UTMC students right to oppose ruling


Students at the University of Toledo Medical Center are correct in opposing the ruling of UT President Lloyd Jacobs on the issue of abortion rights (“Jacobs cites neutrality for canceling pact; President says UT won’t take stance on abortion,” April 23). He is wrong. He is judgmental, and has overlooked the needs of women and the education of others about their care.

As a medical student many decades ago, I was taught that the role of the physician was not to be judgmental, but to identify the need of the patient and help alleviate it. Abortion, whatever you may think of it, has been historically part of the human condition and will continue to be so.

My medical training extends back decades before the U.S. Supreme Court’s guarantee of reproductive rights. In those days, Friday nights in the emergency room at the University of Rochester included the appearance of botched abortions with the resultant genital mutilations and life-threatening infection. The Constitution now protects women from that fate.

I believe Dr. Jacobs, perhaps out of naiveté, is generating another problem with his decision. It will affect the much-discussed “brain drain” of young people from northwest Ohio. As a previous director of Medical College of Ohio’s internal medicine residency program, I can testify to the difficulty of recruiting our students to remain in our area.

Dr. Jacobs fails to recognize that this issue cuts across generational lines. If he persists with current view, he endangers the retention of young physicians in this area and compromises the viability of his obstetrics and gynecology program.

As a loyal, but dissenting faculty member, I encourage Dr. Jacobs to take a new look at this problem, separate himself from the “vaginal probe” politicians, and reconsider his action — or perhaps ask some enlightened young woman to make his decisions about women’s health for him.


Professor Emeritus of Medicine Medical College of Ohio

Perrysburg Township