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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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72 Responses

  1. me and not you
    me and not you December 16, 2010 at 12:57 pm |

    So, this kind of shit pisses me off. This is actually, based on my understanding having gone through the Catholic school system, NOT the Church’s actual stance on life saving abortions. They *are* allowed, as the absolutely last alternative. It’s morally wrong to stand by while a person dies. Sometimes you have to choose who to save. Letting the woman die saves no one. *grumps*

  2. Health Care?
    Health Care? December 16, 2010 at 1:07 pm |

    That letter was chilling. Wickedness. He is so mired in ego that he can’t see pass the offense he feels by being disobeyed. I think this should be more of an encouragement for people to support naturopathy and self-healing and withdraw support from religious-based and government-based health care, supporting, instead, healers who are not run by such wickedness.

  3. Verity Khat
    Verity Khat December 16, 2010 at 1:15 pm |

    This is so reprehensible on so many levels I can’t even formulate a coherent comment. Excuse me while I go vomit. Repeatedly. >_<

  4. Kit Kendrick
    Kit Kendrick December 16, 2010 at 1:21 pm |

    Wouldn’t the woman’s death also have terminated the pregnancy?

  5. Courtney
    Courtney December 16, 2010 at 1:31 pm |

    Kit Kendrick: Wouldn’t the woman’s death also have terminated the pregnancy?  

    I believe the thought is it’s OK “when God does it,” because then it’s God’s will.

  6. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan December 16, 2010 at 1:35 pm |

    Wouldn’t the woman’s death also have terminated the pregnancy? Kit Kendrick

    Sure, but at least that way she would have atoned for being such a bad mother!

    /dies a little inside

    Snark aside, how…how can a medical professional of any kind, of any religion, not meet this kind of pronouncement with pure rage? I’d be reading the letter: “okay, okay ‘saved her life’ that’s good, and then ‘so don’t do it aga-‘ aaaaAAAAAAND FUCK YOU POPE, FUCK YOU, FUCK YOU. NO. GTFO.” Just let a woman die next time? That’s like war criminal, Nazi*, “just following orders” shit. It should repulse a doctor or nurse on every level of their being.

    *so perfectly in keeping with Papal precedence, I suppose… 9.9

  7. Nahida
    Nahida December 16, 2010 at 1:36 pm |

    This is so infuriating! It’s HER life, and it’s HER pregnancy, and she should do whatever the fuck she wants! Even from a religious viewpoint, you’re not supposed to let *people* die. What the hell is so complicated about that?

  8. Cassie
    Cassie December 16, 2010 at 1:36 pm |

    Two choices: sacrifice the fetus to save the mother, or allow both mother and fetus to die. And the *second* one is more ” pro- life”

  9. nathan
    nathan December 16, 2010 at 1:36 pm |

    The mass of contradictions in official Catholic church policy, and amongst those who carry it out, are so on display in cases like this. It’s sickening to see the power games being played, and how many people’s lives are caught in the middle of it. Frankly, I wish these “enlightened” male church leaders would just shut up, completely, about all issues pertaining to sex and sexuality.

  10. Cassie
    Cassie December 16, 2010 at 1:41 pm |

    ˆ … More ” pro- life”?!

    ( phone keyboard blargle blargle)

  11. Nahida
    Nahida December 16, 2010 at 1:43 pm |

    Courtney:
    I believe the thought is it’s OK “when God does it,” because then it’s God’s will.  

    Except then God wouldn’t be doing it. The doctor who refused to let her have an abortion would be doing it. And the asshole who advised it.

  12. Marle
    Marle December 16, 2010 at 1:45 pm |

    She was 11 weeks pregnant. What the hell can you do then if she’s already developed a life-threatening condition?

    I hate catholic hospitals.

  13. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan December 16, 2010 at 1:49 pm |

    Except then God wouldn’t be doing it. The doctor who refused to let her have an abortion would be doing it. And the asshole who advised it.

    Catholicism is apparently not big on distinguishing “God” from “whatever dude is in the room at the time”… 9.9 Oh Pope, shine on you evil authoritarian arrogant bastard you. (Did I say “shine on”? I meant die in a fire.)

