I’m a television producer currently doing some research for a series about religion and moral philosophy for Channel 4, one of the UK’s main public service broadcasters.
One of the areas we’re interested in looking at is to what extent modern medicine conflicts with the sanctity of life for those of the Catholic faith. Even though the ambition of medicine is to cure and prolong life, it can also result in having to make very difficult choices that we have never had to make before in human history.
Taking childbearing as an example, historically a woman would fall pregnant and allow nature to take its course. However, medical science is now able to offer tests and scans that can predict a negative health outcome for the mother and / or unborn child.
I have heard a number of anecdotal stories of pregnant women being told that their health would be gravely threatened by continuing with the pregnancy. These women faced death in order to give life.
I’m interested in whether this is an issue for Catholic women / families in particular, because of the Catholic teaching about the sanctity of life.
I’m terribly sorry to have to ask this as I understand how painful it must be, but do any of you have personal experience of this? Have you been advised by doctors to terminate a pregnancy because it may endanger your life / your wife’s life?
I’d be very interested in talking to anyone who may be facing this issue at the moment, or who may be willing to share a past experience of it with me.
Equally, please do let me know if there are any other areas of medicine in which this conflict between medicine and the sanctity of life arises.
Getting in touch will in no way commit you to taking part in the series and anything you tell me will be treated with the utmost confidence.
For your information, I have considerable experience of working with people affected by very sensitive subjects such as family separation, domestic abuse and bereavement, and I take the duty of care for contributors extremely seriously.
If you are able to help, please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
With thanks and best wishes,