Catholic Church condemns a hospital for terminating an 11 week pregnancy to save a mother’s life
My wife sent me this article earlier today. It’s about a sad story that occurred last fall. A 27 year old woman came into the hospital with complications from her pregnancy. She was only 11 weeks along and it was determined by the doctors at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix that the mother was at risk of death from hypertension and heart failure… killing the baby in the process. So, the decision was made to abort the fetus, which did indeed save the mother’s life.
Yes, this is always a sad thing to read. But, it gets worse. The Catholic Church had to give their two cents. Sister Margaret McBride, a longtime senior administrator at the hospital, was excommunicated by the Bishop of the diocese, Bishop Thomas Olmstead.
Having an abortion is against Catholic teachings. Although the move caused an uproar, with some critics pointing out that even pedophile priests weren’t excommunicated, Bishop Olmstead went a step further on Tuesday. He stripped St. Joseph’s Hospital of its affiliation with the Catholic Church. He argued hospital officials did not try to save both the mother and child.
“Instead of treating the disease, St. Joseph’s medical staff and ethics committee decided that the healthy, 11-week old baby should be directly killed,” Olmstead said. However, St. Joseph Hospital’s CEO Linda Hunt disagreed with that statement. ”Our first priority is to save both patients. If that is not possible, we always save the life we can save,” said Hunt.
And, what do you suppose would have happened if the hospital had stuck to it’s religious roots, tried to save both, and then the mother and her unborn baby die? Do you think the Catholic Church would have come out for the hospital? Would they apologize for letting religion interfere with medical practices? Would they blame god for not saving them both? No. No. And, no. Sadly, two lives would have been lost instead of one and they would have been ok with that. At least they would have stuck to their religious convictions.
Hospitals don’t need to be affiliated with churches. There are too many barriers in religion to overcome to allow medicine to work the way it should, without constraints or worry of excommunication. Remember, if religion had it’s way, we would all still be praying for demons to leave our bodies whenever we got sick. Religion never solved one medical mystery. Prayer doesn’t heal. And, letting two people die to prove a point that ending an 11 week pregnancy is a mortal sin is just disgusting. Catholics should be ashamed by this… in case hundreds of priests molesting thousands of innocent children wasn’t enough.