  14. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. December 16, 2010 at 2:07 pm |

    And hospitals that refuse to save patients should lose all recognition and funding, and should absolutely be legally liable for the harm they cause.

    I’m still not sure how they would avoid EMTALA liability.

    Wouldn’t the woman’s death also have terminated the pregnancy?

    That would be just punishment for the sins of eve. Particularly pregnant, unclean ones. Also, barf.

  15. Bitter Scribe
    Bitter Scribe December 16, 2010 at 2:08 pm |

    God, what an unbelievably pompous asshole that bishop is. I realize you have to take yourself somewhat seriously to be a bishop, but come on. “This resolution is unacceptable because it disregards my authority”? “You do not respect my authority to authentically teach and interpret the moral law”? Get the fuck over yourself already.

  16. DAS
    DAS December 16, 2010 at 2:09 pm |

    Interestingly, under Jewish religious law, it would be considered a sin for a woman in this position not to have an abortion … in part, based on the Bible verse from which the anti-abortion crowd takes their bumper sticker saying you should “choose life”.

    As you point out, in this case, not having an abortion means not “choosing life”. So it is quite sinful of the church to tell a hospital that they should not choose life.

  17. Paraxeni
    Paraxeni December 16, 2010 at 2:15 pm |

    How the hell is it pro *life* to let the mother of living children die, taking a foetus with her?

    When did the life of a theoretical person become so much more important than the life of a living, loved, productive person?

    Best of luck to this woman, who (if she’s Catholic) has been dealt a double blow, in the form of her personal loss, and the sense that she has failed her God.

  18. Comrade Kevin
    Comrade Kevin December 16, 2010 at 2:18 pm |

    If I were in the leadership’s position, I’d think it my duty to save souls, and you can’t really do that when both people in question would have been physically dead. But I suppose it’s possible to also be spiritually dead, even when you’re physically alive, at least in my reckoning.

  19. Nahida
    Nahida December 16, 2010 at 2:24 pm |

    DAS: Interestingly, under Jewish religious law, it would be considered a sin for a woman in this position not to have an abortion …

    Same here! (In Islam.)

  20. Nahida
    Nahida December 16, 2010 at 2:26 pm |

    Bitter Scribe: God, what an unbelievably pompous asshole that bishop is. I realize you have to take yourself somewhat seriously to be a bishop, but come on.“This resolution is unacceptable because it disregards my authority”? “You do not respect my authority to authentically teach and interpret the moral law”? Get the fuck over yourself already.  

    LOL!! You’ve convinced me to go back and read the letter (which looked immensely boring to me before) for good fun.

  21. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan December 16, 2010 at 2:32 pm |

    “This resolution is unacceptable because it disregards my authority”? “You do not respect my authority to authentically teach and interpret the moral law”?

    Cartman’s a bishop now?

  22. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub December 16, 2010 at 2:38 pm |

    Now THAT’S a visual for the ages. . .but epic win funny, Bagelsan.

    Cartman’s a bishop now?  

  23. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig December 16, 2010 at 2:39 pm |

    Y’ know, back in my college days I was *this* close to converting. Now I’m increasingly glad I didn’t.
    (And thanks to my recent physical, I’m pretty grumpy about doctors in general. Grrr.)

  24. Kwach
    Kwach December 16, 2010 at 2:41 pm |

    While working as a medical technologist in the laboratory at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tucson, Arizona … part of the same Catholic hospital group as the one in Phoenix … my partner noted a number of sperm in a urine specimen and included that in her urinalysis report along with the other findings, which is standard lab procedure. Her report was “corrected” by a supervisor who took her aside and explained, “We’re a Catholic hospital and we don’t report sperm in urine. We consider it a normal finding.” My partner explained that, yes, sperm is a normal finding in the urine of post-adolescent males, men with prostate problems and not unusual in sexually active females directly following a sexual encounter, but it’s unusual enough to be worthy of someone’s attention in the urine of a 12 year old female child. She was forbidden to report it. She no longer works there.

