Poland's PM: doctor's duty is above his faith


WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s prime minister, Donald Tusk, on Tuesday weighed into an abortion debate that is roiling emotions in the largely Catholic country, saying doctors have to put their obligation to the patient and the law above their religious beliefs.

Tusk’s comment came after a well-known obstetrician in Warsaw, Bogdan Chazan, caused uproar by refusing to allow a woman to abort a fetus with serious head and brain defects. A declared Catholic, Chazan argued that an abortion would be against his personal beliefs and the woman now has to give birth to the child.

In Poland, abortion is legal until the 25th week of pregnancy when the mother’s life is at risk or if the fetus is badly damaged or the result of rape or incest.

“Regardless of what his conscience is telling him, (a doctor) must carry out the law,” Tusk said. “Every patient must be sure that … the doctor will perform all procedures in accordance with the law and in accordance with his duties.”

The woman has lodged a complaint with the health minister, who has ordered a review of the case.

Chazan is one of around 3,000 Polish doctors —from among some 161,000 — who have signed a “Declaration of Faith” saying they are believers and consider abortion, birth control, in vitro fertilization and euthanasia as being against their faith. The much-debated declaration also states the doctors “recognize the primacy of God’s law over human law” and see the need to “counter the imposed, anti-human ideologies of contemporary civilization.”

Poland’s influential Catholic Church has voiced its support for the doctors who have signed the declaration.



Finally, a voice of reason and hope. God bless these doctors for having the courage to defend life!
I’m curious, when was the moment that doctor was equated with butcher, in modern society?


There will ALWAYS be a “questionable” case for
the abortionist cause, so they could point it out
and say “you see, what did we tell you?”
My question is:“Why did the woman choose THIS
doctor to ask to perform the abortion?”

Hail holy Queen, Mother of mercy,
our life, our sweetness and our hope,
to you do we cry, poor banished children of Eve,
to you do we lift up our sighs, mourning and weeping
in this Valley of Tears.
Turn then, gracious Advocate, your eyes of mercy
towards us and after this our exile, show to us the
blessed fruit of your WOMB, Jesus
O clement, O loving, O kind Virgin Mary!
(Pray for us, O holy Mother of God,
that we may be made worthy of the
promises of Christ!).


the doctor did the right thing refusing to perform the abortion. to do so would have been indirectly cooperating with evil.

As for the prime minister’s comments…I thought Poland got RID of the communists!


Such wonderful courage and strength! They are my heroes!


I’m wondering if the doctors in Poland even have the option of not being in the abortion business. It appears on the surface that there is an expectation that doctors in this field are required by law to perform abortions in which case, that is pretty scary stuff and may explain the need for nearly 3,000 doctors to make the pledge that they did.


Since the doctor is with a knife in his hand chopping up the baby, i doubt that he is INDIRECTLY cooperating with evil. He is very clearly cooperating DIRECTLY with evil.


x2 :thumbsup:


Hang about, did he refuse to perform the abortion himself (indisputably his right in my opinion) or did he refuse “to allow a woman to abort a fetus” and insist that “the woman now has to give birth to the child” which is quite a different matter?

Refusing to do something is quite different from preventing someone else from doing something lawful, or forcing them to do something they do not wish to.


Caesar can only demand what you haven’t already given to God. Your duty as a doctor is to save all lives; their duty to God is not to kill. May these heroes’ names be written in the book of light. The list on the declaration will save the angel a lot of transcription time,photostat will do.


Like this you mean, huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/06/09/high-court-orders-abortion_n_5473628.html


This is nothing more but an attack on religious freedom. It honestly seems like the attacks on religious freedom are occurring more and more and it is definitely occurring worldwide as well. When I was younger, I never thought that as an American I would one day live in a nation where my freedom was under attack but at this very point in time, that is the reality with the HHS Mandate and several other attacks on our freedom.


Yeah, I don’t agree with that either. :shrug:

Can you answer the question, or is irrelevant sniping all you have?


I don’t think there is enough information available to answer your question.

However, I disagree that the article posted as being irrelevant to the discussion. The link JackyB provided was an example within the abortion debate where someone is forced to be a part of an abortion via governmental mandate.

The question is whether the doctor in the case of Poland is under a similar governmental mandate. I don’t have an answer to that question, but it is certainly within the realm of possibility as shown by other governments forcing their abortion will upon their citizenry.


Well, Jesus did tell us we would eventually be persecuted and tortured because of him, he said brothers and relatives would be turning each other in, so it will kind of be like the beginning of Hitlers 3rd reich!! so it should not come as that big of a surprise, the world has to go thru this kind of thing to get to a better point, and that includes Christians having to go thru some very bad times, but this will put everyones faith to the ultimate test!

Violence against Christians is happening more and more around the world, only a matter of time before it hits the US…I think many many people will deny their beliefs right off the bat though, just so they can avoid prison, or some bodily pain, etc. although I hope they do not.

I have a feeling this will tear the US into 2 ‘camps’, there will be those against anything and everything Christian, and then there will be (probably smaller group) of devout christians who remain faithful and true to their beliefs no matter what is thrown at them.


Sorry, didn’t think I was sniping but giving an example of the abuse of power which resulted in an unwanted abortion. I can’t imagine the sheer terror this poor girl went through until she gave the right answer, will doctors who don’t wish to carry out abortions be treated the same way? I think so.

  1. Doctors have a duty to practice medicine ethically. For example, in the Western world Doctors are bound to avoid unethical procedures (e.g. female circumcision) and must treat their patients in an ethical fashion (e.g. respecting patient autonomy, being open and honest with their patient, treating their patient the same regardless of their race, etc.) I think everyone can agree with this principle. Failing to uphold this principle is what enabled the attempted extermination of certain classes of people in the early stages of Nazi Germany.

  2. Most people would agree that if you know something is morally wrong, you shouldn’t do it. People may disagree about what is morally wrong, but how many people respect a person who violates their conscience? In its most basic form, ethics is doing right. Our conscience guides in doing the ethical thing. Therefor if a person is interested in acting ethically they will obey their conscience.

  3. Our conscience is informed by our faith. Moral relativists would say that this is because right and wrong are learned. Moral absolutists would say that faith reveals the fundamental nature of reality. Either way, reaches to the very depths of our being. It’s not a set of clothing that we can take on and off at will.

Consequently… faith informs determines our conscience which we follow in order to act ethically which is a part of a doctors duty. Therefore a doctor’s duty is not above his faith because it is partially dependent on his faith.


We’ll have a third group too, the modernized forward-thinking, “tolerant” Christians (i.e. Episocopalian style), who don’t want to get too negative or impose our beliefs on secular society. As the secular/Christian divide grows, their faith will recede more and more and essentially just come to mirror modern values.


The important thing is that there is no conflict between faith and medicine. The doctor has two patients and has an equal duty to both of them. He cannot kill one patient because the other one wants him to do it.


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