The Catholic Church: Life at all costs, unless we have to pay for it.

DrB-

 

The Catholic church’s position on abortion is pretty clear. It’s a full person from conception, and must be be given birth to. They’re a stickler on this one, making it a major point of their part of any culture war.

New Years day, 2006. A woman is rushed to the emergency room of a Catholic hospital, 7 months pregnant with twins.

vomiting and short of breath and she passed out as she was being wheeled into an examination room. Medical staff tried to resuscitate her but, as became clear only later, a main artery feeding her lungs was clogged and the clog led to a massive heart attack. Stodghill’s obstetrician, Dr. Pelham Staples, who also happened to be the obstetrician on call for emergencies that night, never answered a page. His patient died at the hospital less than an hour after she arrived and her twins died in her womb.

 


That’s a tragic incident no matter what.  The husband files a wrongful death lawsuit.

should have made it to the hospital, his lawyers argued, or at least instructed the frantic emergency room staff to perform a caesarian-section. The procedure likely would not have saved the mother, a testifying expert said, but it may have saved the twins.

 


7 months old is very premature, but medical experts do believe that the life of the twins could have been saved here. The defendant here is the Catholic Health system. They are defending themselves, with a novel approach from the lawyers for the Catholic church:

they are arguing state law protects doctors from liability concerning unborn fetuses on grounds that those fetuses are not persons with legal rights.

Go ahead.

Read that again.

The official argument, submitted by a Catholic hospital team of lawyers is that a 7month old fetus is NOT a person, and has no legal rights.

No abortions because life begins at conception……….unless a Catholic institution is liable.  Then personhood still hasn’t started at 7 months.

http://coloradoindependent.com/126808/in-malpractice-case-catholic-hospital-argues-fetuses-arent-people

 

 


You can find me on twitter, @DrDavidBurger

  • trucreep

    yikes

  • Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    I wish I could muster surprise at the hypocrisy, but I’m starting to wonder if that part of my brain has been burned out by overuse.

    • sqlrob

      I think at this point I’m surprised when any major religious organization *isn’t* hypocritical.

  • Liberated Liberal

    This might be the first thing about Catholicism I’ve read in the last two years that just left my jaw hanging open. This is the first time I’ve been truly, physically shocked. I scared my dog.

    Wow. This is a new fucking low. It’s not that hypocrisy surprises me, but that they are so blatantly disregarding the fetus as a person…. I…. just. I just don’t know what to say.

  • ewok_wrangler

    Umm… not quite!

    Jason Langley, an attorney with Denver-based Kennedy Childs, argued in one of the briefs he filed for the defense, the court “should not overturn the long-standing rule in Colorado that the term ‘person,’ as is used in the Wrongful Death Act, encompasses only individuals born alive.

    It’s a legal dodge only: they are sheltering behind the existing state law. Church officials could probably with a straight face say they disagree with that law, but since it exists, it removes the grounds for the suit.

    • H.H.

      It’s a legal dodge only: they are sheltering behind the existing state law.

      Yes, we know. That’s what makes them hypocrites. The fact that they are willing to forsake their “deeply held” principles when legally convenient. Remember, they could have admitted wrongdoing and offered recompense to the father. They are choosing to fight this in a courtroom.

      • baal

        I’m mostly with ewok on this one. Yes, it’s rank hypocrisy and the RCC didn’t consider the optics when they allowed this legal defense to go forward. Absent certain legal specifics, each case is treated in a vacuum on its own merits. Defendants can (and do) argue mutually exclusive defenses (I wasn’t at the house party or I was passed out in an upstairs room when the bad act occurred in the lounge downstairs) or positions absolutely opposite of their regular lines all time.
        The RCC is also being very consistent is asserting that they should never pay money or admit that they did anything wrong. I’ve seen a few clips of Bishops in Rome being really pissed off that the US RCC admits to wrong doing from time to time (when legally useful).

        • eric

          “The RCC is also being very consistent is asserting that they should never pay money or admit that they did anything wrong.”

          Well, that’s the whole point: they put their rhetoric about life beginning at conception secondary to their financial interests. That’s the title. What you are saying isn’t a defense of their actions, its agreement with DrB’s main criticism.

          • baal

            I’d say I’m contextualizing the legal issue and not defending the RCC, yes.

        • H.H.

          The RCC is also being very consistent is asserting that they should never pay money or admit that they did anything wrong.

          That’s merely being consistent in their inconsistency. The RCC holds themselves up as protectors of a divine moral code written into the very fabric of the Universe, the violation of which imperils our very souls. Secular society, insofar as it strays from this godly ideal, is immoral. For the RCC to betray the commandments of their god by adopting a secular defense is therefore immoral act, per their own teachings. This inconsistency between what they say and how they conduct themselves is what’s commonly known as hypocrisy.

          I’d say I’m contextualizing the legal issue and not defending the RCC, yes.

          I’d say you’re trying to de-contextualize the issue by pretending what the RCC argues in court has no relationship to what it says outside of it. Proper contextualization would highlight the inconsistency of the juxtaposition, not minimize it.

  • Liz

    “The official argument, submit by a Catholic hospital team of lawyers is that a 7month old fetus is NOT a person, and has no legal rights.”

    Nope, it’s that a fetus is not a person WITH legal rights. That is a legal fact in the US. They believe a fetus is a person WITHOUT legal rights.

    I agree that it’s a shameful argument to make but they’re not arguing that a fetus isn’t a person.

    • H.H.

      I agree that it’s a shameful argument to make but they’re not arguing that a fetus isn’t a person.

      So they’re admitting they are murderers in the eyes of god, just not in the eyes of the law.

    • hotshoe

      Liz, you’re misreading their argument. The church’s lawyer, as quoted by ewok_wrangler just above, has argued that the fetuses are not persons because they aren’t born alive.

      As Jason Langley, an attorney with Denver-based Kennedy Childs, argued in one of the briefs he filed for the defense, the court “should not overturn the long-standing rule in Colorado that the term ‘person,’ as is used in the Wrongful Death Act, encompasses only individuals born alive. Colorado state courts define ‘person’ under the Act to include only those born alive. Therefore Plaintiffs cannot maintain wrongful death claims based on two unborn fetuses.”

      See, nothing in there about them being persons but without legal rights. Just about them not being persons, because only individuals born alive can be persons.

      Fuck every goddamn Catholic hypocrite. They should all die miserable, alone, and unmourned.

      • Liz

        Having read farther I agree. It’s one thing to say “the law I disagree with states that fetuses aren’t people”, another thing entirely to say that law shouldn’t be overturned.

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