  25. Jess
    Jess December 16, 2010 at 2:46 pm |

    Health Care?: I think this should be more of an encouragement for people to support naturopathy and self-healing and withdraw support from religious-based and government-based health care,

    To be clear, the woman in this story went to a conventional hospital and had her life saved. Naturopathy and self-healing wouldn’t have done that. Science FTW!

  26. Zebster
    Zebster December 16, 2010 at 2:46 pm |

    As much as this sickens me, it does not surprise me. The Catholic Church has a rather piss-poor track record with the rights of women – no matter how fundamental, especially when it impedes the so-called “Right” of men to absurd numbers of children.

    All the more reason the Catholic church should not be operating hospitals.

  27. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable December 16, 2010 at 2:49 pm |

    Comrade Kevin: If I were in the leadership’s position, I’d think it my duty to save souls, and you can’t really do that when both people in question would have been physically dead

    You’re conflating lives with souls. Those aren’t synonymous. If the bishop and the hospital staff genuinely believed that abortion is murder, then some obscene number of souls are damaged.

    Bagelsan: Cartman’s a bishop now?  

    LMAO. I wish he spelled it “authori-tie.”

  28. Paraxeni
    Paraxeni December 16, 2010 at 2:50 pm |

    @21 – well, one of his latest fave phrases is “Go with Christ brah”. P’raps he’ll join a seminary now that his Nascar dreams are dead.

  29. Bitter Scribe
    Bitter Scribe December 16, 2010 at 2:53 pm |

    LOL!! You’ve convinced me to go back and read the letter (which looked immensely boring to me before) for good fun.

    Well, I hope you have fun with it. All it did was piss me off and make it hard(er) to concentrate on work. He spends the entire letter bitching about his precious “authority.” There is not one word about the circumstances of this case, nor any acknowledgement that a young woman (and mother of four) had her life at risk.

  30. Jennifer
    Jennifer December 16, 2010 at 3:06 pm |

    I already have the lactose-intolerance shits but this has literally just set my gut a-rumbling again.

    This is just DISTURBING.

  31. EMoon
    EMoon December 16, 2010 at 4:02 pm |

    It gets worse: This is the same man who tried to cover up/conceal sexual abuse by clergy in his diocese and refused Communion to an autistic child.

    http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Phoenix-abortion-row-bishop-refused-communion-to-autistic-child-94011519.html

    I suspect he will find out that Jesus’s “hard line” comes between him and heaven, on the grounds of smug dishonesty, lack of compassion for victims of sex crimes and the disabled, and general cruelty.

  32. james
    james December 16, 2010 at 4:27 pm |

    Patients have a right to care … The fact that a Catholic hospital is the closest one to your home … shouldn’t mean that you receive sub-par care … hospitals that refuse to save patients should lose all recognition and funding, and should absolutely be legally liable for the harm they cause.

    It’s interesting that that’s still exactly what the hospital is doing. If I can summarise the letter:

    The argument isn’t. BISHOP: you should follow religious rules. HOSPITAL: no, patients have the right to care.

    The argument is in fact. BISHOP: you should follow religious rules. HOSPITAL: yes, but there are different interpretations, you think you’re right, we think we’re right – how about we just agree to disagree? BISHOP: no I’m a Bishop, God says I get to decide on the interpretations.

    The hospital is still taking the view that following religious law is okay, and that it will continue to make its own interpretations. This isn’t a victory for secularism.

  33. Catherine Jefferson
    Catherine Jefferson December 16, 2010 at 4:41 pm |

    I heard about this when it happened. :/ I’m absolutely (and rather vehemently) pro-life. I was outraged and sickened then, and am now. Pro-life means pro-LIFE. The choice here was between aborting (killing) an infant to save the mother’s life, or letting BOTH OF THEM DIE.

    While pro-life usually means opposing abortion, that is not always the case. In some extreme circumstances, the proper pro-life response is to support an abortion. Unless the facts of this woman’s pregnancy and health were materially misrepresented in the news, this is a case where pro-life means supporting the abortion.

    Although I’m not Catholic, I know the position of the Catholic church on abortion. This bishop does not represent the Catholic church’s own stated position on abortion. It is shameful, however, that the Catholic church hierarchy has as best I know acted to stop this bishop from imposing his non-Catholic views on abortion on a hospital!

