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Permission to use the following articles have been obtained by the author, Dr Philip Ney, MD, MA, FRCPC, RPsych

All articles are taken from Messengers2  "Messengers2 provides information, scientific data, thought provoking essays and an opportunity to contribute to a whole range of life issues including; eugenics, euthanasia, abortion, handicapped children, human ecology, marriage, families, child raising, assisted suicide, cloning, stem cell research, war and community relations, from a scientific and a Christian perspective."

CHN encourages the reader to visit Messengers2, where they will find a complete list of articles.  Our deepest thanks goes to Dr Philip Ney for granting permission to add these to our web site.

We also encourage the reader to visit the site HOPE ALIVE to learn more about Dr Ney and Dr. Marie Peeters-Ney's work and courses that are available to the public.

A brief description of Messengers2, is taken from their web site: is a website for information and resources on the following topics (and more):  Hope Alive group counselling, post-abortion counselling, pregnancy loss counselling, counsellor training, abuse and neglect, abortion survivors, pro-life issues, creation, Christianity, faith, politics, eugenics, Down's Syndrome, hope and healing, marriage, the family, and home schooling.

Who are we? We are worried. The world is going to Hades in a handcart. There is a pervasive, self destructive madness very few people seem to see. Some of you see it, but feel there is nothing you can do. You may be perceptive, well informed and courageous, but are being marginalized and made to feel impotent by the politically correct media, academia and legal systems.

We are trying to be audacious enough to speak up and/or write up about this pervasive, persistent self-destructiveness. Actually, we don't really have a choice. If we do not, there soon won't be anybody aware enough to listen to opposing views. Unless we offer real hope from workable solutions, people will despair.


Philip G. Ney, MD

February 2002


So you are 85, cloistered in an unhappy holding tank they call “a retirement home” watching your old friends kick the bucket and wondering when it is your turn. Or, you are 42 wondering why the good Lord would send you this terrible cancer for which the doctor gives you very poor odds. You are mad, sad and bored to tears. So what is the best way to use your time knowing that it can’t be too long before you depart this miserable sphere of persistent pain and puzzlements for a better place?

It’s not easy to die, but it is probably the 3rd most important event in your life. (First, being given life. Second, being reborn). Not everybody gets a chance to die slowly. There are some benefits. It will give you time to pack up and prepare for your journey. To help keep your tasks straight while your brain is becoming less capable of juggling thoughts, here is a little mnemonic. Red and Green Roses To Give Him/Her in June.

1. Remember

This is the time to remember the events of your life. Use pictures, conversations with old friends, check dates, times and places to get the facts straight. Share these good, bad and even dull memories with the younger generation. You will be surprised how keen they are to see history through your eyes. Besides, more than you realize, they do want to get to know you. Use those memories to analyze why you life unfolded as it did. See what you can learn from your own and your family’s history. The most useful information is in the most painful past. The most painful memories are the ones most deeply buried in the archives of your city and country or the recesses of your brain. Don’t forget, God created your mind to understand, and the inherent curiosity to puzzle things out. Now you’ve got the time and hopefully the wisdom to really learn from your history. Hopefully others can benefit from your insights and not repeat tragic history. To share your joys will bring hope to the younger generation and praise to your Lord.

2.   Grow

While your body and mind are falling apart, your spirit can always keep growing and developing. Your spirit, after all, is what you take to heaven with you. You will get a brand new indestructible body and brain. Now you need to clarify your blueprint. Who were you designed to be? Look at your repeated tragedies to understand key conflicts and how you contributed in those painful reenactments. To help you do this, write down a brief chronology of your life. Look for patterns. Name the contributors to those tragedies. Don’t forget that each tragedy is made from a group of perpetrators, observers and victims. There were no innocent bystanders. Let yourself be found by joy in the small events and details of your remaining earthly live.

3. Reconcile

To reconcile you must confront those who hurt, frightened and confused you and request apologies. Forgive in the same way Christ forgave you. When they repent, you must forgive them (Luke 17:3). You must tell them they are forgiven so they can thank you and so you can be forgiven. You must encourage those you have hurt directly and indirectly, (i.e. by not coming to their aid) to confront you, so you can apologize and be forgiven. This is best done by letter. You may need to ask someone to take dictation. Write us for more details and a copy of a form letter of reconciliation. Don’t hand on a legacy of pseudo secrets. They are burdensome, binding and destructive to your family. Call together your family and friends and urge them to do the same. You need to complete your reconciliation with God. Confess, any sins of commission or omission not yet dealt with. Repent, then thank and praise Jesus Christ openly for all He has done for you. Write letters of reconciliation to God as a perpetrator (Why would He put you in such a terrible family?), to God as an observer (Why didn’t He come to your aid when you so desperately appealed for His help?) and to God as a victim (How you ignored Him so much of the time and how you were the cause of His son dying).

4. Teach

Pass on the results of the painful and joyful lessons you have learned. There are messages to leave to the world at large and to your friends and family in particular. Your biography might be valuable, not only for your family, but for some publishing house. Have some interviews of you home videoed. Don’t glorify yourself nor mortify yourself. Just be straight. What happened, who contributed to it and why, as best as you can figure it out. Your last will and testament should not only be instructions what to do with your money and property, but why you are giving what to whom; what you hope they will use it for and what they will learn by it. Leave a list of patterns that your family has tended to reenact and the tragic conflicts they are liable to keep repeating if they don’t learn.

5. Grieve

It is now a time to say good-bye; first to the person you should have become. You have contributed to the fact that you did not become the person God designed you to be. There were plenty of other contributors. Hopefully you can reconcile with each one of them, particularly those who neglected to give you the building material for your blueprint. Your contribution was all those missed opportunities and foolish decisions. It is time to say good-bye to your family, verbally, non-verbally and in letters. Now is the time to say good-bye to your body. It was a good machine that kept you going through thick and thin even when you badly abused it. Don’t forget that like an old car, it is worn out but you will soon be getting a brand new racing machine designed exactly for your driving capabilities.

6. Hello

You need to prepare a report for God on your life’s work. Make it honest and concise as possible. He wants to know what you have done with your time talents and opportunities. You should also write a song or construct a dance to take with you for heaven. God loves music and dance. He is always anticipating something original. You should start practicing it, if not with your body, at least in your mind’s eye. God loves us all to make a new song, our own peculiar song.

7. Jump

It is soon time to commit your spirit to God just as Jesus did. (Luke 23:46) Once you have finally and fully committed your spirit to God, He will decide when to accept it. When your spirit leaves your body, you are dead, even if parts of your body keep on functioning. Now is the time to look into eternity to see if you can catch small glimpses of what it is like. Share these with others. This is the time to practice jumping. No, I don’t mean holding your breath, but anticipating that very last moment on earth with a mixture of dread and eager anticipation, just like a baby who is about to be born.

For those of you who are being left behind, it is time to talk about dying in a factual manner. You can help your loved one by instructing and encouraging them in this process. It will stand you in good stead when it comes to your turn.


We Wrestle With Death

Philip G. Ney, MD, MA, FRCPC, FRANZCP, Rpsych


By their experience everyone in the helping and healing professions perceives there are anti-life forces which they battle when wrestling with disease and death.

An increasing number of God-fearing physicians and nurses and others are beginning to question the general drift in medical morality toward an ethic which seems to be more often promoting easy death than treating those with difficult lives. Unfortunately there are few who are attempting to grapple with one of the most insidiously evil killers of humanity. Abortion

Wholesale abortion is the latest, and possible the greatest manifestation of death-dealing anti-life forces. Abortion is made to seem easy, painless and generally beneficial to all, but it may be the greatest sin humanity has every committed.

In North American, abortion results in one quarter of pregnancies ending in the death of the baby . In the last ten years approximately 370 million unborn babies of this world were deliberately killed. Almost all were killed by doctors who argued that it was good medical practice. Yet there are very few medical indications for abortion and there are no purely psychiatric indications for abortion.[1] In fact the best evidence indicates that psychiatric illness is a contraindication to abortion. The more severely ill the psychiatric patient, the worse is her post-abortion psychiatric state.[2] According to one official psychiatric body, the justification of abortion using pseudo-psychiatric rubrics is practice to be deplored.[3] By ignoring the problems of abortion we are trying to avoid coming to grips with a major killer. We are forming a tacit pact with death, believing that if we ignore the threat we won’t be threatened.

When the Israelites of ancient times were threatened by the invading Assyrians they tried to ignore the real problems and ensure their safety by making an alliance with Egypt. Isaiah said very bluntly, “You’re making a deal with death but it won’t protect you.”[4] Like those Israelites we are attempting to make a short-term contract in order to protect our comforts and lifestyle. But as Isaiah predicted, the threat won’t go away just because we believe it isn’t there.

Demographic data is beginning to show that this implicit deal with death is not working for us. Abortion has not solved any individual or social problem. Personal and interpersonal problems are worsening, not improving. Rates of rape, wife-beating, divorce, child abuse and suicide are persistently rising.

In countries with negative population growth, neither tightening the abortion laws nor providing monetary incentives seem to reverse the disinclination to have children. From an ecological point of view it appears that we may have undermined an important species-preserving mechanism and the trend may not be reversible.

As Isaiah prophesied, our complicity with death will not protect us. We will be swept away by the very horror with which we are refusing to grapple.

Survival of the Species

Our species is sustained by three God-given factors that are built into every human; hope, sex and a parent/child mutual care system. If anti-life forces could distort those drives, humanity would be threatened.


Having children drives us to search for life support. The search for life and a better life is sustained by the hope that more abundant life is possible. Thus, children representing the future of humanity are important, both as a cause and as a source of hope. Anti-life forces seek to quench hope by devaluing and destroying children.

Children are now considered the cause of the world’s greatest evil: overpopulation. Nowadays it is thought to be individually beneficial and socially responsible to be a childless couple.[5] Yet without children the world will become increasingly pessimistic and self-destructive.

