I felt compelled to respond to the letter Hank Shiver in the April 8 Herald. He is inappropriately equating ethics and religion.
Anyone can have ethical standards with or without being a member of an organized religion. If a doctor believes that a certain medical procedure of any kind is unethical, he should have the right to refuse to do it. Just because a patient requests a procedure doesn’t mean that it is right to comply. What if someone wanted a doctor to remove an arm or leg because they didn’t like it? The doctor wouldn’t be expected to comply, would they?
Scientifically, there is no question that an unborn child is indeed a human being. It is not an appendage of the mother. It is a separate living person with different DNA and can even be a different blood type. That is not a belief — it is a scientific fact.
Therefore, if a physician does not choose to end that life — for any reason — his decision should be accepted. We want doctors to have ethics, don’t we?