  34. Lynnsey
    Lynnsey December 16, 2010 at 5:12 pm |

    While this doesn’t make a difference in the validity of her right to have an abortion (because that should just happen without question)…it is interesting to note that she has (if I remember correctly from the original stories) four living children. So not only would she have died (and thus the fetus the church is so bent about), but her remaining children would have been mother-less and her husband would have been a widower.

    So, to sum up this would have directly effected (at least…we’re not accounting for living parents, other family, friends, etc.) 5 other lives in addition to the loss of hers. Good job, Catholic Church!

  35. karak
    karak December 16, 2010 at 6:06 pm |

    It sounds like someone is major butthurt that people have the temerity to think they know more about medical science than he does.

    The fetus was going to die no matter what. They merely seperated a dying person from a living one, so that one may live. I have been keeping track of this story, but I don’t recall any interviews with the mother. I wonder about how she feels about her life being immoral and disposable.

  36. Ann
    Ann December 16, 2010 at 6:14 pm |

    Kwach: While working as a medical technologist in the laboratory at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tucson, Arizona … part of the same Catholic hospital group as the one in Phoenix … my partner noted a number of sperm in a urine specimen and included that in her urinalysis report along with the other findings, which is standard lab procedure. Her report was “corrected” by a supervisor who took her aside and explained, “We’re a Catholic hospital and we don’t report sperm in urine. We consider it a normal finding.” My partner explained that, yes, sperm is a normal finding in the urine of post-adolescent males, men with prostate problems and not unusual in sexually active females directly following a sexual encounter, but it’s unusual enough to be worthy of someone’s attention in the urine of a 12 year old female child. She was forbidden to report it. She no longer works there.  (Quote this comment?)

    I have no words. Okay, I have words, I just can’t say them here.

    This is mandated reporting here and the person that forbid your partner to report it was breaking the law. And needs to be hit upside the head with a clue-by-four. Yes, some 12 year old children are sexually precocious but for Pete’s sake!!! 12 year old can NOT legally consent and even it was sex with a 13 year old, this should have been reported.

    As for the Bishop? Another one that would benefit from the judicious application of a clue-by-four. Why yes, far better for two people to die than one. *massive eye roll* The Church needs to keep it’s collective nose out of the uteri of women.

  37. April
    April December 16, 2010 at 9:33 pm |

    PrettyAmiable: You’re conflating lives with souls. Those aren’t synonymous. If the bishop and the hospital staff genuinely believed that abortion is murder, then some obscene number of souls are damaged.

    I’m not Catholic, nor Christian (or religious at all for that matter), so I’m certainly no expert, but I think the point is that the physical life of the person is temporary, the “soul” lives on forever, etc., so if the person’s soul is “saved,” then it “doesn’t matter” that they physically die.

    Or something like that?

    If I can at all help it, I do not plan to ever go to a Catholic hospital. My god. Pun not intended.

  38. Amanda
    Amanda December 16, 2010 at 9:47 pm |

    I have never understood this.

    A fetus cannot live on its own without its mother to nourish it. If the mother dies, the fetus also dies. Yet, it’s “Pro-LIFE” to let both die instead of saving the one that can be saved?

    The logic of that is clearly over my head.

  39. Jason Michael
    Jason Michael December 16, 2010 at 9:56 pm |

    Roman Catholicism, for good or ill, has an unwavering stance in its moral theology on the question of abortion. Not everyone need accept this view, but to be Roman Catholic (a practicing and devout Catholic) means to accept this moral teaching. Stories such as this cause people to question their attitudes to such questions, and so it is a challenge to the teaching magesterium of the Church. In time the position of the Church might change, but this remains the sole prerogative of the Church. The life of the woman was saved – at the cost of the unborn – and so, insofar as this case is concerned, the question is moot.

