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  #1  
Old 24th January 2013, 12:44 AM
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Catholic Church: A fetus is a person... unless it will cost us money

In malpractice case, Catholic hospital argues fetuses aren’t people | The Colorado Independent

In malpractice case, Catholic hospital argues fetuses aren’t people

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.

The lead defendant in the case is Catholic Health Initiatives, the Englewood-based nonprofit that runs St. Thomas More Hospital as well as roughly 170 other health facilities in 17 states. Last year, the hospital chain reported national assets of $15 billion. The organization’s mission, according to its promotional literature, is to “nurture the healing ministry of the Church” and to be guided by “fidelity to the Gospel.”

[...]

But when it came to mounting a defense in the Stodghill case, Catholic Health’s lawyers effectively turned the Church directives on their head. Catholic organizations have for decades fought to change federal and state laws that fail to protect “unborn persons,” and Catholic Health’s lawyers in this case had the chance to set precedent bolstering anti-abortion legal arguments. Instead, they are arguing state law protects doctors from liability concerning unborn fetuses on grounds that those fetuses are not persons with legal rights.
What's up with that?
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  #2  
Old 24th January 2013, 12:48 AM
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Wow. Thats gunna come back to bite someone!
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  #3  
Old 24th January 2013, 01:12 AM
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Sounds like someone should fire their lawyers and fire that doctor who was on call.
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Yeah, about that "excellent physical specimen" part...
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Old 24th January 2013, 01:17 AM
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I would think that the lawyer didn't act with out permission from his client. That is how it works in all circumstances that I am aware, and wouldn't the lawyer be in house and thus a practicing Catholic in constant communication with Hospital and thus church officials?
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Old 24th January 2013, 02:32 AM
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Charlie already posted this in the main forum. I'll say here what I said there:

It seems very hypocritical to fall back on the state laws in this situation yet try to overturn them when the crap hits the fan? I realize this is a Catholic hospital & not the Church but it claims to follow Catholic practice. I'd be very interested to hear a Bishop or two speak up on this.


And as far as the hospital not knowing what their lawyers are doing:

No....I would think the client is very well informed on how their lawyers are handling their defense. I cannot believe that they would be in the dark about this.
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  #6  
Old 24th January 2013, 08:04 AM
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When ER doctors are trying to save three lives in one, and making an abdominal incision without anesthesia into the patient in cardiac arrest would definitely kill one of them, they made the right decision.

It's awfully hypocritical to say that an abortion should not be performed to save the life of a woman in imminent danger of death---but that a woman should be killed to save her unborn twins.

The hospital acted in a morally consistent way. I think the case should be dismissed. They were trying to save all three lives, but they refused to do something that would have resulted in certain death for the mother in order to save her twins.
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Old 24th January 2013, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Fantine View Post
When ER doctors are trying to save three lives in one, and making an abdominal incision without anesthesia into the patient in cardiac arrest would definitely kill one of them, they made the right decision.

It's awfully hypocritical to say that an abortion should not be performed to save the life of a woman in imminent danger of death---but that a woman should be killed to save her unborn twins.

The hospital acted in a morally consistent way. I think the case should be dismissed. They were trying to save all three lives, but they refused to do something that would have resulted in certain death for the mother in order to save her twins.
I think you are right. On the other hand, the defense that they seem to be using is not good. It may be that they are using whatever legal means they can to protect someone who acted appropriately, but I think it is a bad idea if they are really arguing the way it appears.
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Old 24th January 2013, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Fantine View Post
When ER doctors are trying to save three lives in one, and making an abdominal incision without anesthesia into the patient in cardiac arrest would definitely kill one of them, they made the right decision.

It's awfully hypocritical to say that an abortion should not be performed to save the life of a woman in imminent danger of death---but that a woman should be killed to save her unborn twins.

The hospital acted in a morally consistent way. I think the case should be dismissed. They were trying to save all three lives, but they refused to do something that would have resulted in certain death for the mother in order to save her twins.
They didn't do anything, and that's part of the problem. The doctor who was on duty didn't call or answer; the others' inactivity was most likely a direct result of this. The guy in charge never told the others what to do or how to proceed.

And, based on the moral theology when it comes to ectopic pregnancies, it actually would be morally permissible to do the C-section.
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Yeah, about that "excellent physical specimen" part...
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  #9  
Old 24th January 2013, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Fantine View Post
When ER doctors are trying to save three lives in one, and making an abdominal incision without anesthesia into the patient in cardiac arrest would definitely kill one of them, they made the right decision.

It's awfully hypocritical to say that an abortion should not be performed to save the life of a woman in imminent danger of death---but that a woman should be killed to save her unborn twins.

The hospital acted in a morally consistent way. I think the case should be dismissed. They were trying to save all three lives, but they refused to do something that would have resulted in certain death for the mother in order to save her twins.
But this is not their argument. Their argument is that since a fetus isn't a person, they're not legally liable for what happens to it.
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Old 24th January 2013, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Michie View Post
It seems very hypocritical to fall back on the state laws in this situation yet try to overturn them when the crap hits the fan?
Not seems, is hypocrtical.


I realize this is a Catholic hospital & not the Church
It is hypocritical to argue in the HHS mandate that hospitals are part of the Church but say here they are not.
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