IT IS A HUMAN BEING, NOT A THING
Elzbieta Krawczyk talks with doctor of medical sciences Wanda Terlecka – the chairwoman of the Catholic Association of Polish Doctors
ELZBIETA KRAWCZYK: – On the recent days a media uproar broke out when prof. Romuald Debski, a gynecologist and an obstetrician from Warsaw, after the birth of a severely-ill child, whom prof. Bogdan Chazan had not killed, went to the TVN television with a photo of this child, describing his disability. What do you think about it?
DR. WANDA TERLECKA: – In this event three issues are striking. Firstly, this not keeping a medical secret by prof. Debski about an ill child and treating him as a thing to scare others. We must know that every severe illness is terrible – both for an ill person and for his family. A doctor, facing a severe illness, cannot get subjected to negative emotions connected with it, but he should be mobilized to help an ill person. None of us knows, including prof. Debski, if he or she will not become somebody physically repulsive to others at one moment. Otherwise we would like to receive help, without making a show of us.
Another issue is practically exposing terrible features of in vitro, on whose way a child was created. In in vitro procedures people are treated as a trivial thing. It is assumed that on the modern level of medical techniques, approximately 10 created people have to be doomed to ‘loss’, so as to give a chance of development inside pubic and birth to one of them.
Moreover, everyone working on in vitro know very well that every child born from ‘in vitro’ belongs to a high-risk group of illnesses both the congenital ones and the ones which occur in the later years of life, including the birth defects. Do they explicitly inform potential parents about it?
An additional risk for a child during pregnancy is a state of his health. What an attitude towards a child is who is unlucky to be severely ill, is seen by all witnesses of the fates of this child for a few weeks. And medics and doctors are not needed by healthy but ill people…
In the discussed case, not only an ill child but also his mother is treated by her ‘protectors’ as a thing. Her personal experiences, tragedies and hopes on the media ‘market’, in the eyes of people greedy of strong emotions, are used as a currently supporting coin. It can be sold and bought, used to buy cheap popularity, political significance, momentous influences. But a mother (and both parents) are people with their real, alive, although a severely ill child. Where is respect belonging to every human being?...
And the third issue is a dramatic collapse of authorities. And we would like to see the man with the title of professor at least the minimum level of good manners, like a little wisdom. Every doctor, not excluding prof. Debski, already during his studies had a chance to get to know the text of the Hippocrates’ Oath important in medicine for 2.5 thousand years: ‘Whatever I would see or hear during medical treatment or beyond it in the human life which should not be made public, I will keep silent, keeping it secret’.
The words of Isaiah from before nearly 3 thousand years sound terrible and true: ‘Woe to those who call evil the good and the good the evil…’(Is. 5.20).