    In this case the bishop, who is a delegate of Papal authority, in his diocese cannot contradict the moral teaching of the Church. It must also be remembered that this occurred within a Roman Catholic medical facility under the visitational cure of the prelate. There are other hospitals. This suggestion is not made in order to be cruel, but in matters of health – as in education – one has the choice in seeking ethos in service. A Catholic ethos like any other religious or secular ethos comes with certain conditions. All ethos vanishes when ethos is circumvented in the particular.

    We speak of “life saving procedure” as though all life was saved. It must be confessed that I am no philosopher or moral theologian, but the question of life’s beginning is still an open question, regardless of where any of us are on the question. To the Catholic Church the zygot is life, and thus the termination of a pregnancy is the taking of life. So it would only be true in a limited sense to describe this particular event as “life saving.”

  40. Jen
    Jen December 17, 2010 at 12:08 am |

    Thanks for the reminder to renew my Planned Parenthood membership, Bishop Olmstead! I’ve been meaning to do that.

  41. Serena
    Serena December 17, 2010 at 12:35 am |

    So…let me get this straight…it’s “OK” to allow two lives to be lost, but not ok to save one of them? That’s great, really. The Catholic diocese needs to back off of this non-issue and go perpetuate some more ridulum by fighting stem-cell research or something. So glad I’m not Catholic.

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  43. Natalia
    Natalia December 17, 2010 at 6:02 am |

    I believe the thought is it’s OK “when God does it,” because then it’s God’s will.

    Pulmonary hypertension is also “God’s will,” according to their kind of logic, but that part always gets conveniently glossed over somehow.

    Also, Bishop “Respect my Authoritah!” Olmstead is a hoot.

  44. Iany
    Iany December 17, 2010 at 9:12 am |

    This is why I am no longer a catholic.

    Great idea, let’s not treat a woman so that she dies and her pregnancy is not carried to term eitherway, because it’s more important to police her body. Ignore the fact that she has a right to choose to live, has four actual living children, an actual living husband and an actual LIFE to LIVE for. Oh yes and hooray for punishing the religious person involved, which the church is so fond of doing whenever someone makes an actual decision to support an actual person.

    By their own incredibly flawed logic it is more important to kill a woman.

  45. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable December 17, 2010 at 9:26 am |

    Yeah April – it’s basically like that. The part of you that lives on into eternity (i.e. goes to Heaven, Hell, or sometime after Dante, Purgatory) is your soul. The theory is that it’s chilling in your body while you’re alive and pre-Dementor attack, and then goes on to its ultimate destination. So, in reality, unless you’re expecting to go to hell, dying is supposed to be less of a big deal because you live on into eternity in paradise anyway. However, if you buy into the idea that abortion is murder, then anyone involved in the “mortal sin” has their soul damaged – this makes hell more likely. I forget the details – you can repent for menial sins and probably be fine for heaven, repenting for mortal sins might make you okay for purgatory (but again, this part was just made the fuck up in the secular world and adopted into doctrine). Incidentally, Christians used to think abortion was okay (google delayed ensoulment). But this changed over time.

    That said, it all depends on if you buy into the Catholic stance on life and death. I was raised Catholic, so I fondly remember thinking I’d live on into eternity, but then took a cognitive neuroscience course and stopped believing in a soul. Long story short, if someone decided I didn’t need an abortion when I was in this woman’s circumstances, I would be PISSED because I think this is it.

    And that’s really what it comes down to for me: medicine is about prolonging life and providing care to the living, and religion is about providing care to the souls of the living, should they believe in them (and ONLY then). These two necessarily conflict in certain circumstances, and religion has no place in making decisions for patients’ care (unless, of course, they specifically request it).

  46. Perpetua
    Perpetua December 17, 2010 at 9:35 am |

    However, the real blame here lies with the US Health care system, which allows religious organizations and individuals to “opt out” of providing certain care that they themselves oppose. When it should be – if you oppose providing care that is a) legal and b) medically indicated then YOU should opt out of health care. These “moral” exemptions by hospitals and pharmacies are clear violations of the human rights of patients. If the hospital had let that woman die, I hope all the doctors AND the bishop would have been brought up on charges of pre-meditated murder. Because that’s not just malpractice, it’s homicide.

