The head of the Catholic church in Phoenix has stripped Arizona’s largest hospital of its Catholic affiliation after he ruled that a decision to save the life of a mother by terminating her 11-week pregnancy was morally wrong.
Bishop Thomas Olmsted announced yesterday that St Joseph’s hospital can no longer be considered to be Catholic. The ruling breaks a relationship that stretches back to the hospital’s founding by Catholic nuns 115 years ago.
He has also excommunicated the member of the hospital’s ethics committee that permitted the abortion to go ahead.
The schism brings to a head a dispute that has been building for several months over the termination, performed in November 2009, at St Joseph’s hospital and medical centre.
The case concerned an unidentified woman in her 20s, who had a history of abnormally high blood pressure that was under control before she became pregnant. But doctors were concerned on learning of the pregnancy about the extra burden that would be placed on her heart, and they monitored her closely.
Tests showed that in the early stages of pregnancy her condition deteriorated rapidly and that before long her pulmonary hypertension – which can impair the working of the heart and lungs – had begun to seriously threaten her life. Doctors informed her that the risk of death was close to 100% if she continued with the pregnancy.
Consultations were then held with the patient, her family, her doctors and the hospital’s ethics team, and the decision to go ahead with an abortion was taken in order to save the mother’s life. And no need to invite the Bishop and his church in on the decision!
The hospital’s president, Linda Hunt, said following the bishop’s severing of relations that the operation had been “consistent with our values of dignity and justice. If we are presented with a situation in which a pregnancy threatens a woman’s life, our first priority is to save both patients. If that is not possible we will always save the life we can save, and that is what we did in this case.”
But Olmsted did not see it that way. you can RTFA if you really care about crap doctrine, religious ideology, philosophical systems that place superstition as taking precedence over human life.
I’m not wasting any more time on it than I’ve felt necessary for the last 59 years of my life.