A child not only demands that we hope, but as he grows he insists we mature. With a declining fertility rate, there is an increasingly large proportion of people who now have little reason to hope and less to drive them toward maturity. Couples may become increasingly resentful of children, their or others, who interfere with their lifestyle.


Sex is the most powerful psycho-biological drive given to mankind. It has enabled the survival of the species by overcoming any lust for power, greed for money, ambition for territory, or determination for fame. Since anti-life forces have not been able to destroy that drive they have distorted sex. With the easy availability of contraceptives, the object of sex has become the orgasm: the more the better. The “great climax” is what many people want, and they want it more than they want children. Children were once every couple’s greatest joy and prize. Now they are an inconvenience to the pursuit of sexual pleasure.

Nowadays, the sex which results in pregnancy ends with the death of one-third to one-quarter of all the unborn children. While most of the media strives to increase the expectation of pleasure from sex, other information tells men that their sex ends with killing a very small, but recognizable fellow human. Is it possible the association of sex with death is resulting in a higher rate of impotence and homosexuality?

Parent/Child Bond

From recent research it appears that abortion results in depression during a subsequent pregnancy[6] and immediately post-partum[7] The depression from an abortion or loss of a previous child appears to delay a mother’s preparation for the newborn by diminishing her anticipation of a new child.[8] Abortion of the first pregnancy seems to especially truncate the mother-infant bonding mechanism so that it does not develop as well in subsequent pregnancies.

Parents have real difficulty adjusting to the loss of their newborn[9] and grief is not significantly related to birth weight or duration of life of the dead infant.[10] Though longer and more intense mourning was seen in mothers for whom pregnancy was a positive experience, mothers grieved whether an infant lived one hour or twelve days, whether he weighed 3000 grams or a non-viable 580 grams and whether the pregnancy was planned of unplanned.

To be able to bond well a mother must have finished mourning the loss of previous babies.[11] Mourning is more difficult when there has been an ambivalent relationship with the deceased. It is difficult to complete the mourning of an aborted infant and thus depression which interferes with mother-infant bonding may persist for many years. Less well-bonded infants are more subject to abuse and neglect.[12] To facilitate mourning and pave the way for attachment to the next infant during pregnancy, it is now recommended that parents hold the dead infant from stillbirths, miscarriages or abortions.[13]

Physical Contact

Mary Ainsworth[14] clearly describes how a child’s early physical contact with his mother builds into him confidence to explore the environment and to become independent of his mother. Without that confidence, education and maturing are interfered with.

Some mothers who have had an abortion develop an aversion to touching babies. This may be a factor that interferes with the development of intelligence and maturity. An aversion to touching babies may be part of the reason why more young couple so desperately cling to each other, resenting anything that might disturb their relationship or lifestyle.

Restraint of Rage

Almost every parent is periodically enraged by his or her child’s irritating behavior. They would more frequently enact that rage were it nor for built-in restraints to aggression directed at dependent and helpless human life.

Is it possible that women who have struggled to overcome their aversion to killing newborn babies by abortion are less restrained when it comes to enacting rage toward visible babies?

Need Awareness

The ability to parent depends upon a mother’s and father’s ability to recognize the subtle and changing needs of their infant. If that responsiveness has been weakened, the baby will be neglected. Small unborn babies have been dehumanized with the arguments that the fetus is not a person. Up to 50 percent of fertile North American men and women have learned to deny the reality of their helpless unborn offspring with its needs for protection and care. The increased ability to deny this response to the infant’s helplessness may make it harder for them to see the dependent needs of the baby they hold in their arms.

Father’s Attachment

Under normal circumstances father become increasingly attached to and protective of their child during a pregnancy.[15] Now that men have no legal right to restrain a woman requesting an abortion, they cannot protect their unborn baby. Since their unborn baby might be destroyed at any time, they hesitate to become involved in the pregnancy and attached to that baby. Rather than suffer a possible loss, the father may remain aloof and unconcerned. Thus, he is less likely to be committed to, and caring of his child after it is born.

Also, there may be a growing resentment toward women which may result in more wife-beating. Spouse abuse appears to result in child abuse.

Child Abuse and Abortion

If any of these hypotheses are correct, one would expect that as rates of abortion increase, the rates of abortion increase, the rates of child abuse and neglect by both parents will also increase. In Canada, the provinces with the lowest rate of abortion have the lowest rate of child abuse. Those areas with the highest rates of abortion have increasingly higher rates of child abuse.[16]

In the United States child abuse has become the number one killer of small infants.[17] In the next decade abuse is expected to kill 50,000 American children and leave 300,000 permanently maimed.[18]

It has been argued that abortion is necessary to prevent the birth of unwanted children who will be abused.[19] Yet, the best evidence indicates that wanted children are more likely to be abused.[20] Moreover, there is support for a hypothesis that suggests women who have aborted unborn infants are more likely to batter small children.

Breaking the Taboo

From time immemorial it was taboo to attack the helpless, defenceless, wounded or female in the species. Even in times of uncontrolled, unleashed aggression or war, it is unnatural and an atrocity to attack children. But society is legally sanctioning and paying for the destruction of helpless life on a massive scale. That taboo has been broken by so many people that there are few who can respond with protective concern to the deaths of the unborn.

Conditioned Avoidance

Every time one of those who still could respond contemplates rescuing the baby that is about to be aborted, they think of all the impossible obstructions. Although the helplessness of the baby demands a response, I can become very anxious in facing the disapproval of my neighbourhood and colleagues. Whenever I decide, “No, I couldn’t” and turn away; I relax. That relaxation rewards me for avoiding a difficult but necessary protest. My avoidance of doing anything about abortion, even discussing or thinking about it becomes a conditioned response. The voiceless plight of the baby is then no longer effective in evoking my individual outrage. So many millions of people have a conditioned avoidance to tackling the problem of abortion the current practice is unlikely to change.

Fear of Ridicule

Almost everyone is basically pro-species survival and therefore pro-life, but most are afraid of confronting the issues. The media have given the false impression abortion is good and aborting is popular. To be outspokenly pro-life is unpopular. Behind the fear of ridicule there is the fear of losing one’s lifestyle, one’s income, one’s comfort, one’s social status, one’s health and one’s life. Why are so few prepared to risk even their popularity for the lives of the unborn? Are we controlled by fear?

The Net Effect

If these observations and deductions are correct, then the species is endangered. Statistics for the current practice of abortion show that in countries with long periods of abortion the negative population growth is not stopped by tightening the abortion laws.[21] Even when turn-around monetary incentives have been used by Communist countries there is little desire to have children. The species may be endangered by denying the basis of hope, distorting the drive to propagate and interrupting parent-child mutuality. Although we know other species have become extinct, we tend to assume humans will live forever and therefore we aren’t concerned about the delicate balances of human ecology. But is it possible anti-life forces have brought a life and anti-life imbalance which threatens the species?

Recent technology has developed the morning-after pill and prostaglandin suppositories.[22] Now every woman can do her own abortion in her own home and attempt it at any stage of pregnancy. When it becomes common practice there will be many medical complications of incomplete abortions and hemorrhages. There will be even more psychiatric disorders arising from the impossible from the impossible conflict of a woman trying to decide whether to flush the struggling live infant down the toilet or rush it to the hospital for resuscitation.

If the government outlaws prostaglandins they will be sold by drug dealing syndicates on the black market and they will be poor quality. If self-procured abortions remain illegal, women will not rush to the hospital and report their incomplete abortion. For these two reasons there will be tremendous pressure on the government to legalize the sale of prostaglandins and to decriminalize self-induced abortions.

The natural consequence of wholesale abortion may become a continuing, irreversible population decline. Those robust and resilient species-preserving mechanisms that God built into us a re protecting us from the inevitable consequences of stubborn stupidity. Though His mercy endures forever, His righteousness becomes apparent when we continue to ignore His natural laws. Maybe the natural consequences of world wide killing of unborn babies will be an irreversible population decline or global war.

Approximately 50 percent of North American women of childbearing age are procuring abortions and 50 percent of fertile men are coercing or colluding with them in an abortion.[23]

Since the greatest crime is to destroy one’s own helpless offspring, the accumulating guilt will be overwhelming. Men and women may welcome war to divert them form their own inner suffering. To be killed would be a relief and to kill would be nothing new.

Though every human life should have the right to exist independent of its quality or wantedness, we have gone beyond the point where tightening abortion laws will save the lives of unborn babies. The best way to gain the people’s desire to protect life is to impress on everyone the fantastic value of every life, to uphold, defend and enhance the life of every human.

May God grant us sufficient wisdom to see that to allow babies to die is to die ourselves. To kill those most helpless is to make us helpless to the attack of others. Only when we love God can we love our brothers and sisters and only when we love them can we love ourselves. For life and love come from God. With Him we can have life and life abundantly.



[1] Bakikian HM. “Abortion” in Comprehensive Handbook of Psychiatry, HI Kaplan and AM Freedman, Eds. 2nd Ed. P 1496-1500, 1975.

[2] Sandberg EC “Psychology of Abortion” in Comprehensive Handbook of Psychiatry, HI Kaplan and AM Freedman, 3rd Ed. 1980.

[3] Smith CM. Statement of the Scientific Council,” Canadian Psychiatric Association Bulletin, Vol. 13, No. 4, October, 1981.

[4] Isaiah 28:15 R.S.V.

[5] Veevers Jean E. Childless by Choice, Toronto: Butterworths, 1980.

[6] Kuman R, Boson K. “Previous Induced Abortion and Ante-natal Depression in Primiparae: A preliminary report of a survey of mental health in pregnancy” Psychol. Med., 8: 711-715, 1978.

[7] Coleman AD, Coleman LL. Pregnancy: The Psychological Experience, New York: Herder and Herder, 1971.

[8] Klaus M.H, Kennell JH. Maternal-Infant Bonding. St. Louis: C.V. Mosby Co. 1976.

[9] Culberg J. “Mental reactions of women to perinatal death.” Psychosomatic Medicine in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Ed., N Morris, Basel: S. Karger, 1971.

