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[UPDATE - Ophelia Benson] Az. Hospital May Lose Catholic Status Over 2009 Abortion Case

The Church and her bishops have a heightened moral responsibility

By Ophelia Benson - Butterflies and Wheels

Mark Jones found the confirmation I was looking for, in the shape of the letter the bishop of Phoenix wrote to the president of Catholic Healthcare West. It is unbelievably disgusting.

He’s pissed off that the president of CHW told him that this is a complex matter on which the best minds disagree – not, as one might hope, because he thinks there should be no disagreement on whether or not a pregnant woman should be allowed to die along with her fetus rather than prevented from dying at the expense of her fetus, but because he is The Bishop.

In effect, you would have me believe that we will merely have to agree to disagree. But this resolution is unacceptable because it disregards my authority and responsibility to interpret the moral law and to teach the Catholic faith as a Successor of the Apostles.

His responsibility, that is, to order doctors to let a woman die. Because he is a Successor of the Apostles.

... Read more


No loss. No loss at all.
PZ Myers - Pharyngula

St Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Arizona was a Catholic-affiliated institution, and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix has just made a major strategic error: they have stripped the hospital of its affiliation.

There are two reasons this was a bad idea for the church. One is that it exposes them as callous, evil bastards who don't care for their patients as much as they do their invisible, nonexistent souls. The reason the church took this action is that doctors there performed an emergency abortion on a woman who was 11 weeks pregnant and dying. The choice was to stand by and do nothing while watching the mother and fetus die, or abort and treat woman and let her live. The Catholic Church believes the doctors should have taken no action and allowed her to die.

... Read on


Thanks to Jared for the link

St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, Ariz., will be stripped of its Catholic status on Friday unless Catholic Healthcare West meets several demands outlined in a Nov. 22 letter from Bishop Thomas Olmsted, the Arizona Republic reports (Clancy, Arizona Republic, 12/15).

The issue stems from the 2009 decision by the hospital to authorize an abortion to save the life of a pregnant woman. The woman, who already had four children, was 11 weeks pregnant and had pulmonary hypertension, a rare condition in which continuing the pregnancy often jeopardizes the life of the woman. Physicians concluded that the placenta had to be removed to prevent the patient from dying. The Catholic Church condemns direct abortion -- meant to terminate a pregnancy -- but permits indirect abortion in which fetal death is a secondary effect of another necessary procedure (Women's Health Policy Report, 6/28).

According to the Republic, the hospital said the procedure was similar to removing a cancerous uterus, which is permissible by the church, rather than a standard abortion. However, Olmsted condemned the procedure as an abortion and excommunicated Sister Margaret McBride, the St. Joseph's vice president who authorized the procedure.

... Read more

TAGGED: MEDICINE, RELIGION


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