Fetal Pain and the Job effect

Divine physician: bioethicist and theologian

According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, a bioethicist, “is a person who conducts research on ethical, social, and legal issues arising in biomedicine and biomedical research. They teach courses and give seminars, help graph institutional policies, and serve on ethics committees and provide consultation advice on ethical issues.”

From the Catholic encyclopedia we find that, a theologian, is a person who studies the science of God. In as far as the human mind can possibly achieve in efforts to reach a definite conclusion about God and his nature.

Putting these two definitions to work we could loosely extrapolate that a bioethicist is concerned with the human side of mankind and that a theologian is concerned with the divine side of mankind. Where else do we see these two facets of nature rolled into one? Is it not Christ himself both fully man and fully God? Is it not his two natures, human and divine, that we as Catholics profess? 

It would not be far-fetched then for a person possessing such an education with degrees in both of these fields, to deeply contemplate matters surrounding the beginning of life. We already know that life begins at fertilization, as there is scientific research that can be found in medical textbooks such as “Developing Human: Clinically oriented embryology”, seventh edition, by Keith L. Moore and “Langman’s Medical Embryology”, 10th edition, by T.W. Sadler. These are but a couple, and through them we come to know that all human chromosomes are present at fertilization; and that a unique human life has begun. But what if we choose to ignore this evidence? Then perhaps maybe we should take a more common sense approach and ask ourselves that if NASA discovered something that was far more simpler than a zygote, such as a single celled life form, and that that life form was found on the planet Mars, would we not be proclaiming that “Life” was now found on Mars? Not merely, a cell mind you, but LIFE.  And would not this be considered an outstanding discovery of epic proportions? Obviously such an unearthing would be spread all over the Internet, by news services around the world, as it would naturally be so scientifically amazing. So now ask yourself, how is it that we can take the amazing event of fertilization and minimalize it to absolute nothingness because it occurred inside the womb of a woman and not on MARS? Instead of this great event or this great achievement we reduce it to merely a choice?? And why do we reduce it to a choice? Is it because to do otherwise will ruin the narrative we need for the solution that we already have in mind?? 

So here we are, an earthly, self-made, divine physician; possessing not only a Catholic theology degree and all the necessary education to back that assertion up, but also possessing the same credentials to prove our validity as a bioethicist as well. One would think with all that training and education, that such life facts would be clear cut. For such an individual to ignore scientific fact would seem to go against not only the ethics of medicine, but also biology itself. And in doing so, would it not only be natural for the rest of us to question the validity of the person’s training, credentials, and more importantly motive since they could so easily ignore all that training and choose instead to take a more political viewpoint of human life?

For that same person to possess a theology degree, work at a Catholic institution, and then declare that it is reasonable to kill a child prior to its ability to have brain waves necessary to feel pain while still in the womb, should we not question that persons scientific knowledge of God in their quest to know him and whether they’ve even read the book of Job? For in Job 38:2 it is asked, “Who is this that darkens council by words without knowledge?”

Should we not ask such a person as Job was asked by God, 

“Where were you when I lay the foundation of the earth? Tell me if you have understanding. Who determined it’s measurements surely you know!”

And we could go on because clearly this person has a deep knowledge beyond that of our Creator. 

Maybe the question this person should be asking in addition to whether the child in the womb feels pain as they are crushed, burned, or torn apart, is;

  • Does our God feel that pain when one of his children is destroyed? 

Wouldn’t that be of eminent importance? Wouldn’t that be a primary concern for a theologian? Or for just a person in general who was concerned for their own soul? Or concerned for the soul of a mother? Or a father?

Maybe it is our desperation to find answers to events that we perceive as problems that causes us to lose our humility in seeking their answers? Maybe the theologian side of us should reflect on the life of that most humble being, our Blessed Mother, and how in the first chapter of the Gospel of Luke, verse 36, she is told by the angel Gabriel that, “her kinswoman Elizabeth, in her old age, is carrying a son and is now in her 24th week. She who is called barren.” Upon receiving this information our Blessed Mother rushed to the side of her cousin. So here she is this young woman only days pregnant yet upon her arrival when she entered the house and greeted Elizabeth, the 24 week old Saint John the Baptist leapt in the womb of his mother for he knew that his Savior, the zygote Jesus had arrived. Should we not trust Elizabeth or Saint John the Baptist who recognized this zygote Jesus as a separate being from His mother? Do we know more than the Saints?

What kind of ethics and what kind of theology are we offering the women of this world if we are offering them solutions that have no hope? If we put in danger their souls and their bodies? Shouldn’t we be offering them hope that is based in Christ and on Christ? Rather than merely one that is only based in the solutions that we ourselves are capable of creating? Solutions that derive for us the most benefit with the least cost? Solutions that are good for our short term and not the long term of the mother? Solutions created because we fail to trust God and neighbor?