The Corporation Professionnelle des Médecins du Québec will formally advise Henry Morgentaler of the necessity for pathological examination to be made of “tissue” removed in his Montreal abortion facility. A letter from the Corporation to Ottawa resident David Waechter states that
“… recommendations will be formally addressed by our office to Dr. Morgentaler requesting that all tissue obtained by aspiration or curetage (sic) of the uterus be sent for a pathology examination.”
In October 1985, Morgentaler appeared on an Ottawa open-line radio talk show. Waechter called in and questioned Morgentaler regarding pathology examinations for removed tissue. Morgentaler stated that he did not feel these were necessary and they were not routinely done in his clinics. The programme was tape-recorded by several Ottawa pro-lifers. Waechter then sent a tape of the programme and a transcript of it to the Corporation in Montreal.
Although the post office lost the tape, the Corporation officials reviewed the transcript which remained, and have acted upon it. It is not known what action the Corporation may take if Morgentaler continues to avoid the expense of these required examinations.
Pathological examinations of removed tissue protect the health of women and the reputation of physicians. If results of a pathology examination of removed tissue from an abortion indicate that no fetal tissue is present, then a competent physician would take immediate steps to determine if a tubal pregnancy exists. Pathology exams can also detect other abnormalities that could threaten the life or health of the mother. These examinations also provide a protection for the physician, in that, without pathological evidence of fetal remains, a doctor could be accused of performing an abortion on a non-pregnant woman. Failure to comply with the requirements for pathology examinations for removed tissue indicates that Morgentaler is concerned neither with the health of women nor his own reputation.