[10] Benfield DB. “Grief Response of Parents to Neonatal Death and Parent Participation in Deciding Care.” Paediatrics, 62:171-177, 1978.

[11] Lewis E, Page A. Failure to Mourn a Stillbirth: an Overlooked Catastrophe.” Brit. J. Med. Psychol., 51:237-241, 1978.

[12] Martin HP. (Ed). The Abused Child, Cambridge: Ballinger Publishing Co., 1976.

[13] Prendergast K. Grief and the Loss of the Newborn. Wellington: Peter Stewart, 1982.

[14] Ainsworth Mary D. S. “Infant-Mother Attachment.” Am Psychol. 34: 932-937, 1979.

[15] Lamb ME. “Paternal Influence and the Father’s Role: A Personal Perspective.: Am. Psychol. 34: 938-943, 1979.

[16] Ney, PG. “Relationship Between Abortion and Child Abuse.”Can. J. Psychiatry 24: 610-620. 1979.

[17] Schmitt BC, Kempe CH. Child Abuse: Management and Prevention of the Battered Child Syndrome, Basle: Ciba-Geigy. 1975.

[18] Fontant VJ, Bersharov DJ. The Maltreated Child, Springfield: Charles C. Thomas. 1977.

[19] Kempe CH, Helfer RE. Helping the Battered Child and His family, Philadelphia and Toronto: RB Lippincott, 1972.

[20] Leneski EF. “Translating Injury Data into Preventive Health Care Services: Physical Child Abuse,” Department of Paediatrics, University of Southern California, unpublished. 1976.

[21] Ford K. “Abortion and Family Planning Models, fertility limitation in Hungary.” Demography, 13: 495-505

[22] Hefni. MA, Lewis GA. “Induction of Labour with Vaginal Prostaglandin E2 Pessaries, “British J. Obstet, Gynaecol., Gynaecol., 87: 199-202. 1980.

[23] Tietze C, Bongaarts J. “Fertility Rates and Abortion Rates, Stimulation of Family Limitations,” Stud Fam Plann 6: 112-114, 1975   


Letter to the Editor - Ottawa Citizen

Philip G. Ney, MD, MA, FRCPC, RPsych

© September 2005

Sacrificing to Benefit Others - Embryonic Stem Cells

Dear Editor,

Margaret Munro’s piece in your paper on Tuesday September 13, 2005 regarding fresh embryos for stem cell research, raises again not only the issue of ethics, but maybe a more basic idea; Is it possible that in some situations, intuition precede reason, that there is a kind of folk wisdom that needs to be listened to. I think so. People of all types, physicians in particular, know that sometimes their intuition can guide them into making better decisions than all the best research and rationalization. Somehow it seems wrong to most people that tiny little ‘people’ can be harvested, used and destroyed for the "benefit of others". I believe the law of mutual benefit always applies. Nobody can benefit at the expense of any other, no matter who they are, their race, age, size or shape. I would be interested to know if anybody can name an exception to this rule. If it is not good for your neighbour, it cannot be good for you. People keep trying to exploit others but in the long run, whatever they build or achieve, comes crashing with them. History makes it very clear that cheaters never prosper. That being the case, it’s very unlikely that anyone can possibly benefit from the destruction of the smallest human. Besides, have all the other avenues been tried? The best evidence indicates that adult stem cells and those taken from cord have better therapeutic results. Intuition, ethics and common sense, would say that until all other avenues have been exhausted, the littlest, most helpless human should not and cannot be sacrificed ostensibly for the benefit of others. It just won’t work.

Yours sincerely,
Phillip G. Ney, MD


Maternal Mortality
Maternal morbidity
Maternal Behaviour
Fertility rates
Demographic changes
Effect on men
Effect on siblings
Effect on the Elderly

A.     Introduction

1. Science or polemics, reason or rationalizations.

In North America it has been contended that abortion is “an extremely safe procedure.” This is not the case. There are many articles to the contrary. The studies showing there has been no harm are badly flawed.1 2 3 Although an early study 4 indicated that maternal mortality for an induced abortion up to sixteen weeks gestation was less than that of a continued pregnancy, that survey was skewed by its exclusive use of vital statistics. American vital statistics were reporting only 52% of the abortion fatalities.5 The available evidence since the seventies demonstrated maternal mortality as a result of medically induced abortion has higher rates than a completed pregnancy and delivery after 13 weeks. It has been difficult to obtain figures on abortion complications and mortality rates.6 The Department of Health and Social Security in England was reluctant to publish the facts concerning maternal mortality, making it necessary to table a parliamentary question to obtain differential mortality statistics. What seemed to escape everyone’s notice is that comparing abortion mortality rates to death during a full term pregnancy is invalid because of the time scale. On average, a delivered pregnancy is three times longer than an aborted one. All influences being equal, deaths during pregnancy should be three times more common. The fact they are nearly similar rates indicates abortions are three times more dangerous. Recent record linkage studies highlight this fact.7

Since it is not possible to randomly select pregnant women to have a baby or to have an abortion, it is not possible to do a controlled study on humans. However, it would be possible to do this with animals in order to obtain information regarding physical and mental benefits or hazards. An animal study has never been done regarding abortion. Abortion is probably the only exception to the usual procedures required before introducing any medical procedure. Abortion is now the most common surgery in the world but there are still no scientifically established benefits.

Standard psychiatric textbooks state there are no psychiatric indications for abortion. “Patients who were sicker before abortion had more serious post abortion problems.” “Patients who were psychiatrically ill before abortions did poorly.” “Psychiatric indications for therapeutic abortions did not stand the test of scrutiny.” “Women suffering from psychiatric illness before abortion showed no significant improvement after abortion and had more difficulty in coping with the stress of abortion than the psychologically healthier women.” 8 The so-called “social indication” of diminishing the rates of child abuse and neglect by making sure unwanted children were not born has never been proven. In fact, the opposite is true.9 Rates of abortion correlate closely with rates of child abuse for a number of important reasons.10 The Canadian Psychiatric Association, after reviewing the research on psychiatric indications for abortion, issued this statement: “The justification of a decision to terminate a pregnancy under pseudo-psychiatric rubrics is to be deplored.”11 Abortion increases the rate of suicide by 600% 12 13 while pregnancy reduces the risk of suicide by a large factor.14

In a review of the MedLine literature, I found there were no articles able to demonstrate that abortion is beneficial for any psychiatric or social condition at any stage of pregnancy. Those who report benefit usually indicate there has been “relief” following the abortion. Major claims women have benefited from abortion and would do it again, but in her study there was only a 42% follow-up rate at two years.15 This was not a representative sample and no benefit can be concluded. Generally speaking the women who report back to the abortion clinic are more likely to feel their decision was justified while those who feel more hurt go elsewhere to have their wounds attended to.

Major contends that 70% of the 418 women in her study were satisfied with their decision and 72% reported more benefit than harm from their abortion. In fact, this is 72% of the 52% at follow-up, which was 85% of the people canvassed, i.e. only 30% of the original sample. The authors believe that their sample was representative, but they showed no evidence for this. In fact, it is likely that they were not representative since it was clear from the interviewers and the questions they asked that there was a biased attitude toward receiving affirmative responses rather than those that would tend to negate the position of the researchers. Another major fault in Major’s study and those similar to it is that their pre-abortion interview of the women took place in the clinic one or two hours before the procedure took place. A woman who is confronted with the results of one of the hardest decisions she has ever made (to have an abortion) and is probably still ambivalent about it is in no position to be evaluated. This is her usual pregnant psychological state.

Major admits that the women’s negative emotions increased and their satisfaction with the decision decreased over time. As women become more aware that their pre-abortion problems didn’t resolve, and realized their post-abortion grief and guilt didn’t evaporate, they become more acutely aware of what the abortion really accomplished. At two years, 19% of their subsample stated they would definitely not or probably not have a repeat abortion.

In spite of deficiencies in design and methodology that minimize the impact of abortion, Major reports that 17% indicated they experienced physical complications. The authors found that depression consistently predicted poor post abortion mental health and more negative post abortion related emotions and evaluations. “Pair wise comparisons indicated that depression levels decreased from T1 - T2 and increased from T2 - T3 and from T3 – T4.” This indicates that the greater the time interval following abortion, the more likely women were to be depressed. They report that, “Across time, relief and positive emotions declined and negative emotions increased.”.

Research has clearly shown there are no psychiatric indications for abortion. There are no studies showing psychiatric benefit. It is generally concluded that the more severely ill a person is psychiatrically, the more likely they are to have psychiatric complications following the abortion. No one has ever proven any kind of psychiatric, psychological or emotional improvement from late term abortion or partial birth abortion.16 Any one who claims there is significant mental health improvement has either not followed up their own patients, or has not read the psychiatric literature.

It is possible that there are individual physicians who do late term abortions and claim they are beneficial to people who have psychiatric or emotional illness, but they have never published their data. Before anyone can claim benefit from abortions, they either have to cite references or show improvement to women with diagnosed illnesses from follow-up results of their own practice. Until there is either considerable data to show benefit from abortions in general and late abortions in particular, or until a physician is able to demonstrate from his/her own practice there is long-term psychiatric and social improved health, no physician can do abortions for any medical, surgical, psychiatric or social reasons.

B.      Maternal Mortality

1. Increased rates:.

a)  Breast cancer
Twenty-seven out of thirty-three studies showed an average of 30% increased risk of breast cancer to women who have had an abortion compared to those who deliver their first pregnancy.17 The impact of Brind’s metanalysis was carefully reviewed by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, who found “the Brind paper had no major methodological short comings.”

b)  Suicide
An analysis of death certificates and medical records by researchers in Finland revealed a suicide rate among aborting women approximately six times higher than women who delivered and three times higher than that of women in the general population.18 Researchers in Britain found that, prior to their pregnancy, aborting and delivering women had similar rates of suicide attempts. The rate of suicide attempts increased markedly after the abortion. These researchers concluded “the increased risk of suicide after an induced abortion may therefore be a consequence of the procedure itself.”19

c)  Homicide, AIDS, etc.
There is strong evidence of increased smoking and drinking following abortion.20 21 There are increased rates of death by; accidents, AIDS, cardio-vascular disease and cerebral-vascular disease in those who have abortions compared to those who delivered their babies.22 Domestic violence and marital break up are more common. Poor sleep, particularly as a result of nightmares, is frequently reported. Difficulties with diminished libido and disparunia are not uncommon.

