Clergy are not doctors

Need some help with this article a friend posted on FaceBook. He’s catholic, and I was trying to say that posting it causes scandal because it’s contrary to the sanctity of life, and he wanted to know what about it was contrary to catholic teaching

salon.com/2013/02/07/clergy_are_not_doctors_and_the_u_s_has_its_own_savita_halappanavars/

What is wrong with it is that is supports abortion…unless I am misinterpreting it, which I think not.
The tone of the article is that the ethics committee in Catholic hospitals have priests over-riding the opinions of Medical Doctors, and horrors of horrors, a Nun was excommunicated (in red letters) because she took part in an abortion!
Get serious- a Catholic promulgating such an article? and not causing scandal?- where was this guy catachized? In an Episcopal Church???
As my sainted grandmother used to say: “Fech”!!!

wow… lots of problems with this article, beginning with the very first sentence!

The death of Savita Halappanavar — the woman who died of sepsis in Ireland after being denied her request for termination of a nonviable pregnancy

I haven’t followed this story beyond the first few weeks after it broke, but, as far as I know: there are two immediate issues here: first, it’s unclear that she asked for a termination, based on the interviews her husband provided (and when I stopped following the story, the hospital was still in the midst of their internal investigation – has it been concluded and released publicly?). Second, the way the sentence is worded, it attempts to imply that Halappanavar died of sepsis because a termination wasn’t performed; that’s just plain wrong. The doctors had performed tests whose results weren’t returned until after sepsis was diagnosed: in other words, even if she had asked for and been granted a termination, it’s not clear that sepsis would have been prevented, or even diagnosed earlier.

(And that’s just the first sentence of the article! ;))

the ethics committee decided that a uterine evacuation was tantamount to abortion, because there was a slim chance one of the fetuses would survive.

In other words, not all that was feasible had been done in order to preserve the life of one of her babies. And the Catholic Church is at fault because Catholic hospitals attempt to save babies’ lives?

According to another doctor who witnessed the situation, “The clergy who made the decision Googled molar pregnancy.”

This identifies a failure on the part of the doctors, not the clergy. The ethics committee’s mandate is to take the input of the doctors, apply Catholic teaching, and reach a decision. If the ethics committee “Googled molar pregnancy”, this means that they were looking for medical information, not information about Catholic ethics. In other words, the information provided by the doctors, not the ethicists, was deficient.

The woman was transferred out, Freedman wrote in a recent study published in the American Journal of Bioethics Primary Research, “despite the fact that terminating a bleeding molar pregnancy is safer in the hospital setting due to a high risk of hemorrhage.”

Two issues: the woman was transferred out – from the Catholic hospital; but not, necessarily, from any hospital. If a hospital exists that desires to terminate a molar pregnancy, there’s nothing stopping the patient from transferring into that hospital. If the transfer was from a Catholic hospital to a non-hospital facility, why is that the fault of the Catholic hospital? Shouldn’t the patient, having been advised that the Catholic hospital cannot perform an abortion, be able to get into a hospital that performs abortions? Why require the Catholic hospital to send her to her abortion? That makes no sense.

Secondly, the issue presented here is the relative safety of performing an abortion. The Catholic hospital would not perform an abortion in any case; why are we castigating the Catholic hospital for not performing a procedure that all know it will not perform? Silliness…

“You let people get sicker when you have something to stop them getting sicker — that’s antithetical to what we do in medicine,” said Anne Davis

The “something to stop them getting sicker”, of course, is killing their unborn child. Hardly a fair statement.

The situation was too dire for her to be moved, and a nun agreed that the termination the patient wanted was necessary.

No… the ethics committee determined that it was not a termination; rather, they argued, the principle of double effect meant that the procedure was meant to save the mother’s life – and therefore, was not a termination. (As it turned out, the archdiocese disagreed. However, the ethics committee, as well as Sister McBride, never attempted an abortion, according to their reasoning.)

In 2007, Dr. Ramesh Raghavan wrote in the Journal of American Medicine about a case where a woman 21 weeks pregnant with twins learned they were nonviable and uterine infection was inevitable. The woman and her husband requested induction of labor, but the hospital refused on religious grounds; they were able to transfer to another hospital, where she gave birth to two stillborns.

Soooo… according to the linked article, one twin was not viable, while the other had a chance of viability. The parents decided on an elective abortion – they decided they’d rather not attempt to save their baby… at a Catholic hospital. So, the Catholic hospital is at fault for not providing an elective abortion? The Catholic hospital is to blame because the hospital that was willing to abort the babies was successful? Puh-leeze…! :rolleyes:

Yes I know, how dare a hospital have an ethics committee!

I like that, thanks!

The author’s conclusion appears to be that since morality is irrelevant, just trust the medical doctors to do what is best and get the church out of the health care business.

Follow THAT down the path of consequences… Organs for sale! Get your clean, new, healthy organs here! Step right up!

The author can keep his hospitals purged of morality. I’ll take mine catholic, please.

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