Post # 1
You can tell from the link text…
Basically a catholic hospital that is connected to the church and whose mission is allegedly to carry out the directives of the Bishops and the church leadership has declared that fetuses aren’t people, for no other reason than it’s convenient.
They refuse to perform abortions, but when they were sued for malpractice because they could have saved the lives of unborn twin boys when their mother had a heart attack and they let them die anyway, they claimed not to be liable for the boys’ death, because they weren’t people.
So how is it they can say that fetuses are people when a woman wants to voluntarily terminate, but they’re suddenly not people when they’re at legal risk?
Does this sort of hypocrisy frustrate and sadden anyone else? I’m interested in people’s takes on this… so a poll!
Post # 3
The hipocrasy is an issue but I don’t think religion in this case did influence the care, it is malpractice regardless of the type of hospital. The defense is clearly an afterthought that happens to conflict with other past declared defenses for practice.
Post # 4
I’m really not surprised by this, and I find it frankly horrifying all the same. As noble as the principals that undergird most of Catholic healthcare is — to care for the poor, to be committed to patient care in the spirit of Christian charity, etc — and how necessary Catholic hospitals were a century ago, I find them problematic institutions now. I do not feel confident in the fact that I would receive every bit of medically necessary care as a non-Catholic woman at a Catholic hospital, especially if I was possibly pregnant, and that’s a frightening thing. Especially in regions where access to medical care is difficult and Catholic institutions are often the only games in town. The institutions of the Catholic Church need to take a strong hint from the religious sisters that the US Council of Bishops were so quick to reprimand for spending too much time helping the poor.
Post # 5
How awful! Those boys were SEVEN months! That’s… 29/30 weeks? Past the point of viability. Even if you aren’t a “life begins at conception” person and more of “life begins at birth”, you could certainly argue that those babies were CAPABLE of life. This isn’t some case of 12 weeks gestation, where the doctors couldn’t have done anything. They could have, but they didn’t.
The moment they realized they couldn’t save the mother, they should’ve been yanking those babies out and trying to save them.
I would be beyond furious if I was that dad. He was right to sue the hospital.
Post # 6
If a hospital is religious in nature they should definitely be able to make decisions based on their founding principles. It’s an important part of freedom of religion in this country.
I hate to dog on lawyers because there are many good, decent ones but the “defense” in this lawsuit clearly came from an attorney who was just looking for anything to stick.
Post # 7
Before reading the post, I totally misinterpreted this poll option: “This is awful because fetuses are people and they should pay up“. I thought it was suggesting that fetuses need to pay up for their hospital care. It certainly piqued my curiosity!
Post # 8
I didn’t read the article but I don’t think it matters if we call fetuses people, because standard medical care would include saving babies when possible. They’re obviously trying to cover their asses with this one.
Post # 9
I think this has nothing to do with them being Catholic and everything to do with greedy hospital executives who don’t want to pay a malpractice claim. Tragically when money politics and churches mix nothing good comes from it.
That said, most of the.private (and usually religiously affiliated) hosptials are incredible and well equipped and staffed hospital. I interviewed at a Catholic hospital, I’m not Catholic, they can’t really ask and a patient’s religious belief has no impact on their care other than not being able to get an abortion at a Catholic hospital.
Post # 10
@Daisy_Mae: Those darn freeloading fetuses! Haha I read it that way at first too.
I’m actually really surprised by this. Catholics seem so hardcore about saving a bunch of cells in early pregnancy by being against abortion, but they are doing a real 180 here.
Post # 11
@Pinkmoon: Right? Catholics are generally so staunchly against abortion at ANY stage, even if it is only a few weeks and very well before viability. They want to save the unborn. But seven months in? No, sorry, we won’t save you even though you’d come out a little early but fine.
Post # 12
@chasesgirl: This. It has little to do with what the religion was, but rather that most hospitals don’t want to pay for the malpractice claim.
And honestly, the argument is pretty solid. The state itself does not define them as people, in a court those are the laws that matter, not what the hospital’s affiliation is. I find the story extreamly tragic and preventable, but the root of the problem is that person is defined in that law as someone who has been born.
Post # 13
I would also like to add that religion SHOULD be part of patient care. Modern healthcare is about the whole human being (or it should be) and the patient’s religious and spiritual views should be respected and encouraged. A blood transfusion may save someone, but if that does not align with their religion why should healthcare providers be able to force it upon them?
Post # 14
Declaration of position: pro-life Christian, not Catholic.
Woah. It’s not that the hospital deliberately didn’t save the babies. It’s that the obstetrician on call didn’t answer his pager so they couldn’t save the babies. Yes I see a case to answer there, but it’s not as if they *deliberately* let them die. There was a (very sad) screw-up.
But, the hosptial is entitled to claim defence by the laws as they stand. Though personally I think they should admit they messed up.
Post # 15
Religion has no purpose in a hospital, or anywhere else that isn’t a church of their particular branch or in the believer’s homes.
No religion in school.
No religion in hospitals.
No religion in government.
No religion outside of churches. Absolutely no exceptions.
I think it was wrong to not attempt to save the babies. I agree that unborn fetuses are not people and are not entitled to “adult rights”, but morally if a fetus could be saved via emergency C section, you need to at least humor the idea. The mother was, sadly, going to die regardless. It was unnecessary for the children to die, too.
Post # 16
@Hyperventilate: no religion in a Catholic school? Or in Jewish school?
the Constitution guarantees ONLY that the government will not establish a religion. so that means, no religious stuff in publlic institutions. Public schools, public hospitals, and so forth.
Don’t like how the Jews run their hospital? Don’t like how the Catholics run their schools?
Then don’t go to a Jewish hospital, and don’t send your kids to a Catholic school.
The likelihood of experiencing an emergency where a religious hospital wouldn’t be able to provide the same standard of care as a public one, is quite miniscule. The only thing they can’t do is perform a direct abortion – even in the case of an ectopic pregnancy, the fetus can be removed at a Catholic institution.
There is ALWAYS the public option – the public hospital may not be as good, the public schools may not be as good. But you know what, in that case people should put the time and effort in to make the public system better, the way people of faith have worked for centuries to get their health systems and educational programs the best they can be. These institutions contribute hundreds of millions of dollars worth of services every single year that are NOT reimbursed by government programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
Keep in mind as well that the Catholic Church considers its hospitals to be a direct branch of ministry – many hospitals are still headed and/or staffed by nuns.