2. Pathogenesis:

In addition to an added risk of suicide associated with abortion, the observed difference in suicide rates also reflect the protective effect of childbirth. Pregnancy and childbirth reduce the risk of suicide.23 Furthermore, as shown in a 15 year study of nearly one million women, the number of children a woman has is strongly and inversely related to the relative risk of suicide.24 A greater sense of family obligations and a fear of hurting ones children correlates with fewer suicide attempts and suicidal thoughts.25 In one study of women with a prior history of psychiatric problems, none of those who carried to term subsequently committed suicide over an 8 to 13 year follow-up, while five percent of those who aborted did commit subsequent suicide.26 These findings suggest that for women with prior psychological problems, childbirth is likely to reduce the risk of subsequent suicide attempts whereas abortion aggravates that risk. The greater risk of deaths resulting from accidents and homicides following an abortion may result from suicidal or risk-taking behaviour. Some deaths which were classified as accidental may have been suicides. Reports of post-abortive women deliberately crashing their automobiles, often in drunken states, in attempts to kill themselves have been reported by both post-abortion counsellors and in the published literature.27 Many of these accidental deaths may result from heightened risk-taking behaviour among post-abortive women that is related to increased self-punishment or decreased concern for self-protection. Alternatively, some women may use the adrenalin rush that accompanies risk taking behaviour to escape a general state of depression.28

C.     Maternal morbidity

1. Increased rates:.

a)  Psychiatric admissions
Using data extracted from the Denmark Centralised National Medical Services Registry, David, Rasmussen and Hoist (1981) found the rates for psychiatric admission for aborting women was 18.4 per 10,000 compared to 12.04 for women who delivered their babies.29 Women who were divorced, separated or widowed at the time of the pregnancy event were found to have admission rates of 63.8 per 10,000 for aborting women and 16.9 for women who delivered their babies. Research exists demonstrating that repeat aborters are more likely than first time aborters to suffer from negative psychological reactions. Another Danish study, using data from the Danish Central Psychiatric Register found that the rate for psychiatric admissions; no abortions was 1.9 %; one abortion 3.4%; two abortions 4.0%; three abortions 6.0%. No such increase was observed in relation to the number of live births.30 In the recently published study by Reardon et al 31 of California Medicaid recipients, we identified a population of 168,551 low income women whose data could be record linked during the first two years after the pregnancy event. Psychiatric inpatient claims rate was 287.4 per 100,000 for delivering women and 435.7 per 100,000 for women who aborted their pregnancy. Although this study measured only the rate of inpatient psychiatric care not the prevalence of psychiatric illness, it clearly indicates women are made psychiatrically worse rather than better by abortion.

b)  Clinic visits
We found 32 in a study of 1428 women representative of all Canadian women attending a family physician for a wide variety of reasons that 34% of them at that point in time felt they needed professional help to deal with their pregnancy loss. For any period of time since their abortion the rate of women needing treatment would be considerably higher. There was a deterioration in general health, probably due to pathological grief. Pathological grief frequently results in depression. In depression, the immune system does not function as well and people are more likely to have infections and cancers. It is generally understood that women are most ambivalent about their pregnancies in the early stages. They become increasingly interested in and attached to their unborn child as the pregnancy progresses. Therefore, those who have late abortions are more likely to experience guilt, grief and the whole range of conflicts and symptoms of the Post-abortion Syndrome. Berkeley and Humphreys 33 found that in a family physician’s office there was an 80% increase in attendance for physical reasons and 180% increase in attendance for psycho-social reasons following abortion. A five year study in Canada showed that aborting women were over eight times as likely to visit a psychiatrist on an outpatient basis compared to women in the general population.34

c)  Alcohol and drug use
Women who abort subsequently have higher rates of drug and alcohol abuse.35 36

d)  Depression
All of these physical and psychological problems following abortion combine together to provide family doctors and specialists with difficult-to-treat problems. Some women have physical complications of the abortion, which compounds their psychological conflicts. Too frequently, physicians are likely to diagnose the woman’s problems as depression and prescribe anti-depressants. Anti- depressants interfere with the resolution of many conflicts and prevent natural grief.

2. Pathogenesis:.

If losses are not fully mourned, it becomes pathological grief leading to depression and consequently poor physical and mental health, is more likely to occur.37 38 There is evidence that depression interferes with the functioning of the immune system. Irwin et al 39 found the severity of depressive symptoms in women was associated with an impairment of the natural killer cell activity, an absolute loss of suppressor/cytotoxic cells, and increase in the ratio of T-helper to T-suppressor/cytotoxic cells. Kiecolt-Glazer et al 40 found poor marital quality to be associated with greater depression and a poorer response of immune function among separated or divorced women. More recent losses, and greater attachment to the ex-spouse, were associated with poorer immune function and greater depression.

Abortions usually result in intense psychological conflicts, partly because women have been pressured to terminate their pregnancy. Any decision to abandon the preborn baby counters a woman’s biological imperative and the inevitable growing biological attachment to her baby. Deep conflicts also occur as women realize that they have contributed to the loss. The greater ambivalence and many complicated factors regarding the choice, make counselling for these kinds of losses very difficult. With the pressure from partner, friends, family and the medical profession to abort early in a pregnancy, there is seldom time to deal with each of the many aspects which must be considered before a rational choice can be made. The lack of partner support appears to contribute to a greater tendency to both miscarry and choice to abort a pregnancy. The mother’s hurt and anger at being neglected and/or rejected by her partner may be displaced onto the fetus. There are also complex neurohormonal factors that may contribute to the rejection of the infant.

D.     Maternal Behaviour

1. Increased rates:.

a)  Partner separation
Many cases of post-abortion women report feeling lack of trust in their partner because they were not supported. Women may have deep anger at being coerced by their partner or family. They may experience fear of their own aggression and project it into their partner, who they may blame for being angry. Women increasingly criticise of their partner because of their own diminished self respect. They may have diminished sex drive and diminished sex pleasure. They may have a tendency to socially withdraw. In our study of post abortion recovery contacts, we found 80% of relationships broke up following abortion.

b)  Mistreating children
In a series of separate studies, we found that abortion impaired a woman’s ability to bond to her subsequent children.8, 9 Thus, there was a significant positive correlation between previous induced abortion and rates of child abuse and neglect. In one country we found the breast feeding rate after the introduction of the one child policy when women were likely to have an abortion was 17.8% . Before the introduction of that policy when abortion was relatively rare, women breastfeeding was 83.2% of newborns. Since breast milk is the only feasible source of essential fatty acids (EFAs) and EFAs are necessary in the formation of brain cells and peripheral nerves, it means that this nation is inadvertently lowering the average intelligence of the children.

Child abuse is often the result of a poor bond between mother and infant.41 The bond may be disturbed by a variety of factors, including the mother’s perinatal depression. There is evidence that more women who had a previous abortion became depressed during pregnancy with a wanted child.42 Colman and Colman point out that a previous loss by stillbirth or abortion interferes with a woman’s preparation for a subsequent pregnancy. Thus, it appears that abortion interrupts bonding, and consequently, increases child abuse.8 9

E.     Fertility rates

1. Conception rates

“Cervical Chlamydia trachomatis is a risk factor for postabortal PID, and prophylaxis with erythromycin significantly reduces the frequency of PID.”43 “If women applying for termination of pregnancy with Chlamydia infection are not treated, 50-60% will develop pelvic infection.” “Salpingitis due to Chlamydia is regarded as one of the most important causes of tubal infertility and extrauterine pregnancy.” “The majority of women applying for termination of pregnancy with Chlamydia infection have no symptoms.”44

2. Fertility

By and large, people who are abortion survivors do not want to have other children. There is a sense in which they could not bear to see happen to their child the kinds of experience that they have been through as abortion survivors. They feel guilty for existing and have little desire to promote their own or the species’ survival. Because of the persistent anxious attachment between any abortion survivor and their parents, they feel obligated to care for them but deeply resent having to do so. They sense they will have the same intense ambivalence to their children and want to avoid that turmoil by not having children.

3. Pre-term Birth

Pre-term birth is the number one cause of neonatal death and disease. Both pre-term births and low birth weight are significantly more common in women who have had abortions.45 Women who have had two abortions had twice as many early premature births. We found the relative risk of a miscarriage following an abortion is 1.86.

F.     Demographic changes

The population is declining almost world-wide. For at least 20 years when the United Nations was trying to frighten people into complying with their agenda with threats of overpopulation and ecological disasters, serious demographers wrote that the threat was more likely to be under population. The UN has recently had to admit there is an exponential population implosion.

Without purpose and hope, every nation declines. The presence of children makes us concerned about the quality of the future, the conservation of resources, the civility of our interactions, and the promotion of art and science for those who follow. When there are few children, there is less hope. Without hope people are not inclined to have children. A vicious cycle of declining hope and fewer children creates a national atmosphere of apathy and hedonism. There is increasing evidence that when basic family nurturing and bonding mechanisms are undermined, there is little desire to have and protect children. Soon after, the declining birth-rate cannot be reversed by incentives or coercion.

1. Economic implications

It is unlikely that any nation can sustain a free market economy with a declining population. What do graduating teachers do when there are fewer children? How do old people continue to be cared for in nice homes for the aged if there are too few individuals available to pay the taxes that make medical services available to all? There has been an unprecedented three year decline in the Dow Jones. Countries with restrictive immigration policies are now opening their doors. Many nations are beginning to question their permissive abortion policies and to institute measures to promote population growth. In spite of growing economic rescue attempts, the World Bank is warning of devaluation similar to the events before the Great Crash. No one should be surprised that houses and commodities are losing value because of declining population.

