Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Interesting: turns out, for the Catholic church, fetal personhood ends on the way to the bank. Maybe you've already heard: In a response to a wrongful death lawsuit against a Catholic hospital, wherein doctors failed to attempt to save the twin pregnancies of a woman who'd arrived in their ER with a massive heart attack, the church is defending itself on the grounds that the "twins were fetuses, and not people."

The hospital's defense, so far successful, is to claim that because the twins were fetuses and not people, this can't legally be viewed as a wrongful-death situation. 
Of course, the problem is that the hospital is run by Catholic Health Initiatives—Catholic, as in that religion whose leadership routinely claims that not only are fetuses people, but so are embryos, zygotes, and fertilized eggs. That claim is used to turn women into sacrificial lambs for the faith, denying them not just elective abortions but telling them that it's not OK to terminate pregnancies where there's no chance of producing a live baby. Women who go to Catholic hospitals in these situations have been denied procedures to save their fertility or even their lives. But, as this lawsuit shows, the passionate belief that anything post-fertilization is a "person" evaporates the second it stops being useful as a way to oppress women (and the second it starts possibly costing the Catholic hospital money).
Yikes. So much for morality and absolutism. Not when money is involved, anyway. But it's part and parcel of the whole debate: easier to tell other people how to behave than to behave that way yourself. It's useful to know that as the Church imposes its moral rhetoric on everyone else, it couldn't give less of a shit about it if it might cost them pieces of silver. I find it enlightening. And startling, matter of fact.

[Image source]


TomInOrlando said...

Malpractice Insurance, I'm sure dictates that the insured avail themselves of all that is available legally. In Colorado, so I read, a person is defined as one who is born live. Should the hospital not use this defense, I'm sure their insurance wouldn't pay a dime. Still, doesn't excuse the fail to stand on principle. I'm a Catholic by the way.

Sid Schwab said...

You could be right, Tom. I don't recall such requirements in any malpractice insurance I've carried; in fact, I've always had the right to demand a case go to trial when the insurer wanted to settle. (They'd rather pay a few thousand and besmirch the doctor's record than spend the money to fight when the doc knows he's right.) Don't know if it works the other way around.

Anonymous said...

There's this politician in New Mexico that says fetuses aren't human; no, they're "Evidence!"

First she said that a raped woman who got an abortion was guilty of destroying evidence.

After she was gang banged on the internet, she now says that abortion providers should be guilty of "Facilitating the Destruction of Evidence."

Oh! Well!! That's entirely different!


New Mexico lawmaker resurrects bill making abortion after rape a felony



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