Mathew V Kurian
October 29 2012
Ethical Health-care issue- Abortion
Abortion is the induced termination of a pregnancy after conception. There are different ways in which an abortion can occur. Spontaneous abortions are usually termed as miscarriage. Miscarriage that happens between 8 to 22 weeks is due to incorrect replication of chromosomes, and it can be caused by environmental factors. Stillbirth and premature-birth are not considered miscarriage and it happens after 22 weeks and before 37 weeks of gestation. Therapeutic abortion is another type. It is an abortion induced to preserve the health of the pregnant female or avoid any complication that might happened to fetus during the gustation or thereafter. Therapeutic abortions are two types: Medical abortion and surgical abortion, while an abortion induced for any other reasons is termed and elective abortion. Abortion allows women to put an end to their pregnancies, but involve destruction of the under-developed embryo or fetus. For this reason, it is a controversial subject not only in America but also all over the world and stand divided calling themselves as pro-life, and pro-choice. In America, it has become so indoctrinated that one political party identify itself with pro-life, while the other party identify it with pro-choice. History of abortion:
In Persian Empire abortifacients were known, and criminal abortions were severally punished there. Abortions were practiced in Greek and in Roman Empire. The Ephesian, appears to have been opposed to Rome’s free-abortion practice. This is a contra indication to the Hippocratic oath that stood so long as the ethical guide of medical profession that bears the name of great Greek. The content of the oath is this: I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to the effect. Similarly, I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. Even now it represent the highest of the development of strict ethical concept in medicine. That brings-up a question, why then it did not dissuade the abortion practice in his -own time and that of the Roman Empire. Late Dr. Edelstein is the one who shed light into this confusion. According to him only one school of thinking, out of many in existence, known as Pythagorean school thought that embryo was animate from the moment of conception, and an abortion meant destruction of a living being. However, most Greek thinkers, on the other hand, did not think so, and commended abortion and practiced it. The conclusion of Dr. Edelstein is that the oath did not represent the whole section of the society, nor did it was accepted by all ancient physicians. Medical writing down to Galen (A.D130-200) give evidence of the violation of almost every one of its injunctions, and it is very convincing. Development of Abortion Law
The common law practiced prior to 1803, did not consider abortion performed before quickening-the first recognizable movement of the fetus in utero, appearing usually from 10th to the 18 weeks of pregnancy, as an indictable offence. Keep in mind English Statutory Law had a slow progression. The first criminal abortion act came into being in 1803, which made it a capital crime, but lessor punishment was awarded, if it is done before quickening. It continued to be so in the general revision of 1828. The criminal abortion act disappeared together with the death penalty in 1837, and did not reappear in the offences against person act of 1861. In 1929, the infant life preservation act came into being. It made an intentional act performed with the motivation, a felony. However, it contained a proviso that a person was to be found guilty of the offence only if it is evidentially found that the act that caused the death of child was not done in good faith for the purpose only of preserving the life of the mother. In 1967, the parliament...