No group of people have benefited the physical welfare of individuals as directly and extensively as the medical profession.  Applying the technology advanced by other sciences, health care professionals have been able to lengthen lives, to shorten illness, to relieve pain, to give many people a “new lease on life,” from providing pacemakers for heart patients, to new limbs for accident victims, to the most intricate operations for the healing of every part of the human body.  Society is, and should be, most grateful to the physicians who treat us.

While medical advances have benefited millions, the very explosion of knowledge also began to lead some people astray, especially those looking for reinforcement of the idea that some day science would vanquish religion.  For example, in 1756, French physician, Julien de la Mettrie, published the book L’homme Machine (Man a Machine).  Mettrie was the first modern atheist in the full sense of the word.  He denied that the human being has a soul or that God existed.

Some unbelievers who were contemporaries of the French doctor thought that medical advances would make man immortal.  One such “utopian” calculated that this would happen around 1880.  By that time the average age in Western countries has increased, but neither death nor religion had been vanquished.  Nevertheless, by then an ever larger vacuum of values surrounded the growth of science and technology.

In the twentieth century leading medical scientists in Europe and America disgraced themselves and their profession by promoting racist theories.  Under Nazism they achieved a new low in mankind’s history.  Among the atrocities committed during its twelve year reign was the introduction of abortion for unsuitable races, infanticide for “deficient” new-born babies and euthanasia for “useless eaters,” the old, the mentally deficient, the handicapped.

The vacuum of values has enveloped the entire Western world.  What was done secretly in the past, is done publicly today.  Atheist physicians, such as Morgentaler, have achieved a truly unbelievable success as witnessed by the 1988 abortion resolutions of the Canadian Medical Association.  Theirs is the result of technology without God.

Recently, the Roman Pontiff, John Paul II, summed up once more what many of us know to be true: without spiritual guidelines, current genetic technologies and medical practices will outdo all previous history in “savage and dehumanizing practices,” all the time promising the liberation of mankind.

Meanwhile, the erosion of medical ethics has been accompanied, in recent years, by diminishing respect for the medical profession.  That respect can be regained.  The development of medical amoral and immoral practices can be stopped.  But it will require clear-headedness, determination and strong action by many.