As part of our 50th anniversary celebrations, we have been reprinting articles from our last 40 years of producing FOCUS Magazine. In 1996, Dr Dykeman was asked to prepare a plenary lecture for CMDA Canada on: “How Secularism has Corrupted Medicine”. This lecture was given at the Annual Meeting in Saint John, NB in May 1997 and published in Focus in two parts, in February and May of 1998. Below is a sequel to those articles.
The theme and content of the lecture was timeless. A recent review of the subject reveals the processes of secularism are relentless and persistent. Not only has it affected medicine, but also justice and law, religion, and rights and freedoms. The core problem of secularism is a faulty view of God, man and the physical material world. There is an irresolvable tension between reason and revelation. The predicable outcome is what we are seeing around us today with competing voices in the public square. Voices becoming more shrill and demanding, conversations becoming a shouting match. Just tune in to TV newscasts for examples.
This present article reflects on core issues that are evolving: What is a Person? What is Truth? What are the Absolutes? Are they knowable? Where do I find them? How do I live a Godly life in a Pagan Society? (1 Peter 2: 11-17)
The Oxford Universal Dictionary defines a person as a human being, alive, and having rights or duties recognized by law, but who intercedes for the fetus and acts as their defense lawyer? The fetus is a person made in the image of God and loved by God. Jeremiah 1:4-5 declares: “The word of the Lord came to me saying: ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.’”
The secular definition of “the person” is like a moving target with changing parameters depending on the latest opinion polls or political needs. The definition is arbitrary. Since God is not in the picture it lacks stability and endurance. This leaves it wide open to abuse and manipulation. What Parliament gives today, it can take away tomorrow!
The Preamble to the International Declaration of Human Rights states: “Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.” Then 30 rights follow in the text.
It is a good test for motives in how we interact with each other. A good question to start with before we embark on any project involving people: “Does what I am doing reflect respect and dignity for the human person?”
The Canadian Institute of Health Information tables of records “reported the total number of reported abortions that took place between 1974-2010 in Canada was 3,191,362”.
This does not include data from private clinics and Quebec. PEI has no abortion facilities. See AbortionsinCanada.ca for a breakdown by province and by year.
Abortion issues surfaced in Canada’s last Federal Election, but no party leaders wanted to pursue it. The news media seemed convinced that someone wanted to change current laws. Roe v Wade in the United States has come under attack. Some states dropped funding for planned parenthood clinics if they were providing abortion services. President Trump has done the same thing federally in the US.
Legal scholars of the day said that the ruling of Roe v Wade would not last because its basic arguments were flawed. Life begins at conception, not 90 days. The ruling reverses life and liberty issues. It also removes autonomy, my right to define my own meaning and purpose in the universe as the fetus plays no role in these decisions.
Abortions are legal in Canada, but different provinces have different requirements for physicians. In Ontario, if the physician cannot provide the service, they are told to make an effective referral, which is defined as taking positive action to ensure the patient is connected to a non-objecting, available, and accessible physician, health-care provider or agency. The implication here is that failure to follow this policy makes the doctor an unethical physician and liable to censure from the licensing body.
Here is where a clash of values occurs. The woman insists she has a right to have an abortion, “My Body. My Choice.” The fetus is helpless and has no rights before 3 months. The physician is caught in a dilemma and feels a referral implicitly involves him/her in killing a human life.
Secularism has a defective or anesthetized conscience and hence the average person sees no problem with doing something against their numbed conscience! Note applicants to Nursing and Medical School in some jurisdictions are being asked to affirm they would be prepared to assist in an abortion or euthanasia case.
But the tragic observation is that we neglect to see the weakest and most vulnerable person is the fetus in utero. Their life began at conception. All the body parts and functions are there embedded in the DNA Code. It is heart breaking to see that 3.1 million fetuses were aborted from 1974 to 2010. This is more than enough to populate the Atlantic Provinces and still have some left over. Who represents these people and who cries out for Justice for the brutality they suffer?
The “rule of Law” is of no help to these people. They are on the wrong side of the equation! “Canadian Values” are of no use to the fetus. However we believe that he Supremacy of God, now removed from the Charter will ultimately triumph!!
The Sacred Scriptures inform us in Exodus 20:5-6: “You shall not bow down to them [idols] or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.” Will the generation that sowed the seeds of abortion reap the whirlwind of euthanasia? Is there justice here?
God will have the last word on this matter!
Just as Canadian Physicians have been compelled to participate in the abortion scenario, so now they are expected to follow suit with euthanasia . Why has the profession that is dedicated to helping people live, suddenly saddled with the task of becoming “State Executioners”?
The Euthanasia Bill was passed into law and it is already getting challenges and questions of interpretation. The EFC is monitoring this carefully at their website www.TheEFC.ca, as is CMDA Canada. The Federal Law currently requires that in order to be eligible for MAID (Medical Assistance in Dying), a person’s natural death must be “reasonably foreseeable.” Quebec’s Act Respecting End-of-Life Care also requires that a person be at the end of life in order to be eligible for euthanasia. Justice Christine Baudouin of the Quebec Superior Court recently found that the “reasonably foreseeable” clause of the federal legislation “to be unconstitutional, violating the equality provisions of the Charter.”
In future, it will be a stressful time for all. Services will be further stressed in the future as the baby-boomers age to 70+ and access to resources will be challenged. Everyone’s last will and testament should clearly provide a family member with the authority to determine what form of terminal care to pursue. Once again the secularist sees no problem in dispatching a person with a terminal illness. The issue here is motive. Compassionate terminal care respects the wishes of the patient and family and directs treatment to relieve discomfort. It does not prescribe doses of medications to hasten death. We don’t have a license to kill.
Will the generation that sowed the seeds of abortion reap the whirlwind of euthanasia?
Justice and Law
The Canadian Secular State has a defective view of reality. God is not in the picture. Concepts of rights, freedom, and justice are defective because the view of man is defective. The structures that support these are also defective. We see this daily in the public square.
The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that reference to the “Supremacy of God” in the preamble of our Constitution was of no legal significance in our laws. It failed to see that they too are responsible to a higher power and will be responsible for the cases they adjudicate.
A personal request to the Governor General of the day for his understanding of the “Supremacy of God” phrase elicited the response: “His excellency considers it too political an issue to address.” Similar requests to the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition and a third party were equally unenlightening.
The reference to “The Supremacy of God” in the preamble serves the purpose to remind lawmakers they are accountable to a higher power, to God Himself and a general framework to formulate laws. Secularism has no place for religion in its thinking. We are seeing that now.
In this high stress environment, doctors, nurses, pharmacists and first responders try and work through their daily routines. Hours of work punctuated by moments of emergency and stress. It does take its toll and affect our sense of well being.
Having to deal with matters of conscience does not help. Suicidal ideation surfaces and needs to be identified and treated. PTSD is very real here and we need environments where we can talk about our “hurts”.
CMDA Canada is strategically positioned to offer that kind of healing environment and share how our walk with God enables us to do one day at a time living godly lives in a pagan society.
- CMDS Focus Magazine: How Secularism has Corrupted Medicine. Feb 1998 Part 1 and May 1998 Part 2 by Dr Winston Dykeman
- International Declaration of Human Rights 1948; “Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom. Justice and peace in the world.”
- CIHI Health Statistics and www.AbortioninCanada.ca
- The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide by Robert Jay Lifton, 1986.
- What is Fundamental About Rights and Freedoms? Dr Robert Spitzer. Lectures on public policy – Centre for Renewal of Public Policy Ottawa ON – Vancouver lectures to Justices, 1995.