Human life begins at the instant of conception. From that moment, there exists a genetically complete human being - - to which God Almighty adds an eternal soul. Except in an extremely limited number of true medical emergencies, destroying the unborn child is nothing less than murder.
|The only time I believe it not sinful to
surgically cause the death of an unborn child is in cases such as ectopic
pregnancy. Should an ectopic pregnancy not be dealt with promptly, both mother and child are
going to die...that is as certain as anything can be in this life. The
developing fetus will die and the nurturing mother also will die. No other
outcome without divine intervention.
People die sometimes, despite the very best intentions and procedures of well-trained men and women in their behalf. When an ectopic pregnancy is diagnosed, the mother usually is already enduring pain, which will increase geometrically until, after very few days, she dies. The unborn child may pre-decease the mother, but even if it does not will surely die because there presently are no procedures for supporting human life and development at such an early stage.
The physician attending a woman suffering from an ectopic pregnancy must provide all information necessary to the mother or, if her ability to make reasonable decisions is impaired as a result of her condition, the party with that authority. A decision is required. Shall the doctor attempt to save the life of the mother, though the developing child will be killed? Or should he do nothing and allow both mother and child to die? As you see, the decision here is either to attempt to save one life, or to do nothing and let both die.
I believe the ectopic pregnancy issue is similar to a dilemma faced by a person who comes upon the scene of a recent automobile crash. He can see two people trapped in the car. Both are alive. As he approaches the car to help, it begins to burn violently. As flames approach the area where the two people are, he sees he shall only have time to rescue one of them. The driver is being held against the roof of the car by the steering column, and will be impossible to extract without major hydraulic equipment. The passenger is held in the car only by her seat belt.
The would be rescuer must immediately choose from among three alternatives:
It is comforting to know God does not suffer from our human limitations in such matters. He can search the heart and He is always just. Whether He chooses to forgive the doctor who performs a surgical intervention to save a mother's life or to condemn him for his action, it is good to know the decision will be perfect.