A Catholic hospital’s convenient hypocrisy

(Crossposted at DKos.)

Hey, remember last year’s fake right-wing outrage over Obamacare’s “threat to religious liberty”? How it would force health care institutions, such as Catholic hospitals and health plans, to provide services contrary to their beliefs? Such as birth control?

Well, the moral objections vanish when money’s at stake. Case in point: A Colorado man filed suit against a Catholic hospital chain after his pregnant wife died of a blood clot and the hospital didn’t try to save the seven-month-old twins she was carrying.

The husband did not contest his wife’s care, but filed a wrongful-death suit over the loss of the twins. He claimed they were viable and could have been delivered. The hospital chain’s defense?

There was no wrongful death, because seven-month-old fetuses are not persons.

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.”

The hospital chain won the case at trial and in the Colorado Appeals Court; the state Supreme Court is deciding whether to hear the case.

And the chain’s mission statement promises…

…to “nurture the healing ministry of the Church” and to be guided by “fidelity to the Gospel.” Toward those ends, Catholic Health facilities seek to follow the Ethical and Religious Directives of the Catholic Church authored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Those rules have stirred controversy for decades, mainly for forbidding non-natural birth control and abortions. “Catholic health care ministry witnesses to the sanctity of life ‘from the moment of conception until death,'” the directives state. “The Church’s defense of life encompasses the unborn.”

Yes, unless it’s financially inconvenient.

Good thing Colorado doesn’t have a “personhood” amendment, or the hospital would have been screwed.

F*cking hypocrites.  

3 thoughts on “A Catholic hospital’s convenient hypocrisy

  1. It’s very sad that Jeremy Stodghill has been bereft of his wife, Lori, and two potentially viable children-to-be due to the possible/probable negligence of hospital staff and the obstetrician who failed to receive/respond to a page in a timely manner.

    And what a case to further a “fetal personhood” law or amendment! Sympathy for his loss and outrage at the hospital’s hypocrisy might lead even pro-choice liberals to support such a measure in Colorado.


    Great cases like hard cases make bad law. For great cases are called great, not by reason of their importance … but because of some accident of immediate overwhelming interest which appeals to the feelings and distorts the judgment. ~ Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes  

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