  47. Perpetua
    Perpetua December 17, 2010 at 9:36 am |

    Oh, and this happened in ARIZONA. Wow, what a state, that. They should change their motto to: “Come to Arizona! Be stripped of all your rights! And possibly your life!”

  48. Jesurgislac
    Jesurgislac December 17, 2010 at 12:09 pm |

    The woman herself was warned (so I read in a more detailed account) that she might need an abortion, and asked if she would like to be moved to a non-Catholic hospital. The woman said no, because she wanted to avoid an abortion if at all possible.

    Then the doctors had to make clear to her, a few hours later, that she had the choice of dying or having an abortion, and at that point she gave her consent for an abortion … and then of course the ethics committee had to meet to decide if it was “ethical” to save her life.

    So this woman was once, evidently, a devout Catholic. I do wonder what she feels now about a Church that thinks she should be dead?

  49. anonymous
    anonymous December 17, 2010 at 12:20 pm |

    Couldn’t agree with you more!

    Perpetua: However, the real blame here lies with the US Health care system, which allows religious organizations and individuals to “opt out” of providing certain care that they themselves oppose.When it should be – if you oppose providing care that is a) legal and b) medically indicated then YOU should opt out of health care.These “moral” exemptions by hospitals and pharmacies are clear violations of the human rights of patients.If the hospital had let that woman die, I hope all the doctors AND the bishop would have been brought up on charges of pre-meditated murder.Because that’s not just malpractice, it’s homicide.  

  50. GallingGalla
    GallingGalla December 17, 2010 at 1:06 pm |

    It’s because of shit like this that I will never set foot in a Catholic hospital if I can at all help it. I can’t get pregnant (I’m trans), but no matter: Catholicism has enshrined a level of utter woman-hating and gay/lesbian/trans-hating that I cannot be a part of it, abide or support it. I don’t want to be a part of papal “infallibility”, the dogma, the demand that Catholics shut off their minds, the idea that Catholic priests and bishops have some special EZPass To God that lay people don’t. I can only imagine how TBLG folk are treated in Catholic hospitals.

    Hence why I joined the Episcopal church (which is a member of Religious Coalition For Reproductive Choice).

  51. KJ
    KJ December 17, 2010 at 2:00 pm |

    Perpetua: Oh, and this happened in ARIZONA.Wow, what a state, that.They should change their motto to: “Come to Arizona!Be stripped of all your rights!And possibly your life!”  

    But you can bring your gun and carry it concealed anytime you like, doesn’t that make up for the loss of all other rights and your life?
    /sarcasm

  52. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan December 17, 2010 at 2:14 pm |

    But you can bring your gun and carry it concealed anytime you like, doesn’t that make up for the loss of all other rights and your life?

    If I were that lady and carrying, and told I was required to “go down with the ship” as it were, I’d be pretty tempted to take some more people with me, or at least get the procedure at gunpoint. 9.9

    I wouldn’t actually do the former, but come on, seriously. It takes a pretty special religion to make me kiiiinda see holding a doctor hostage as legit self-defense. Nice job breaking it, Catholicism. :p

    (Also, just read a story about one of the rapist Irish priests this morning, so there’s another person for my if-I-were-the-kind-of-person-who-shot-people-I’d-shoot-that-guy list…)

  53. Athenia
    Athenia December 17, 2010 at 5:23 pm |

    Can we get an update on whether or not the Dean told the bishop to screw off?

  54. JustDucky
    JustDucky December 17, 2010 at 7:47 pm |

    Health Care?: That letter was chilling. Wickedness. He is so mired in ego that he can’t see pass the offense he feels by being disobeyed. I think this should be more of an encouragement for people to support naturopathy and self-healing and withdraw support from religious-based and government-based health care, supporting, instead, healers who are not run by such wickedness.  

    I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t have lived at all if she hadn’t gotten medical attention. Is the medical establishment flawed? Oh, hellzyeah it is. Most medical professionals will concede that. But saying that a religious egomaniac is a reason you shouldn’t access top notch medical care is essentially condemning all [fill in gender, religion, race, or other status] for the actions of one or two.

