'My Foetus' Perpetuates Lack of Informed Consent

Irving News Comments
April 24, 2004
BMJ 2004;328:1021 (24 April),
Review: "My Foetus",
by Dr. Deirdre J. Murphy
Reproduced with Permission

Dr. Murphy's review of 'My Foetus' is intriguing. For the first time an excellent medical journal like the BMJ has actually allowed a serious exploration of some of the other important issues involved in abortion other than "choice" --difficult as such a "choice" must be. One such issue she did not elaborate on, however, was valid informed consent and the disturbing consequences for women when they eventually find out that their "choice" was based on false information.

As a scientist I remain amazed at the professions' and society's refusal to acknowledge the objective scientific facts of human embryology that have been known formally and scientifically for over a hundred years, and to accurately and honestly convey them to women who are in the decision making process as to whether or not to abort. What they are considering aborting is a new unique living human being, and that is precisely what they should be told.

It is my long experience that when such basic Biology 101 scientific facts are accurately explained to women, they are often stunned and angry. They have been lured into such abortions for too long by being "taught" by their medical professionals that what they are carrying (or donating) is not really a human being, but rather just a "pre-embryo", a blob of tissue, or similar fantacies.

Women have a legal right to be informed of this accurate scientific information so that they can make a truly "informed decision". Without it, women really have no true "choice". It is time that scientific and medical professionals bear their legal responsibilities to provide them with such basic information.

Competing interests: None declared.