G.     Effect on men

In almost every western country men have been deprived of a legal right to protect their unborn children. Men often suspect their partner might, at any time, terminate the life of their unborn child without their awareness or consent. Because they might lose their “baby”, they do not allow themselves to attach before he/she is born. Because the father does not attach to the baby, he does not support his partner. We have shown in an in-depth study that the partner is more likely to have an abortion or miscarriage when she is not supported.46 Because she is not supported by her partner she is more likely to abort. Because she is more likely to abort, he is less likely to attach to the baby and support the mother. This vicious cycle that the courts inaugurated is a major cause of higher rates of abortion.

The father that is not well bonded to his unborn baby is more likely to abandon the family and is less likely to be protective after the baby is born. Because they have been deprived of deeply ingrained male prerogatives, they feel both impotence and rage that can express itself as family violence. The incidence of rape and marital and family violence is increasing as abortion increases.

H.     Effect on siblings

It is not lost on young minds that if “the first right of every child is to be wanted”, then “if they are not wanted they have no right to be”. Children born because they are wanted, try to stay wantable. Eventually they resent being dangled by the tenuous thread of wantedness and violently rebel. Children who live in countries where many or most children are aborted, or have siblings who were aborted, or who are part of a minority who would have been aborted had they been detected, or who have survived an abortion attempt, are Abortion Survivors.47 48 Most, if not all, children know when a brother or sister is aborted.

The Abortion Survivors’ conflicts are;

a)  Survivor guilt. “I don’t deserve to be alive when my sibling, who was just as good as I am, was arbitrarily killed.”

b)  Existential anxiety. “I suspect some force over which I have no control, will kill me just like it killed my unborn brother.”

c)  Ontological guilt. “I didn’t plan for the future or take advantage of my opportunities, so now I feel guilty for not becoming the person I could have been.”

d)  Distrust of parents and parental authorities. “How can I trust my parents when they killed my unborn siblings. They said they did it in love for me. If that is what love and being a parent is all about, I don’t want either.”

e)  No inherent worth. “They tell me they had me because they wanted me. If I am alive only because I am wanted, I have no inherent worth, and neither does anybody else. Without inherent value, it is not hard for me to die and it isn’t hard to kill others.’

f)  Anxious attachment. “I couldn’t bond to my parents because they are killers and yet I needed their care. So I tried to be good.”

g)  Superficial relationships. “My parents weren’t really attached to me nor I to them, so how can I commit myself to others.”

h)  Pseudo-secrets. “I don’t really want to know my mother had an abortion, but I suspect she did. We will collude. I won’t ask if she won’t tell.”

i)  Rage. “Why didn’t the state or my father protect my aborted brother or sister? If they don’t protect people when they are most vulnerable, why should I care what happens to them?”

j)  Pessimistic. “The world is falling apart so I don’t want kids. Because I’ve got no kids I might as well help it fall apart.”

k)  Risk taking. “I survived the ultimate dangers of my mother’s womb, nothing can touch me now. Let her rip.”

l)  Fascination with the occult. “Nothing can be more evil than parents who kill their own kids. I would kinda like to know where that evil came from.”

m)  Confused identity. “I don’t know who I am. I feel obligated to live part of my life as a woman because my little sister didn’t have a chance.”

A combination of these conflicts results in angry, narcissistic, self-destructive young people. There are millions of abortion survivors who are all too ready to destroy or be destroyed. One country’s awesome army is 80 – 90% abortion survivors; all too ready to die for the institution that provided them an identity, a purpose and protection from their parents.

I.     Effect on the Elderly

Having aborted some of their children or having urged their children to abort, older people have a deep fear of retaliation. Recognising they are losing their “wantedness”, they desperately cling to their children who, in irritation, avoid them or put in an old age home. They fear their growing frailty and dependency, and may try to assert their last vestige of control by insisting on physician assisted suicide.

J.     Conclusions

There is a better way than abortion. From my experience treating those who have been deeply damaged by abortion, I suggest the following:

  1. Medical. Apply the existing controls on the practice of medicine, to abortion. In evidence based medicine, there must be proven: 1) necessity; 2) a scientifically established benefit to the patient for the surgery; and 3) a relative freedom from harmful side effects. Doctors who do unnecessary surgery are liable for damages and/or charged with assault.
  2. Family. One of the most important reasons women choose abortion is lack of partner support. Give men a legal right in abortion decisions.
  3. Options. Provide all the options for pregnant women, e.g. homemakers, whole family fostering, full spectrum of adoptions, shared care, etc.
  4. Informed consent. Women and men must know all the options, the established hazards and the reported damages from abortion.
  5. Safe houses. Women need a safe place where they can be nurtured, encouraged, informed and protected from coercion while dealing with the crisis of pregnancy.
  6. Education, not experimentation. Young people don’t need sexual titillation but proper health education, with emphasis on the benefits of chastity, bonding and monogamy.
  7. Healing. In-depth counselling should be available for all who are deeply damaged by mistreatment and abortion.
  8. Welcome. To be alive because you were wanted results in deep psychological conflicts. It is better for all to be welcomed and to welcome every preborn child, whoever they are.
  9. Funding. Stop all forms of government funding for abortion and sex education until those who support or perform them show beyond reasonable doubt they are: necessary, efficacious and safe.
We cannot benefit at the expense of another. If it is not good for black it is not good for white. If it is not good for the baby it is not good for the parents. We are tightly bound in the bundle of life. When we kill, we destroy our own humanity. Abortion cuts the roots of human survival and causes the leaves of the tree to wither and the branches to die. When we love and nurture and welcome, we are loved, we grow and flourish.


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Philip G. Ney, MD, MA, FRCP(C)

December 1998


Margaret Sanger, the mother of International Planned Parenthood Federation (I.P.P.F.), proclaimed "the first right of every child is to be wanted."  Jesus Christ, the author of Christianity stated, "Whoever welcomes a child in my name welcomes me, whoever welcomes me, welcomes my father."

Wanted or Welcomed, is there a difference, and if so, is it important?  I would like to demonstrate that there is a vital difference between being wanted or welcomed.  A difference sufficiently important that the life or death of our species depends upon it.

Some people, old and young, are chosen to live because they are wanted.  Many millions die because they are unwanted.  A diminishing number live because they are who they are.  Their right to exist is recognized and protected.

A friend of mine, Dr. Rose Shvela, survived five selections in the Nazi death camps.  She lived because she was chosen to live.  Another friend, Dr. Wanda Paltawska, survived RavensbrŸk because she was wanted for "medical" experimentation.  There are approximately sixty million unwanted unborn babies who die each year because they are unwanted.  There were millions, Jews, Gypsies, Ukrainians, Chinese, Filipinos  etc. who were cruelly killed during World War II, not because of any offence, but because they were unwanted. There are about 150 million children each year whose neighbours or siblings are terminated but who are allowed to live because they are wanted.  Is it a joy to be wanted and wonderful to be alive because somebody chose you?  The follow up studies of the death camp survivors found they had  high rates of depression and suicide.  Many of their deep psychological conflicts about being alive were also found in their children.  It appears that many survivors do not find great pleasure and peace in life.  One of their greatest difficulties is guilt, survivor guilt. They feel guilty that they are alive, when others just as good as them died, because of circumstances over which none of them had any control. Those who survived because they were wanted also seem to have an impending sense of doom or existential anxiety.  They fear that someday their lives will be snuffed out by circumstances similar to those which killed their siblings; inconvenience, imperfections, wrong sex, too many, etc.  For children chosen to live when their parents killed their little siblings, there is a deep distrust of all parental figures.  They have an anxious attachment to their mothers and fathers that interferes with their ability to question their family and explore the world.  This repression of curiosity interferes with their intellectual development.  It restricts their freedom to know and express their thoughts or feelings more effectively than any totalitarian regime has been able to achieve.

That simple sentence of I.P.P.F., "the first right of every child is to be wanted" is the death sentence for millions of children and threatens many millions more who become abortion survivors.   Thus Planned Parenthood is creating a culture of death and disharmony.  Is it any wonder we see so many young people that are apathetic, antisocial, distrustful, without natural affection and pessimistic about their future.  The wanted survivors of abortion are deeply unhappy people who disturb those around them.  They have a deleterious impact on the culture and economy of our current civilization.

Definitions and Quantities

A person is a survivor when somebody attempts to kill them, or when the chances of them surviving are statistically low, or when they were sentenced to death and are reprieved, or when those who are near and dear to them were killed.  Thus there are ten types of abortion survivors;

1)  Those little infants who breathed for a few minutes or hours, having survived a late term abortion.  They lived their last moments desperately clinging to life in a garbage can or they were suffocated when someone smothered them with a placenta so their cries could not be heard.  But God heard them.

2)  Those who have survived attempted murder by abortion.  Some now are paraplegia, some missing arms and legs.

3)  Those who survived when a twin was killed by an abortion.

4)  Those whose siblings were killed by abortion.

5)  Those who would have died had the abortion laws or social circumstances allowed it.

6)  Those who would have died had parents been able to detect they were handicapped.

7)  Those who have been threatened.  "You ungrateful teenager.  I could have aborted you."

8)  Those who were selected at invitro fertilization while their siblings were discarded down the drain.

9)  Those whose parents carefully considered whether to abort or not to abort them, deciding to keep them only because at that moment they were reasonably convenient and wanted.

10) Those who had a statistically low chance of survival, eg. in the U.S.A.- about 50%, in eastern Europe- 20-30%, and in China- 10-20%.

Since there are approximately 60,000,000 abortions each year, there are 150,000,000 to 200,000,000 new abortion survivors each year.  These people have deep psychological and social difficulties that express themselves in pervasive inter-psychic conflicts and persistent personal problems. 

