I feel that it cannot be justified by the principle of double effect because ether good effect is achieved as result of bad effect. A uterus which cannot bear a pregnancy is not a threat to mother unless she becomes pregnant. Here pregnancy is prevented removing the uterus, which is the bad effect, to save mother from the consequences of pregnancy, which is the good effect. Again, the principle of totality cannot justify their answer. So this act seems to be a mutilation. Can anyone explain this answer to me?
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
on the liceity of a hysterectomy in certain cases
Question : When is it possible to become irreversibly in such a state that it is not longer suitable for procreation and medical experts have reached the possibility of becoming pregnant , is it licit to remove it ( hysterectomy )?
Response : Yes, because it does not regard sterilization.
The question comes from the first case, recently submitted to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which constitutes a negative issue on July 31, 1993. it would be spontaneously interrupted before the fetus arrives at a state of viability. This is not a question of difficulty, or of risks of greater or lesser importance, but of a couple for which it is not possible to procreate.
The precise object of sterilization is to impede the functioning of the reproductive organs, and the malice of sterilization Consists in the refusal of children: it is an act against the bonum prolis . They are not known to be able to fulfill their natural procreative function. The birth of a fetus is not biologically possible. Therefore, we are not dealing with a defective, or risky, functioning of the reproductive organs, but we are dealing with a situation in which the natural
As a procreation, as we find ourselves within an objective context in which neither procreation, nor as a consequence, an anti-procreative action, are possible. It can be used as direct sterilization, which is and remains intrinsically illicit as an end and as a means.
The problem of the disease could be, or could not, continue on the state of viability is a medical question. From the moral point of view, one must ask if the highest degree of certainty that can be reached, and in this sense the response is valid for the question, as it has been proposed in good faith.
Furthermore, the decision to undergo a hysterectomy is always the best one, but that only in the above-mentioned conditions is such as a decision morally licit, without, therefore, excluding other options (for example, recourse to infertile periods or total abstinence). It is the decision of the spouses, with the path to follow, and the general criterion of the medical intervention.
The Sovereign Pontiff Francis, in the Audience granted to the undersigned, has approved the above response and ordered its publication.
Rome, from the Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, December 10, 2018.
Luis F. Card. Ladaria, SI