Dr. Charles Everett Koop, MD (October 14, 1916 – February 25, 2013)
USA today is reporting that Pro-Life bulwark C. Everett Koop has now passed:
“C. Everett Koop, the former surgeon general who brought frank talk about AIDS into American homes, has died at his home in Hanover, N.H., officials at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth announced Monday. He was 96.
Koop, a pediatric surgeon with a conservative reputation and a distinctive beard, was surgeon general from 1981 to 1989 during the Reagan administration and the early months of the administration of George H.W. Bush.”
A Pro-Life Legacy
For us in the Pro-life world, Dr. Koop has had a significant impact in the debate about abortion and the value of human life. For more than a quarter of a century he specialized in the care and surgical treatment of physically impaired children. His work was devoted to restoring and saving lives. He worked alongside thousands of parents and understood the economic and social burdens associated with “right to live” decisions. His experiences encouraged him to speak up for the unborn and his work has inspired an entire generation of pro-life activists.
Koop teamed up with Francis Schaeffer to analyze the widespread implications and frightening loss of human rights brought on by today’s practices of abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia. They produced a book and a video series on the issue. Koop understood that choices were being made that undermine human rights at their most basic level. Practices once labeled “unthinkable” by physicians were now considered acceptable. They pleased for the end of the destruction of human life, young and old, which being sanctioned on an ever-increasing scale by the medical profession, by the courts, by parents, and by silent citizens. Koop also authored a book called, The Right to Live: The Right to Die continuing to appeal to the American public as a pro-life physician.
A Few Quotes
“We live in a schizophrenic society. We will fly a deformed newborn baby four hundred miles by airplane to perform a series of remarkable operations on such a youngster, knowing full well that the end result will be far from perfect. We will ship food to a starving nation overseas, and, at the same time, supply arms to its enemy…While we struggle to save the life of a three pound baby in a hospital’s newborn intensive care unit, obstetricians in the same hospital are destroying similar infants yet unborn.”
“Wherever and whenever the respect for human life is cheapened and diminished there is an educational effect upon that culture and society.”
“Protection of the life of the mother as an excuse for an abortion is a smoke screen. In my 36 years of pediatric surgery, I have never known of one instance where the child had to be aborted to save the mother’s life. If toward the end of the pregnancy complications arise that threaten the mother’s health, the doctor will induce labor or perform a Caesarean section. His intention is to save the life of both the mother and the baby. The baby’s life is never willfully destroyed because the mother’s life is in danger.”