Children Know

Do children know they are abortion survivors?  As a rule, child psychiatrists understand that there are no real family secrets.  Children have a way of perceiving what is going on in the family but often dare not talk about it for fear of upsetting the family.  These are very damaging pseudo-secrets.  It is impossible to not communicate following an important event in one's life.  The trauma changes behaviour, perceptions, and personality which let others know that something critical has taken place.  Thus it is not really possible to keep the secret of abortion from children.  It may be possible to collude with them to maintain pseudo-secrets, but pseudo-secrets awaken suspicions and fantasies.  These are often worse than the facts.

Children learn about abortion in a number of ways;

1)  They have intuition.  Through their dreams and their drawings they often convey the fact that they know that their mother was pregnant and lost that pregnancy.  Long ago a little girl told me about a terrifying dream in which three of her siblings had become buried in a tunnel they made in the sand.  According to the mother she was an only child.  She later admitted she had three early miscarriages, but insisted her daughter could not have known about them.  Often children show their intuitive awareness of other family members by drawing extra children when asked to draw a picture of their whole family.

2)  Children overhear conversations between neighbours, or hear their parents talking on the telephone, or through the bedroom walls.

3)  Some children are told directly by parents; sometimes in sorrow, sometimes out of guilt.  

4)  Recently, it has become popular to involve the children in decisions about whether the next pregnancy should be aborted.

5)  Some children are threatened, "I could have aborted you."

6)  Children are very curious about events that affect their survival and may pointedly ask, "Was I wanted?  Did you have other children?"

7)  Some people believe the spirits of aborted children who are not committed to God hang around and have ways of indicating their existence, especially to children.  

8) Some children have persistent, imaginary playmates that later in life they conclude where aborted siblings.

Conflicts and Symptoms

The main damaging effects on the children come from seven major conflicts.

1)  Survivor guilt.  Children feel unworthy of life.  They feel that their aborted siblings were probably better than they are.  Often parents reinforce this idea by communicating to them that they must be good appreciative children.  Why?  Because the aborted child certainly would have been perfect.  The replacement child can't possibly please their parents no matter how hard they try.

2)  Existential Anxiety.  Because circumstances over which they had no control decided whether they were alive or dead, abortion survivors have a sense of impending doom.  Their persistent anxiety often results in phobias and nightmares.  In one instance, an abortion survivor had a repeating nightmare of being chased by a witch.  She could only find safety by tunneling under a telephone box.  Because of their deep existential anxiety, abortion survivors tend to be people pleasers.  They feel it is important to continue being popular with their peers and worry less about pleasing God.

3)  Anxious attachment.  Mothers who have had abortions and fathers who were uninformed, uninvolved, or unsupportive have difficulty bonding to their other children. Post abortion parents tend to respond to their infant's helpless cry, less with nurture and more with anger or helplessness.  Children distrust parents who are willing and able to kill one of their helpless children.  They suspect parents, who believe in aborting unwanted children, of being a party to at least one child's death.  These three factors result in an anxious attachment between parent and child.  This means the children are never sure they can survive without being close to their mothers.  As infants they tend to be clinging and demanding.  Later in life they are continually testing their parents.  Because of the anxious attachment, children do not explore.  Without a carefree confidence to leave their parents and investigate the world, their intelligence does not develop as well.

4)  Fear of knowing and expressing.  Abortion surviving children suspect there is some dread secret about their being alive, but they are afraid to ask anyone about it.  Parents and children collude to maintain this awful pseudo-secret.  You won't ask and I won't tell.  Because they don't dare ask questions or investigate what is really going on in the family, children stay ignorant of many things, not only about in their family, but about the family of humanity.  They are often afraid to express their doubts and fears lest they blurt out their suspicions.  Thus they limit their communication of feelings.  Their fear of knowing and expressing tends to result in a general fear of freedom.  Although they are resentful, they may prefer dictatorship to democracy.

5) Difficulty Loving.  Abortion survivors are afraid of trusting parents who say they love them but have terminated their unborn siblings.  They tend to be cynical about love, hedonistic in their amorous pursuits, and fearful of any committed relationship.  They fear women because women kill babies.  They fear men because men have little ability and no interest or legal right to protect little ones at the most vulnerable time in their lives.  They distrust the state because it has abolished laws protecting helpless infants.  Thus they tend to distrust and disregard any parental or legal authority.  Its hard for them to love or be loved.  They tend to form sequential sexual relationships that result in serial polygamy. 

6)  Self doubt.  Parents who have unleashed their most primitive aggression, killing their own helpless young by arranging for an abortionist to crush and dismember their baby, can not trust themselves.  Being afraid of their own aggression, they tend to repeatedly remind children to be careful.  Children who are continuously cautioned learn not to trust themselves.  Abortion survivors grow up being cautious, obsessive, and afraid of failure.  They can't trust their parents so they distrust their own parenting ability.  Citing poverty, health, or inconvenience, they abort their young before they might harm them.  For this and other reasons, the tendency to abort pre- born babies is transgenerational.

7)  Ontological Guilt.  Because the abortion surviving people are never sure how long they will live, they tend not to make plans for the future.  They don't use their abilities, finish their education, or take good advantage of the opportunities sent their way.  Having failed to become all that they could have been, they feel guilty for not becoming.

8) Resentful.  Being an abortion survivor and a wanted child tends to make children feel they must be continually grateful.  Eventually survivors tire of being appreciative of a life that was theirs by right anyhow and become resentful and angry.  If they are alive because they were wanted, they feel they can continue staying alive only by staying wantable.  When it becomes too difficult to always be a pleasing child, they become particularly displeasing.  They resent the tenuous thread of wantedness maintaining their life and sometimes deliberately break it by being very obnoxious to see what will happen to them.

9) Self Destructive.  Because children have a self-centered view of the universe, they often feel they have contributed to their sibling's death.  They anticipate retribution from their family and fear God might punish them at any time.  Some punish themselves with self-injurious behaviour.  Others commit suicide.  Some young abortion survivors continually apologize for being alive.  In their sad, angry conversations with their parents they are overheard to say, "I know I am a stupid kid.  Forgive me for being alive."


Isabella, 37, is an obstetrician/gynaecologist in Poland.  Her mother had four abortions after she was born.  She had three abortions before and one abortion after her only child.  She had been an abortionist for a number of years, but was becoming increasingly selective about who she terminated.  She seemed to be a pleasant, energetic person but felt she did not know who she was.  She was not happy to be alive, had insecure human relationships, and often thought of injuring herself.  She was frequently sad about life and angry at her husband or little boy.  She often thought that she was losing her mind, and was bothered by ideas she could not control.  She had many broken relationships, poor physical health, difficulty being a good parent, suicidal thoughts, repeated depressions, sleeplessness and difficulty trusting people.  As she became increasingly aware of the roots to her problem she became better able to express her fears and sorrow.  She began looking for ways to give up her lucrative practice of abortion.

Alexandra, a 26 year old psychology student from Hungary, had one older sibling who had been aborted.  She had aborted her only pregnancy.  Although she was bright and energetic, she was not happy to be alive.  She didn't have a good idea of who she was, realized she was not using her abilities, had many insecure attachments, had often injured herself, and had a persistent feeling that something terrible was going to happen to her.  She had many broken relationships, repeated depressions, persistent grieving, low self esteem, and frightening dreams.  As she discovered the roots of her conflicts in being an abortion survivor, she began expressing many more feelings.  As she grew in awareness, she lost her suspicious defensiveness.

Prevention and Treatment

1)  It is always better to prevent than to treat.  Therefore it is vitally important that all children be welcomed to the world whether they are wanted or not.  Blessed indeed are all those children who grow up in families where abortions have never been done or even considered.

2) We have clinical and experimental evidence to show that it is important to discuss the abortion of siblings with a child.  To do so makes it possible for parents to talk about anything without having to maintain pseudo secrets.  It allows children to investigate everything they want to in the family and learn from the families past mistakes.  It diminishes the restriction on expressing feelings and the need to maintain pseudo-secrets.  Disclosing and discussing with abortion survivors makes it possible for parents not to worry about an unexpected jolt when their children find out from someone else.  Parents might see something is wrong because there is a sudden alienation in their relationship for reasons the children are afraid to talk about.  From the data we have gathered it appears that children are less affected about learning they are abortion survivors when they are told by their parents than if they find out some other way..  It is better that the child find out gradually rather than being told everything suddenly.  The parents should explain more in keeping with the child's curiosity and according to their ability to understand.

3) The Universal Ethic of Mutual Benefit states you cannot benefit at the expense of another.  If it's not also good for your neighbour, no action or acquisition is really good for you.  There are no proven psychiatric, medical, or social reasons to do an abortion.  Because the unborn child cannot benefit from an abortion, the mother does not.  If the mother cares for her baby she is caring for herself.


When a child is welcomed in Christ's name he is welcomed to be (to exist), to be here (anywhere), and to become (what God intended him to be).

Wanted children are more fearful, distrustful and prone to hedonism.  The wanted abortion survivor is also guilt ridden, anxious, and angry.  The advantage of being an unwanted child is that a child is free to be himself instead of constantly worrying about being good enough to stay wanted.  The child who is welcomed regardless of who or where they are can have a greater sense of purpose and joy in being alive. 

Since everyone is ambivalent about everything almost all the time, there are few, if any, children who are completely unwanted.  Besides that, even if their parents don't want them, there are many others who would welcome them as adopted children.  The human organism is primed to maintain every healthy pregnancy.  What the body does to hold onto and nurture the unborn infant is recorded and reinforced by the mind.  Thus every child is wanted by someone in some way.  The real choice is whether or not to welcome a child.

If a child is unwelcome, the door to life or real living is slammed in his face.  Whether he is allowed to live as an abortion survivor or not, if he is not welcome to be who he is, where he is, his life is alien to him.  A child can be unwanted, a great inconvenience, but still welcomed.  That child has life and liberty to become what God intended him to be.

It is vitally important to illuminate the evil idea of wantedness determining whether people live or die.  Wantedness is very destructive philosophy.  It now applies to unborn children (abortion) handicapped people (eugenics) and the aged (euthanasia).  Soon everyone will be evaluated in terms of wantedness.  The philosophy of wantedness is destroying the life and light God put into our planet earth.

