Here’s a story that shows just how misguided religion can be. It takes place in Phoenix.
(What? A problem in Arizona? Never!)
Sister Margaret McBride, who worked as an administrator at St Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, was recently demoted.
Because several months ago, a female patient “had a rare and often fatal condition in which a pregnancy can cause the death of the mother.”
McBride was the leader of an ethics committee that decided the best course of action for the patient — the only course of action that would save the patient’s life — was to terminate her pregnancy.
She managed to survive the ordeal.
But there’s still a problem — the Catholic Church forbids abortion.
What did Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, the head of the Phoenix diocese, have to say about all this?
“I am gravely concerned by the fact that an abortion was performed several months ago in a Catholic hospital in this diocese… I am further concerned by the hospital’s statement that the termination of a human life was necessary to treat the mother’s underlying medical condition.
“An unborn child is not a disease. While medical professionals should certainly try to save a pregnant mother’s life, the means by which they do it can never be by directly killing her unborn child. The end does not justify the means.”
Let’s assume for a moment that this hospital was staffed by medical professionals. They decided this woman would die without this procedure. Who is Olmsted to tell them otherwise? Since when is he qualified to make these sorts of decisions?
He can call it “unCatholic” if he wants, but that’s the extent to which he should be talking.
Olmsted “automatically excommunicated” McBride from the Church and demoted her to another position in the hospital.
I say she’s better off because of the excommunication, but it’s sad that she suffers professionally because she opted to have a patient’s life saved.
Olmsted cared more for an unborn, first-trimester fetus than a grown woman who would have died.
Don’t Catholics see the problem here?
The situation doesn’t get any better when you ask James J. Walter, either:
James J. Walter, professor of bioethics at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, a Catholic university, said that is a tough argument to make. He said a pregnancy may be terminated only in limited, indirect circumstances, such as uterine cancer, in which the cancer treatment takes the life of the fetus.
Asked if the church position prefers the mother and child to die, rather than sparing the life of one of them, Walters said the hope is that both would survive.
That would be ideal. But it wasn’t the situation in this case. That option never existed.
The hospital staff made the right call.
The Catholic Bishop didn’t.
It’s just one of many reasons Catholics shouldn’t be running hospitals. They care more about their doctrines than what’s best for the patients.