Reverence for every human life, regardless of age or infirmity, lies at the root of all medical tradition and is basic to accepted standards of human conduct and our tradition of justice.
The long and honourable ethical tradition of medical sciences through the ages has been expressed and protected by the oath of Hippocrates. This tradition, rephrased in modern terms in the Declaration of Geneva (1948) and the restatement of the Oath (1995) must be our guide. The Declaration of Geneva says, in part: “I will maintain the utmost respect for human life, from the time of conception; even under threat, I will not use my medical knowledge contrary to the laws of humanity.” We reaffirm this Declaration.
Conscious that human life begins at conception, we hold that to directly cause the death of a human being, at any stage in life, because of physical or mental disabilities, or for social, economic, ecological or eugenic reasons, is a gross injustice to the person, degrading to humanity, and contradictory to the role of the physician.
A physician must recognize that there are two patients in every pregnancy and that he/she bears the medical responsibility for the lives of both the mother and her unborn child.
It must be the goal of medical science and its practitioners to preserve and protect human life, to relieve suffering and to promote healing.
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