I never really thought the Catholic Church had much in the way of integrity, especially with the way they’ve handled their child-molesting-priest epidemic. Now, they’re expanding their absolute indifference to public perception by unveiling a more nuanced position on the sanctity of life: it’s still murder if a woman has an abortion or even wants contraception … but it’s not if a mother and her unborn twins die as a result of a doctor’s negligence in a Catholic hospital:
Lori Stodghill was 31-years old, seven-months pregnant with twin boys and feeling sick when she arrived at St. Thomas More hospital in Cañon City on New Year’s Day 2006. She was 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.
In the aftermath of the tragedy, Stodghill’s husband Jeremy, a prison guard, filed a wrongful-death lawsuit on behalf of himself and the couple’s then-two-year-old daughter Elizabeth. Staples 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.
But when it came to mounting a defense in the Stodghill case, Catholic Health’s lawyers … are arguing state law protects doctors from liability concerning unborn fetuses on grounds that those fetuses are not persons with legal rights.
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.”
This isn’t the Catholic Church itself doing this but “Catholic Health Initiatives”. However, given their mission statement …
The mission of Catholic Health Initiatives is to nurture the healing ministry of the Church by bringing it new life, energy and viability in the 21st century. Fidelity to the Gospel urges us to emphasize human dignity and social justice as we move toward the creation of healthier communities.
… one would conclude that their founding principles are in line with the doctrines of the Catholic Church just the same. Even though organizations like this one have been fighting for decades to criminalize abortion to the point and even outlaw “abortion-causing” contraception like Plan B, they’ll happily hide behind a law like this now that it offers them protection from responsibility.
Any thoughts on whether the Catholic Church will speak up to give them a little moral guidance?