I was interested to read in the Daily Telegraph that more than 750 GPs, surgeons and other doctors had kept their jobs despite being found guilty of criminal offences. Of the convictions, 184 were for dangerous driving, 330 for drink-driving and four for driving under the influence of drugs.
But other convictions included perjury, forgery, fraud, making threats to kill and violent disorder, including rioting. Also included were one doctor who took indecent photographs of a child, two with convictions for possessing child pornography, two for trafficking drugs and three for grievous bodily harm. There were 31 offences of assault, three of possessing dangerous weapons, seven for soliciting prostitutes, a dozen for domestic violence, and two of child cruelty or neglect.
The report predictably led to protest by patient advocacy groups. Why was it, they asked, that doctors were able to keep their jobs after criminal convictions when other professionals weren’t? But what about doctors who habitually break the law without being investigated or prosecuted, let alone convicted?
In this connection I was interested to see another Telegraph article in which the journalist related a conversation she had had with a friend who was a GP. The doctor had deliberately falsified an HSA1 abortion authorisation form saying that the patient qualified under ‘ground C’ – mental health – when she most clearly did not.
When the patient, a student, challenged her she explained that there were no other options to tick to grant her an abortion and that the reasons given on the form were the only legal grounds for abortion (as established by the 1967 Abortion Act). This not surprisingly left the girl mystified and the GP feeling profoundly uneasy. She had clearly been breaking the law for some time but had never been challenged about it before.
Ground C reads as follows:
‘The pregnancy has NOT exceeded its 24th week and that the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated, of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman.’
In practice 98 percent of all abortions in Britain (about 196,000 per year) are authorised under Ground C and 99.96 percent of these are under mental health rather than physical health.
But in fact, according to a major review carried out by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges in 2011, there is no evidence that the risk to mental health of continuing a pregnancy is ever greater than the risk of having an abortion.
So in other words these abortions are technically illegal. Furthermore doctors who knowingly or wilfully putting their signatures to an HSA1 form in the way described are actually committing a form of perjury (I explain this is much more detail here).
Under the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 abortion is still a criminal offence carrying a custodial life sentence, like murder. All the Abortion Act did was to make abortion legal under certain restricted circumstances. Under the Perjury Act 1911 falsifying an HSA1 form is a criminal offence which carries a custodial sentence of up to two years, or a fine, or both.
What happens in practice is that both illegal abortion and related perjury occur on an industrial scale in Britain. But the police, prosecutors, the courts, parliament and the medical profession do nothing about it.
Parliament, police and the courts have always deferred to doctors in this matter. There has been only one conviction for illegal abortion since 1967 in almost eight million cases and none, as far as I know, for perjury.
As a result, close to eight million preborn babies have had their lives taken by doctors illegally.
As well as being illegal in probably 98 percent of cases in Britain, abortion is also contrary to the Hippocratic Oath and was described by the British Medical Association in 1947 as ‘the greatest crime’. But now doctors are its authorisers and facilitators.
On 23 February 2012 the Chief Medical Officer wrote to all abortion providers advising them about the importance of upholding the law on abortion.
Last week, in answer to a parliamentary question from David Burrowes MP, Health Minister Daniel Poulter said that between 23 February 2012 and 31 December 2012 there were 153,335 abortions performed where the grounds involved a risk to the woman’s mental health (notice that the health minister has used wording which is nowhere found in the Act itself). So it appears that the CMO’s letter has made not a blind bit of difference.
I wonder what will happen now? I suspect, if the last 45 years is any indication, the answer will be ‘not much’.
There is no one more innocent, more vulnerable and killed in greater numbers in Britain than the preborn baby. That this is done largely illegally and that no one with power does anything to stop it is one of the greatest scandals and travesties of justice of our time. It also makes doctors the largest group of unapprehended criminals in the state. The 750 doctors who are allowed to go on practising despite having criminal convictions are a drop in the bucket in comparison.
Peter Saunders is Chief Executive of the Christian Medical Fellowship in the UK and was formerly a general surgeon. He also serves on the boards of the International Christian Medical and Dental Association and Coalition for Marriage and is campaign director for the Care Not Killing Alliance. This article has been republished with permission from Christian Medical Comment.