“Doctors wrestle with South Dakota abortion law”

Emily Bazelon’s confusing take in Slate Magazine:

“On the one hand, the organization doesn’t want to put abortion providers in legal jeopardy, since failure to follow the law can be punished as a criminal misdemeanor. On the other hand, doctors have an ethical responsibility to give patients accurate medical information. The mandatory statement linking abortion to an increased risk of suicide isn’t supported by reliable medical evidence. And the statements about the fetus as a human being are moral or philosophical rather than scientific at heart, in Planned Parenthood’s view. So what’s an abortion provider in South Dakota to do?”

Well it seems clear to me. If making the statement about the “fetus as a human being” is objectionable because it is “moral or philosophical” rather than “scientific” than it seems we can derive the principle:

S: Doctors should base their advice on science and not moral or philosophical principles.

Taking S as true, than the ethical responsibility to provide patients with accurate medical information is moot, given that it is a moral or philosophical principle and not a scientific one. So Doctors should ignore ethics and follow the law, for the punishments of the state are scientific facts.

Or we might see that we have arrived at an absurd conclusion and admit that it is not the case that a statement’s being moral or philosophical rather than scientific disqualifies it as proper medical advice.

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