Science in Christian Perspective


Abortion Cases
Harold Matthew Spinka, M.D. 
6132 South Kedzie Avenue 
Chicago, Illinois 60629

From: JASA 26 (March 1974): 39.

As a member of the medical profession, I am grateful far the public discussion of abortion, euthanasia, informed consent, when a fetus is a living person, and when a person is medico-legally dead.

In turn, the State legislatures can write acceptable laws for society in general and the medical and legal professions in particular. Each state has its own laws covering these topics.

In Illinois today, Case No. 4, the heart patient (Journal ASA, 25, 118 (1973) ). would get two obstetrician specialists' approval and a medical therapeutic abortion would be legal, but done in a non-Catholic hospital, which can set its own additional rules.

The heart of the matter is: when is the fetus a living being? Our Roman Catholic friends say at the time of conception; our Jewish friends say at the time of delivery. Medically, a fetus over 5 months has a good chance (50-50) of surviving outside the womb. When these differences are resolved, then additional legislation will he forthcoming.

Abortions in the other cases described in the same issue of the Journal ASA would not be possible in Illinois, but can be done in New York.