Applause for Dr. Romalis
Dr. Garson Romalis, whose story is told in the article "7:10 am, Nov. 8, 1994" (CMAJ 1998;158:528-31 [in brief / en bref]), by Anne Mullens, deserves applause. His courage in defending his beliefs and his vision for the future of abortion in Canada can at the very least be described as commendable but is probably more suitably characterized as inspirational. As an idealistic young man on the brink of his medical career, I too am drawn to obstetrics and gynecology. However, Romalis's ordeal leaves me asking why I should bother. When there are so many other ways to help my fellow human beings, why put my life on the line? For me the answer is clear: I hope I never have to practise medicine in a Canada where abortion is illegal.
The rewards of bringing a healthy, wanted child into the world are mirrored by the satisfaction of providing an essential and safe service to desperate young women. I have never assisted in more than the evacuation of an incomplete spontaneous abortion, and this means that I have not yet personally grappled with the emotional impact of the procedure. However, I have looked into the eyes of a distressed patient and seen the need. I may soon follow in the footsteps of "our greying abortion providers" and will actively support an educational symposium at McGill that is similar to the one described in this article.
Glenn D. Posner