It is time that all God-fearing people welcome every baby in Christ's name.  For when we welcome babies we are welcomed by them and thus welcome ourselves.  When we welcome a baby in Christ's name we welcome the light and love of Christ.  We also welcome God the Father.  When we welcome Him we also get all the resources of the universe.  How then could there be any child who is unwanted because over population is straining the resources of earth?  We have a limitless God who operates a limitless universe. 

Having children makes us plan and conserve for the future.  Thus the children make us hope.  Without children there is no hope.  Without hope we don't want to have children.  This vicious cycle of diminishing hope and fewer children being allowed to exist is creating social despair and economic chaos in many parts of the world.  For our own benefit, and that of our children and the world, we must welcome every child of every size, shape, race, or wantedness in the name of Jesus Christ.  Try it.  It will also change your life.  Welcoming every child will go a long way to making the world into a better place in which to be, to be here and to become.  


Philip G. Ney, MD, MA, FRCP(C)

Paper Presented at the World Congress on the Family, Geneva, Switzerland, November 16, 1999 - 3:30 p.m.

In spite of much rhetoric, time and money spent trying to prevent child abuse and neglect (CAN), the best evidence shows it is a growing problem.  The exact size is uncertain because incidence depends upon definition.  The only meaningful way to determine the amount of damage is to compare the child's present state to what they were designed to be.  Therefore, neglect is defined as not obtaining sufficient nutrition, stimulations, time, information and experience etc. of the right order, quality and duration for that child's unique development, i.e. not getting the materials for the blue print God gave him.  Abuse is partly destroying that wonderful castle he or she is co-creating with God.  Using a fairly standardized assessment, over a period of time there is evidence that all forms of abuse and neglect are increasing.  There are inflated statistics about the size of sexual abuse, partly because that pseudo evidence is used for political purposes.

Our Research

Child abuse and neglect is trans-generational; the probability depending upon the type and extent.  Comparing physical, sexual and verbal abuse, verbal abuse is most likely to be transmitted from one generation to another.1  Considering all three forms of abuse, the form that is most damaging to a child's self perception is verbal abuse.2  Comparing all type of abuse and neglect, neglect is more damaging than abuse.3   Neglect makes a child both more vulnerable and susceptible to abuse. One severe form of neglect is not being breast fed. Human milk is almost the only source of the essential fatty acids that are necessary for the formation of  the white matter of a child's brain and the myelin of his/her peripheral nerves.  If children are not breast fed they are not as intelligent or as quick as they were designed to be.  A previous abortion interferes with breast feeding.  In one country the percentage of women breast feeding their 1st three pregnancies was 450% higher before the introduction of the one child policy.
(Table 1)

Children try very hard to construct the person their Designer intended them to be.  In many families their struggle against overwhelming odds is very persistent.  When a child is not given sufficient, good developmental materials he will scrounge, often in the wrong places  When he is not given enough of what he needs, he has to answer the question, "Is it because I am unlovable or because my parents aren't capable?"  Normally the child decides that he isn't lovable.  Once a child feels that he isn't worthy of good things, he tends to fulfill  his worst expectations.  This is why neglected, starving children go to the garbage dump rather than the homes of rich people.  They consider themselves garbage and therefore garbage is what they feel they deserve.

In all the cases we studied, 95% of children are damaged by a combination of one or more forms of abuse and neglect.4 (Ref. Table 2)  For this reason, whenever you read an article purporting to describe the effects of one type of abuse or neglect, throw it away.  It's of no value.

The worst form of abuse and neglect is for the child to be killed, particularly the unborn child who is nestled quietly in the security of their mother's uterus.  The next most severe form of abuse and neglect to a child is to be an abortion survivor.5  Children who grow up in countries where a large percentage of children die by abortion are survivors.  Abortion survivors are also those whose parents have aborted a sibling, those whose parents considered killing them, and those who belong to minority groups who would usually be aborted.  They feel guilty about existing, cannot trust parental figures, have a perpetual sense of impending doom, do not take advantage of their opportunities, struggle with a deep rage because they were not welcomed even though they were wanted. They do not want children themselves.6,7

What Doesn't Work

1.Wanted Children

For Years it was argued that if abortion was freely available, there would be no unwanted children.  It was assumed that unwanted children were the ones most likely to be abused and neglected.  Our evidence shows quite the contrary.8  It is the wanted children, those that frequently disappoint their parents because of high expectations, that are more likely to be abused.  Wanted children try to live up to other people's expectations.  They try to be the person their parents want them to be.  It is hard for them to be themselves. Our study shows that, as the rates of abortion increased in a country, so did the rates of child abuse.9  Our evidence shows that mothers who have had a previous pregnancy loss, particularly abortion, are less likely to bond to their children. Parents not bonded to their children are more likely to abuse and neglect them.10


When somebody who has sexually molested a child is placed in prison, they lose their job, reputation, family, freedom and dignity.  They come out of prison hard and angry.  They are a greater threat to those who insisted they were imprisoned. Punishment doesn't work, but reconciliation does.

3.Scewed Politics

Some people are using the growing concerns regarding child abuse as an opportunity to make increasingly large numbers of people see themselves as victims who "have a right" to feel sorry for themselves.  Beware when people make you feel sorry for yourself. They are likely to use you in their political campaign to get power for themselves at your expense.  It is unfortunate that there is relatively little research on the effect of child neglect.  While socialist countries were enacting laws to encourage women to stay at home, western countries were using legislating, eg. Affirmative Action, to encourage women to be in the work place.  Our forbearers were not stupid.  They realized that men make very poor mothers and that mothers and children must have a time of quiet security to begin the essential process of developing.  Men were given a sop, titles and better pay to make sure they provided for the mother and child. 

Essentials to Prevent Child Abuse

1.Mature Parents - Mature parents come from well nurtured, guided and challenged children who have done their best to tackle some of the world's problems and who found a mate who was similarly inclined.

2.Well Bonded and Committed Mates - Young people should be encouraged and guided in their mate selection. They should make a public commitment, eg. betrothal, then fall in love, then be married by God, eg. consummated, and then that marriage should be celebrated.

3.Crisis Pregnancy - People are unlikely to change except in crisis.  To be able to know and welcome a baby, the mother and father must change. Therefore every pregnancy should be a crisis that promotes a whole series of developmental challenges.

4.The Child Should Not Be Wanted But Welcomed - Jesus said, "Welcome child in my name, because when you welcome a child in my name you welcome me, and when you welcome me, you welcome the Father." When you welcome the Father, you welcome the resources of the universe.  With our limitless God, there are abundant resources for every child.  There is no evidence of overpopulation. The best evidence shows there is a population crisis created by an exponential decline.

Mature Parents

1) Mature parents have discovered who they were designed to be and are making every effort to pursue their unique maturity.  Mature parents recognize their blueprint, having responded to inner strivings and the prompting of God's Spirit.

2) They have been welcomed by their family, church and society.  They know their life is on loan.

3) They have discovered each of their children's unique blueprint, helped them meet their needs  and protected them from abuse.

4) They provide a model for their children of worship, showing the uniqueness, vitality and utility of their faith in God.

5) They model a ministry, tackling problems bigger than themselves, that make them mature.

6) Good parents  avoid confusing a child's blueprint with their own.  They allow the child to show them what he/she needs.  They don't clutter his/her mind with formal education, but provide them an opportunity to pursue their curiosity and communicate his/her insights.

To Stop Tragic History of Abuse, Neglect or Abortion from Repeating Itself

Damaged parents:

1) have gained insight from their past and understand how they contribute to the re-enactment of tragic triangles because of their unresolved key conflicts.

2) have discarded false faces, dancer and urchin.11 They have defined and asserted their authentic self, their pilgrim.

3) have grieved the loss of the person they should have become. (PISHB)

4) are able to bond to their children because they have completely grieved previous losses.  Abortion is the most difficult grief because: a) mother and father don't see or hold the dead baby, b) parents have dehumanized the baby, c) they have contributed to the death of the person they now grieve, d) they were not encouraged to talk about their loss with friends and family, e) they are mislead by professionals into thinking the root of their problem is something else eg. depression.

5) are able to model a ministry tackling problems bigger than themselves that make them mature.

6) when having contributed to an abortion are able to talk with their surviving children.12   This will include; a) helping them identify and describe the child, b) acknowledging their contribution to the death of a pre-born child, c) recognizing the harm they have done to their surviving children, d) sincerely apologizing, e) promising never to do it again, f) showing that they are changing, g) demonstrating God's forgiveness h) doing their best to compensate their injured children.  When the parents have done this, the parent child relationship changes from distrust to trust, from pseudo-secrets to honesty, from resentment to forgiveness, from alienation to bonding.  Children then know that, if parents can talk about their abortion, they can talk about anything, if the parents can be forgiven for killing a child, God will forgive them for anything.


The first command in the Bible is to be fruitful and multiply.  God did not rescind that command.  There has never been a time in all of history when parents could spend more time and energy with their children, yet so many factors and forces are encouraging them to be self indulgent. But you cannot benefit at the expense of your neighbour.  If it is not good for your neighbour, it is not good for you.  If it is not good for children, it cannot be good for adults.13  Christ's law of love always applies.  Like gravity, it is a law you cannot break.  When you love your children, you are loving yourself. Love is meeting someone's needs.  Needs are definable. Obeying Christ's command to love is good for you and your smallest neighbour.  Abortion is the largest contributor to the death and mistreatment of subsequent children.  Love will prevent Child Abuse and neglect.


