As Ontario doctors grapple with the consequences of wrongful birth lawsuits, malpractice insurance premiums and the impact of abortion on the entire medical profession, at least on practitioner retains a reasoned, pro-family perspective.
Dr. Andrew Simone, dermatologist, athlete and humanitarian, believes most doctors today have taken up the abortion issue for the wrong reasons.
Doctors are feeling defensive; he says “they resent the declining respect towards the medical profession on the part of the media and the general public. They also look with chagrin at government imposed fee schedules and “claw backs,” while other professionals enjoy escalating salaries.
Dr. Simone also believes abortion has undue influence within the medical community. In a litigation-happy environment, some MDs look abortion as a convenient way of preventing potential malpractice suits for delivering less than perfect babies. In addition, may have embraced abortion as a means of exhibiting concern and compassion for their patients.
“In today’s society, you’re seen a good, caring doctor if you accept abortion,” Dr. Simone told The Interim. “Doctors want to be seen as caring, loving professionals and they accept abortion because it’s something they believe the public really wants.”
Dr. Simone estimates that up to 95 per cent of his colleagues support abortion, despite advances in the field of fetology, and the understanding of the humanity of the unborn child.
“Many physicians believe only the radicals and the fanatics are opposed to abortion,” he said. “They argue that abortion opponents are out of touch with the way of the world.”
Dr. Simone’s commitment to his patients – and to humanity in general – is not limited to sympathetic words and thoughts. For the last 15 years, he and his wife Joan have collected food, clothing and other materials for children in developing countries. In 1980, the Simone’s founded the Co-workers of Mother Teresa, which was later renamed Canadian Food for Children.
Dr. Simone combines his medical practice with overseeing the work of this thriving charitable enterprise. The couple has sacrificed many of their personal resources and foregone material comforts to devote more time and energy to CFC.
The organization now ships four large containers of material each week to 20 Third World countries. This amounts to up to five million pounds of giving each year.
Canadian Food for Children also published a small newsletter which often alerts supporters of the dangers of population control, contraception and other anti-life issues. It’s in keeping with the Simone’s belief that human life is a precious resource which should take precedence over “bottom line” values.
Dr. Simone’s respect for life touches every facet of his practice. His waiting room is dotted with pro-life reading material and he is quick to lend support to any number of community causes. He also believes the unborn, even those who may be born with physical abnormalities, deserve a fighting chance for life. While he won’t prescribe drugs or treatments that could put an unborn child at risk, he doesn’t automatically assume a child at risk of future defects should be aborted.
“I’m more afraid of doing God’s work than I am of people suing me,” Dr. Simone said in reference to the threat of wrongful birth suits.
Despite on overly sympathetic view of abortion on the part of most his colleagues, Dr. Simone believes there is reason for optimism. He says truth is the best weapon against those who promote abortion and deny the humanity of the unborn child.