Thank you for the newsletter Medical Ethics. It is a sad state of affairs when the practice of medicine demands the necessity of such a newsletter or journal as in other countries.
Ethics, whether medical or otherwise, are inborn and should come naturally. Does a person have to observe a moral code just because there is a law concerning it which should not be broken? Under the present circumstances will a newsletter like this have any effect on the profession at large? The persons who read such a newsletter will be those who believe in medical ethics and wish to improve themselves. What about those who should change their ways and attitudes? Will they even glance through the newsletter or will they throw it into the waste paper basket? Take the article on elections to the MMC? Will those on board pay heed to the warnings given or will they try newer unethical ways and means to secure their seats?
Even so, such a newsletter is necessary because unless one makes the voice of sanity heard there is no hope of improvement and a bad situation continues or gets worse. Apart from medical politics and the attitude of medical practitioners towards one another and toward their patients, there are many other aspects which require elucidation and discussion. What may have been right and correct in one period may not necessarily be right and correct in another. Abortion and euthanasia are two examples. I am sure the newsletter will prove a source of light to those who grope in the dark as to the proper action when they face a problem.
May I suggest that you ask two experts in the field to present opposing viewpoints on controversial subjects?
As regards the situation of MOTHER vs FETUS, in my opinion the line of action followed by the doctors was absolutely correct. The prime factor in any situation is the intention of the doctor in charge of the case. If this is honest and sincere and based on sound reasoning, no fault can be attributed to him for he has acted in the best interests of both mother and fetus. What guarantee is there that a caesarian operation performed whilst the mother was alive would have resulted in a normal fetus? Such an operation would certainly have jeopardised the life of the mother.
I wish the newsletter every success.
Dr. Samuel J. Aptekar, MS, FRCS, P. 0. Box 1005, Nazareth Illit, Code 17110, ISRAEL.
(Editorial note: Dr. Aptekar is an alumnus of the Grant Medical College and Sir J. J. Group of Hospitals. He served his alma mater on his return from England. being appointed to the Goculdas Tejpal Hospital. He retired as Assistant Honorary Professor of Surgery and has, since, settled in Israel. He maintains a keen interest in events in India, especially in the field of medical education.)