Donald Chisholm MD: Nearing the end of the road?
As a young physician just finished with a year of internship I went into family practice with an older country doctor in a small Wisconsin town. One of the most demanding and difficult and happiest facets of the 24/7 responsibilities was the practice of obstetrics and the delivery of newly created life. We were practicing out of a large Catholic Hospital in Milwaukee, which necessitated a 30-minute drive, many times in the early-morning hours. There was a great temptation to become tired and cranky and mutter in the language I had heard working on the railroad during the summer months while in school. Golfers and computer users use the same language. My self-pity was short lived, as there was always something that was so special and exciting and wonderful as the first cries of new life filled the room. Human life was considered a sacred gift of God and beyond value by most Americans in those days.
This miracle of life became so focused, one night, as we heard the beautiful clear voice of the physician singing while delivering a newborn in the room next to ours. “Oh God how great Thou art, how great Thou art.”
In the years since 1973, a great change has occurred in how some have come to regard human life. A legal right to kill the unborn has been granted by the Supreme Court in the horrendous decision of Roe vs. Wade. In the past Americans believed that we were endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
In the near future America will decide if we will allow the totalitarian form of government to dictate and control, though our own tax-funded health care system, everything from life to death for our young and our old. It is beyond passing irony and coincidence that the right to life (the abortion issue) will be, at last, the final protection by our law givers voting no to the present health care bill.
It will be another American miracle in the human experience and we can all, young and old, patients and doctors sing “Oh God how great Thou art, how great thou art.”
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