of the difficulties in repealing and amending the Act and so her response is temperate.
Already I have heard the question "1 suppose you would vote for Hitler or Stalin if they were against abortion?"
I do not belong to any political party and would be amazed to find any one party which adequately reflected all my views, but I couldn't place my vote on one issue alone.
Could we not admit that life is complex and that our opponents, no matter how profoundly we oppose them, are sincere compassionate people?
By appearing to vilify them we make our own struggle that much harder. Instead of alienating them we should he persuading them to join us. Only then are we likely to win.
Member of the Association for Spina Bifida Hydrocephalouse and Durham LIFE group I HAVE READ and listened to most of the articles and debates regarding the recent death of a baby suffering from Downs Syndrome.
I am concerned at the allegations made against my• profession. One or more have been branded as a fifth columnist, spy, informer to quote but a few.
Can anyone guide us on this problem? If not, then ultimately in the non-too-far-distant future I can see no one who is prepared to voice their own opinions and principles will be acceptable in the nursing profession.
During the debate on television on Nov 11 a sister stated she would have refused to give water and given nourishing fluids. Another member of the panel said he would not employ such a person.
May I ask to whom do these units belong, the Health Service or Consultants?
Leeds. W. Welford, SRN