Williard Johnston, M.D.*
Recently, a worried pre-med student called me. A year ago her interview had gone badly, partly because her pro-life views became known to her interviewer, a woman whose pro-choice sentiments have been expressed to me personally in the past. Back for another try, her interview somehow ended up on the same topic.
A few months ago I met a new colleague at my community hospital. He reminded me of a conversation we had had several years ago, when he had phoned me for advice after losing his position at a public health clinic. He had done well in the job, and was about to be hired permanently, when the non-physician office manager called him in for an “interview” and bluntly exposed his pro-life leanings. “It’s men like you who ruin the lives of young women,” was her tactful observation. He was informed that he would be given no further sessions at the publicly funded downtown clinic, and was more or less told to pack his bags. Now in private practice not far from me, he still wonders if he did the right thing by accepting this treatment silently.
However, there is a far more basic threat to the ability of physicians to hold pro-life views.[Full text]