The doctor is correct in part that one human being does not have the right to life at the expense of another human being’s life. Doctor’s can’t take a healthy heart from one living human and give it to another human to save the recipient’s life.
But Jarvis is a moral philosopher, not a medical provider, and what is permissible in one field might not be permissible in another. Jarvis did not consider the 2500 year history of medical ethics when she wrote that piece.
Human beings have human rights because they are human. A human is a human, regardless of its stage of being.
A pregnant woman has her right to bodily integrity/autonomy because she is a human being. And a human zygote, a human embryo, a human fetus, and human child have the same rights as well. Bodily integrity/autonomy is also a right of a disabled human, a young adult, a middle-aged person, an elder, and even a dead human being.
Bodily integrity/autonomy still applies, even when the right to life isn’t present. Autonomy might be at a diminished capacity under such circumstances, but it still applies.
In medical ethics, doctors have the duty to respect a patient’s autonomy only to the extent that it doesn’t harm another human. Harm and risk of harm (non maleficence) must be outweighed by giving benefit (beneficence) to the patient.
Even if a living mother wanted a surgeon to remove her heart to save her child’s life, the a transplant team wouldn’t perform such a procedure because of the harm that would be done to her.
Ethical doctors don’t discriminate based on a human being’s stage of existence.
Surgeons require authorizations of informed consent from a pregnant woman, for herself and for her fetus, when they do fetal surgery. (That proves that there is a level of legal protection that is granted toward the autonomy of the fetus).
Also, surgeons don’t automatically harvest organs from a brain-dead patient. Protocols and authorizations must be met before the surgical transplant team is authorized to touch such a patient.
Autonomy, non maleficence, beneficence, and justice are demanded of physicians and must be considered in all circumstances of care.
When it comes to elective abortion, philosophers might deem it morally permissible, but honorable physicians can’t. Elective abortion fails to consider the most important ethical principles in patient care and isn’t basic healthcare because it goes against medical ethics.
Elective abortion opposes the ethical principle autonomy because it acts on a patient’s choice to bring harm (death) to another human. It violates the principle of non maleficence by destroying another human. And elective abortion ultimately violates the principle of justice, because it fails to give the early stage human what it is due: it’s right to be let alone and have its bodily integrity/autonomy intact so it can develop its full potential.
The only time abortion can be medically ethical is when it falls in the realm of medical necessity where the benefit outweighs harm in consideration of justice and autonomy.