1 NEY PG."Transgenerational Child Abuse", Child Psychiatry Hum Dev 18:151-168, 1988.

2 NEY PG. "Does Verbal Abuse Leave Deeper Scars: A Study of Children & Parents", Can J Psychiatry 32:371-378, 1987

3 NEY PG. FUNG T WICKETT AR. "Child Neglect: The Precursor to Child Abuse", Pre-and Perinatal Psychology J.  8(2): 95 - 112, 1993

4 NEY PG. FUNG T. WICKETT AR."The Worst Combinations of Child Abuse and Neglect", Child Abuse and Neglect, 18(9), 705-714, 1994

5  NEY PG. "A Consideration of Abortion Survivors", Child Psychiatry Hum Dev 13:168-179, 1983.

6  NEY PG. "Abortion and Family Psychology: A study in Progress", Canadian Journal of Diagnosis, 16(1): 113-119, 1999

7  NEY PG. PEETERS-NEY MA. "Abortion Survivors" (2nd Edition), Pioneer Publishing: Victoria, 1998

8  NEY PG. FUNG T Wickett AR. "A Relationship Between Induced Abortion and Child Abuse and Neglect: Four Studies:, Pre and perinatal Psychology J. 8:43-63, 1993

9  NEY PG. "A Relationship Between Abortion and Child Abuse", Can J Psychiatry.24:610-620, 1979

10   NEY PG. Deeply Damaged (3rd ed), Victoria: Pioneer Publishing, 1997

11  NEY PG. PETERS A. Ending the Cycle of Abuse, New York: Brunner/Mazel, 1995

12  NEY PG. PEETERS MA. How to Talk With Your Children About Your Abortion, Victoria:  Pioneer Publishing, 1995.

13  NEY PG. FUNG T. WICKETT AR. BEAMAN-DODD C. "The Effects of Pregnancy Loss on Women's Health", Soc Sci Med, 38(9): 1193-1200, 1994     


A response to: Principles Behind Proper Medical Ethics
Philip G. Ney, MD, FRCP (C)
July 6, 2006


Regarding dying, there are two desperately hung onto fallacies, now exposed by science:
1]  When you die, it is like falling asleep.  You become unconscious or oblivious.  Not so.  The almost universal reaction of those who have had a near death experience [NDE] is that you wake up when you die.  Suddenly you become very aware.  The experiences are seldom forgotten and are usually life changing.
2] With the help of medication, friends etc. you can have a peaceful, nearly painless death, [euthanasia]  Not so. A study on palliative care found that on autopsy, there were high levels of catecholamines in the blood, regardless of the amount or type of medication.  At the moment of death, people were terrified and that terror resulted in high levels of adrenalin etc.  The study I read did not consider any possible differences in people who were religious or Christian.
     If you put these 2 findings together, you would have to conclude that dying isn't easy because people [at least most people] suddenly wake up to where they are going.



by Philip C. Ney, MD, FRCP ©, MA, R Psych; Pioneer Publishing Co. Ltd., November 1997, 342 pp. Reviewed by Tanya O’Brien.

A discerning reader will do well to look into the credibility of a book’s author and the expertise, experience and beliefs which motivate them. Professor Philip Ney and contributing author, Marie Peeters-Ney, come out on top in all areas. As Christians they devote their lives to traveling the world, lecturing and conducting training seminars in the treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect, Post-Abortion Syndrome, Post-Abortion Survivor Syndrome and Loss of Partner Support. They offer healing to ex-abortionists and prostitutes, as well as women who contemplated an abortion but did not go ahead with it.

When they visited Australia I was very fortunate to participate in a rigorous week-long training course called "Hope Alive". "Deeply Damaged" gives the theory behind the techniques of "Hope Alive" group counselling.

Prof. Ney uses the analogy of the ‘Dark Valley of Despair’ to describe the existence of the millions of people who are deeply damaged by child abuse and abortion. There is an urgent need for people to be trained as counsellors to go into the Valley and lead the wounded out and bring them to healing. Prof. Ney uses a spiritual approach to outline God’s plan for humanity and how that plan has been ruined by sin. He shows how God has an ‘alternative plan’ which will facilitate healing and restore the inner beauty of the person.

The wealth of theory in "Deeply Damaged" is well supported by research and documented observations. Unless human beings learn from the essential conflicts involved in a tragedy, the results will be debilitating and history will be repeated. Anyone who has been involved in pro-life work will have seen the succession of generations involved in abortion.

The reader will appreciate the complex process whereby abortion is sought as an answer. Prof. Ney gives an insight into the profound problems associated with abortion and childhood mistreatment. The ‘tragic triangle of abortion’ involves the Perpetrator, the Victim and the Observer, all of whom contribute to the problem and suffer from its consequences. Prof. Ney’s research revealed that not only did abortion lead to child abuse, but child abuse more frequently led to abortion.

Among the insights to be gained from this book are: nine alternatives to abortion; an explanation of what Post-Abortion Syndrome is and why it is so real; the concept of ‘welcomeness’ (which is unconditional) as opposed to ‘wantedness’ (which can change); why children are used as scapegoats; and why the ‘Helpless Cry’ is critical for the survival of our species.

Prof. Ney casts a wide net in healing those who are wounded by abortion or childhood mistreatment. Readers of" Deeply Damaged" will gain a better appreciation of how we can all learn the lessons contained in our history. Our painful history teaches us the most useful lessons.

Mrs. Tanya O’Brien is a member of the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants

Below Dr. Daphne Hennelly’s comments on Prof. Ney’s important book:

"Deeply Damaged" is a long book on the implications of abortion and child abuse dealing with Dr Ney’s own experiences in this area. He is a well-qualified psychiatrist and psychologist. As a record of his work covering many years, it is a profound insight into the far-reaching effects of abortion throughout the population.

The "post-abortion syndrome" is at last attracting attention to the extent that its existence is generally recognised by informed medicos and those working in mental health departments. However Dr Ney’s investigations penetrate far beyond unwanted pregnancy and abortion; he shows how abortion affects individuals, the mother, father, siblings, grandparents and society as a whole. We are all bound together in the web of life.

He uses metaphors to explain the basis for his psychological concepts; the blueprint which is given to each one of us at birth can be damaged or even destroyed by dehumanising and scapegoating children. Abortion is closely related to child abuse, neglect and violence - from unwanted unborn children there is only a small step to unwanted defective children and thus to euthanasia of all people deemed unproductive at any age.

Finally in "The Healing Process" is described the "Hope Alive" programme, which is a group-therapy process based on Christian tenets. A section dealing with "False Memory Syndrome" is particularly interesting in view of the current tendency to label mental distress as being due to social abuse in childhood, the politically correct view.

There is much detail, many references, and some repetition in the book but it is very readable because the profound subject matter is interspersed with true personal stories. It would interest anyone dealing with mothers and children in social life as well as medical, legal or teaching professions: possibly controversial but an eye-opener to many.

Daphne Hennelly is a medical practitioner working in Melbourne.



Culture of Killing

Letter to the Editor - CMAJ

Philip G. Ney, MD, MA, FRCPC, RPsych

© May 2005

Culture of Killing

A death in the family ("Reflections on the Terry Schiavo case" C. Weijer, CMAJ 172(9): 1197-1198) necessarily evokes turmoil in family and friends, but also in the physician. Physicians cannot but be influenced by their patients and their practice. What they do to others soon rebounds upon themselves. In this tight bundle of life, nobody can avoid the consequences of another's actions, certainly not their own. Sadly, Dr. Weijer's commentary is an opinion not based on fact, but on his own cherished and well-rehearsed attitudes towards life and death. Terry Schiavo did not require "the artificial provision of nutrition and hydration" any more than any immature or dependent person requires food and water with the aid of someone who cares for them. If her nutrition was artificial, and so it is for many patients in the hospital, people with disabilities, and all small children until they can feed themselves. Terry Schiavo was responsive. Terry Schiavo was not a burden to anybody. Her parents were quite content to provide all she needed. What was startling, in fact astonishing to all people who love life, was that the judges would not allow her parents to care for her, but enabled medical staff to starve her to death, a lingering and painful way to die. There is nothing noble in this. Backed by a powerful 'right to die' lobby, the judge and some members of the medical profession murdered a disabled patient. There is real question whether Terry's husband Michael ever heard her state those words attributed to her. There is considerable evidence that it was quite the opposite.

Surely physicians from time immemorial have erred on the side of life when there was any question at all about the person being alive or dead. As a result, many of those presumably dead were brought back to life. This included my courageous, well-decorated father who at the age of seventeen commanded a company of soldiers in the muddy, bloody First World War. He was badly wounded and left to die, until espied by his general who ordered that his 'corpse' be taken to the field dressing. Those of Charles Weijer's ilk would have deprived me of my father. I have seen a picture of the CAT scan of Terry Schiavo's brain, and there was more cortex than has been found in others considered to be mathematical geniuses. Some day Dr. Weijer is likely to lie in bed looking in a confused state with one good eye at sage physicians shaking their heads and intoning, "It is time to turn off the machines." But he won't be able to communicate the fact that at this moment he doesn't want to die because he has not reconciled with members of his family, and he hopes that it would still be possible.
"I asked them to feed my mother. I guess the doctors had decided not to, and they knew best. It was awful to watch her die in such pain and distress. I feel terribly guilty for not insisting they feed her." Joe, an honest farmer, is struggling with pathological grief. He realizes, maybe better than some physicians, the impact of knowingly participating in the painful murder of somebody whose life is dependent upon him. In their death camps, the Nazis reserved death by starvation for those they really wished to torture. Although Joe's contribution is relatively small, he knows he could have done more to ensure his mother lived longer.

We have become so immersed in a culture of killing, that it seems the norm. There is plenty of evidence to show that once a person has contributed to the death of someone of his own species, killing a kin becomes much easier. The instinct to preserve life, particularly the lives of those of your own species, particularly members of your own family, particularly those who are dependent upon you, is one of the strongest instincts known to humans. Once having participated in a killing, either actively or passively by not protesting, that instinct is weakened, and that person is much more able to kill again in the future. This is happening wholesale to a profession (medicine) that once was entirely devoted to always preserving life. The world has become a very frightening place. Yours sincerely, Dr. Philip G. Ney, MD

Yours sincerely,
Philip Ney MD FRCP[C] Victoria BC




The Heart of Healing, by Terry O'Neill

Ex-abortion providers: conversion tales - former abortionists join the opposition - Cover Story


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