    Perpetua: However, the real blame here lies with the US Health care system, which allows religious organizations and individuals to “opt out” of providing certain care that they themselves oppose.When it should be – if you oppose providing care that is a) legal and b) medically indicated then YOU should opt out of health care.These “moral” exemptions by hospitals and pharmacies are clear violations of the human rights of patients.If the hospital had let that woman die, I hope all the doctors AND the bishop would have been brought up on charges of pre-meditated murder.Because that’s not just malpractice, it’s homicide.  

    I can’t agree with you more, here. To be an established medical facility, you should have to adhere to the same standards of care, regardless of the religious affiliation you claim. If I end up in a car accident and am unable to state my preference, I don’t want to end up carted off to a Catholic hospital and have a different outcome if I’d instead been carted off to a secular hospital.

    Gah, the rage.

  55. Calioak
    Calioak December 18, 2010 at 2:42 pm |

    This bishop is going to get CHW declared unCatholic or shut down. That poor medical director is bending over backwards to satisfy the legal requirement a hospital save patients lives the Catholic teaching that abortion is never morally acceptable, even to save the mother’s life. (Medical procedures besides abortion a that incidentally result in the death of a fetus are acceptable. For example cutting out a fallopian tube with an ectopic pregnancy in it is acceptable, but simply removing the embryo and leaving the mother’s fertility intact is not. If a pregnant woman has cancer performing an abortion and giving her chemo isn’t acceptable, but if a pregnant woman has uterine cancer doing a hysterectomy is acceptable.) Then, when the hospital doesn’t follow his rules, or gets it’s funding and license yanked for letting patients die he’ll cry religious freedom.
    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01046b.htm
    http://www.catholicapologetics.info/morality/abortion/abortion.htm

  56. RachelW
    RachelW December 19, 2010 at 12:51 pm |

    Ugh. I sincerely hope that if I ever have any sort of emergency, the closest hospital isn’t a Catholic one. I wonder how often their restrictions rub up against their charity care, forcing people to turn to them because they have no other financial options.

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  58. Matt
    Matt December 20, 2010 at 5:01 pm |

    You will find the bishop’s position at http://www.catholicsun.org/2010/phxdio-stjoes/Q-AND-A-ST-JOSEPH-HOSPITAL-FINAL.pdf — “Abortion is never permitted as an end or as a means. Abortion is always immoral since it constitutes the direct killing of an unborn child.”

  59. deiminohio
    deiminohio December 20, 2010 at 6:17 pm |

    I’m surprised to read this. I went to Catholic high school many years ago, and I thought that abortion was morally-permissible under these circumstances, because only one can live, but two will die if nothing is done, so the actual purpose of the abortion is not to kill the fetus, but to save the mother’s life.

    Failing that, I thought it was an acceptable practice to induce labor, allow the fetus to be delivered, and allow it to die a natural death.

    Does anyone here know enough Catholic moral theology to disabuse me of these notions?

  60. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig December 20, 2010 at 8:10 pm |

    It’d serve Bishop Olmstead right if every woman in the archdiocese went on strike from church. It’s stuff like this that makes me boggle at Catholic women: why do they stick with a church that has always chosen it’s teachings over their lives?

  61. DontMakeMeMad
    DontMakeMeMad December 21, 2010 at 12:26 am |

    I can’t understand why the Church would want an interest in a hospital.
    Are all Doctors not students of science?
    Are not medicines science based?
    Surely to seek out any treatment for *any* ailment, and so sabotage His plans for you, is to sin?
    Or are we to see it that He has made it possible for us to be saved, by allowing for medicines to exist and doctors to be skilled?
    Perhaps the Church means to have a “Hospital” where by they can provide *no* treatment, and so ensure that those under their ‘care’ are fulfilling His path – Rather than a Hospital which uses all it’s resources to save lives.

  62. deminohio
    deminohio December 21, 2010 at 7:13 am |

    This Olmstead sounds like the type that’ll get busted in a restroom
    stall with Larry Craig someday.

