Dr. Cudihy was the Respect Life co-chair in our campus ministry and went on to become an OB-GYN practicing authentic pro-life medicine, even suffering at some point a level of persecution due to his philosophy. I didn't even know of his appearance on ETWN until I saw some friends refer to it on Facebook after the fact.
As it turns out, I managed to catch the program on this morning's rerun at their website, and although a DVR would have been nice, so I could pause and return as the demands of the morning allowed, (and maybe do more than just paraphrase, as you will see,) I was able to hear much of the conversation.
There were three things I took away from the hour that, though I may have heard them before, struck me afresh. The first was that the Hippocratic Oath has basically been thrown out in the medical profession. They don't even take it anymore--instead, Dr. Cudihy said, what usually happens is that in medical school people sit around in circles and come to some consensus on what are essentially meaningless platitudes about being good. He said that in a way it's a measure of honesty, since because of the widespread practice and acceptance of abortion and contraception most doctors cannot honestly take such an oath.
Another is the lack of informed consent in the widespread prescription of birth control, particularly when it comes to the increased risk of cervical and breast cancer with the Pill. (I will have to check the download of the program when it becomes available for more exact citations!) A woman's chance of cancer increases about 200% after 5 years and 400% after 10! If you were ever on the Pill, did your doctor tell you about these rates of increased risk? Did he or she even tell you that your risk increased at all? I've heard it referred to in a general, dismissive way by some doctors, as if to say, "Oh, but it's worth it--it's an acceptable level of risk."
This goes to the third point I took away. One of our mutual friends later commended Dr. Cudihy on saying this: "There's a deep psychological wound done to the woman when we treat her fertility as a disease that needs to be stamped out." She's right, of course, but I was struck even more by what followed that. Dr. Cudihy spoke of a colleague saying that "the greatest preventative medicine is contraception." He then pointed out the terrible logic that followed that fallacy: that 1) life, namely conception, is a disease--not just fertility, life is a DISEASE--and 2) abortion is the curative medicine to treat it. This is truly the belief of a culture of death, and it is widespread in the medical community and in society at large.
I am deeply grateful that Damon Cudihy has become such an effective witness for life, and personally proud to know him. I pray God raises up more like him. Damon, you inspire me with your courage and commitment to become more outspoken, as Fr. Benedict said, in defense of life.