  63. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig December 21, 2010 at 7:04 pm |

    Dem-in-ohio: We can only hope. I’m sure he’s got something nasty in his closet. (Hello, Arizona press? If you’re not all owned by Fox, get off your asses and investigate this guy.)
    Bagelsan: Hah, I’m bringing a gun to my next appointment. Maybe then she’d drench that damn speculum in lube.

  64. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig December 21, 2010 at 7:05 pm |

    “She” being my doctor. If I had to go see a male doctor, I’d already be packing :D

  65. sly
    sly December 21, 2010 at 8:49 pm |

    deminohio: This Olmstead sounds like the type that’ll get busted in a restroom
    stall with Larry Craig someday.  

    OH HAI THERE. You seem to have gotten your homophobia in our feminism.

  66. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig December 22, 2010 at 1:45 am |

    Um, how was Dem-in-ohio’s comment homophobic? I might buy ‘hypocryphobic’ though.

  67. GallingGalla
    GallingGalla December 23, 2010 at 9:26 pm |

    Politicalguineapig: Um, how was Dem-in-ohio’s comment homophobic?I might buy ‘hypocryphobic’ though.  

    Because the implication that only a closeted gay man would be capable of such woman-hating is a slander against all gay men, and really against everyone who isn’t cis and hetero. Because of the implication that straight men are less likely to be capable of this level of hate then (closeted) gay men, which (1) is utter cowpie and (2) ignores the fact that many QUILTBAG (Queer/Questioning, Undecided, Intersex, Lesbian, Trans, Bisexual, Asexual, Gay) folk are closeted *because of homophobia* just like this.

  68. Thomas Thurman
    Thomas Thurman December 28, 2010 at 9:08 pm |

    DontMakeMeMad: I can’t understand why the Church would want an interest in a hospital.
    Are all Doctors not students of science?
    Are not medicines science based?

    Here is some advice; take it or leave it: Attacking a straw man doesn’t actually fix anything that’s wrong with the world, and only looks impressive to some of the people who agree with you.

    In this case, you are attacking a Roman church which opposes anything scientific. Such an organisation only exists in some people’s minds. The organisation which exists in real life has said many times over that it approves of the scientific method, it has said that it has no quarrel with science and apologised for persecution of scientists in the past, it has scientists on its staff, it sponsors several large universities whose science departments do actual research, and not on nonsense such as creationism. In short, you are attacking a straw man.

    (And no, I’m not a member of the Roman church, and I think this decision was immoral and stupid. But nevertheless, it’s foolish to attack straw men.)

  69. Antoinette Bonsignore
    Antoinette Bonsignore December 29, 2010 at 5:29 am |

    The control that the Catholic Church has over health policy in this country is shocking and continually alarming. The Catholic Bishops lobbied anti-choice Democrats to kill the health care law armed with the huge lie that the bill covered abortions — though they were not successful in killing the bill, they were successful in pushing the Obama administration into shoring up the Hyde Amendment; and when the Catholic nuns came out in favor of the health care law and stood up to the Bishops they were renounced by the Church — for deigning to challenge the male hierarchy – the nuns were even renounced by Congressman Stupak and Congressman Pitts as inconsequential nuisances — “we don’t take our marching orders from nuns” (read: women) — this is more of the same but only on a more frightening scale — these “hospitals” should be investigated if they have any policy in place that would permit doctors/nurses to let a pregnant woman die — how many women may have died in these “hospitals” under similar circumstances? This is a very scary scenario if you are pregnant and end up at a Catholic hospital in an emergency because it may be the closest hospital available to you or the ambulance service.

  70. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig January 1, 2011 at 4:34 pm |

    The best scenario is to bankrupt the Catholic Church in the US so they’ll have to close down the hospitals, boycott the hospitals, or encourage Catholic pro-choice doctors (if there are any) to form a coalition and start their own hospitals. Religion shouldn’t have any place in health care.

  71. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig January 1, 2011 at 4:35 pm |

    Or hope that some great big ugly skeletons get found in all the U.S. bishop’s closets.

  72. Just somebody who comments
    Just somebody who comments January 10, 2011 at 10:03 am |

    I know it would probably be a bad idea, but when I hear stories like that, a tiny part of me wants to ban all religious institutions and introduce state atheism.

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