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  #1    
Old January 24th, 2013, 07:09 PM
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Cathloic Health (A health group that prides itself on upholding the ideals of the Cathloic Church) has found itself at the center of a malpractice suit for the deaths of a woman and her two unborn children. Their defense against this? The unborn are not people, and have no rights.

Quote:
Lori Stodghill was 31-one years old, seven-months pregnant with twin boys and feeling sick when she arrived at St. Thomas More hospital in Cañon City on New Year’s Day 2006. She was vomiting and short of breath and she passed out as she was being wheeled into an examination room. Medical staff tried to resuscitate her but, as became clear only later, a main artery feeding her lungs was clogged and the clog led to a massive heart attack. Stodghill’s obstetrician, Dr. Pelham Staples, who also happened to be the obstetrician on call for emergencies that night, never answered a page. His patient died at the hospital less than an hour after she arrived and her twins died in her womb.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, Stodghill’s husband Jeremy, a prison guard, filed a wrongful-death lawsuit on behalf of himself and the couple’s then-two-year-old daughter Elizabeth. Staples should have made it to the hospital, his lawyers argued, or at least instructed the frantic emergency room staff to perform a caesarian-section. The procedure likely would not have saved the mother, a testifying expert said, but it may have saved the twins.

The lead defendant in the case is Catholic Health Initiatives, the Englewood-based nonprofit that runs St. Thomas More Hospital as well as roughly 170 other health facilities in 17 states. Last year, the hospital chain reported national assets of $15 billion. The organization’s mission, according to its promotional literature, is 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.”

The directives can complicate business deals for Catholic Health, as they can for other Catholic health care providers, partly by spurring political resistance. In 2011, the Kentucky attorney general and governor nixed a plan in which Catholic Health sought to merge with and ultimately gain control of publicly funded hospitals in Louisville. The officials were reacting to citizen concerns that access to reproductive and end-of-life services would be curtailed. According to The Denver Post, similar fears slowed the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth’s plan over the last few years to buy out Exempla Lutheran Medical Center and Exempla Good Samaritan Medical Center in the Denver metro area.

But when it came to mounting a defense in the Stodghill case, Catholic Health’s lawyers effectively turned the Church directives on their head. Catholic organizations have for decades fought to change federal and state laws that fail to protect “unborn persons,” and Catholic Health’s lawyers in this case had the chance to set precedent bolstering anti-abortion legal arguments. Instead, they are arguing state law protects doctors from liability concerning unborn fetuses on grounds that those fetuses are not persons with legal rights.

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 Catholic Health attorneys have so far won decisions from Fremont County District Court Judge David M. Thorson and now-retired Colorado Court of Appeals Judge Arthur Roy.

In September, the Stodghills’ Aspen-based attorney Beth Krulewitch working with Denver-based attorney Dan Gerash appealed the case to the state Supreme Court. In their petition they argued that Judges Thorson and Roy overlooked key facts and set bad legal precedent that would open loopholes in Colorado’s malpractice law, relieving doctors of responsibility to patients whose viable fetuses are at risk.

Whether the high court decides to take the case, kick it back down to the appellate court for a second review or accept the decisions as they stand, the details of the arguments the lawyers involved have already mounted will likely renew debate about Church health care directives and trigger sharp reaction from activists on both sides of the debate looking to underline the apparent hypocrisy of Catholic Health’s defense.

At press time, Colorado Health did not return messages seeking comment. The Stodghills’ attorneys declined to comment while the case was still being considered for appeal.

The Supreme Court is set to decide whether to take the case in the next few weeks.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/0...ef=mostpopular

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Last edited by Mr. X; January 24th, 2013 at 07:21 PM.
  #2    
Old January 24th, 2013, 07:50 PM
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This isn't a Church or Catholic thing, this a medical industry thing. Have you ever tried to take a doctor or medical institution to court? It is hard and expensive and you'll like lose. Fight all you want and relive the pain of a wrongly-lost loved one many times over, but the lawyers and medical college will be able to show that they are no liable.

And that's what they're doing here. Loophole or law, it fits.

They most certainly should have tried to save the children and I think it is horrible that she and the twins received no treatment and died. But it does not surprise me that a medical institution of any stripe (Catholic or not), would have lawyers on hand to essentially cover their ass.

Does not make it right, just not surprised. Probably happens everyday
  #3    
Old January 24th, 2013, 08:12 PM
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Well here's my WTF moment of the day.

They're two-faced hypocrites, imagine that.
  #4    
Old January 25th, 2013, 08:25 AM
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I'd be a little worried that a tragedy like this would end up becoming a backdoor to one of those personhood bills. Know what I mean? "Oh, what a tragic story. If only the law recognized the fetuses as people the family would have some closure." And so on.

To me the only issue here is about the on-call doctor. Was the hospital negligent because the doctor wasn't there, even though other medical staff were on hand? I'd also hate to think that the hospital would argue that because the woman didn't have any hope of surviving that it didn't matter that the doctor wasn't there.

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  #5    
Old January 25th, 2013, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRIFORCE89 View Post
This isn't a Church or Catholic thing, this a medical industry thing.
When they say that they will follow the directives of the Church, that it what they are to do.

However, given that this group follows Catholic directives, and the Church has yet to come out against this, then it leaves one to wonder... Perhaps this is what the Church really believes?
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  #6    
Old January 25th, 2013, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. X View Post
When they say that they will follow the directives of the Church, that it what they are to do.

However, given that this group follows Catholic directives, and the Church has yet to come out against this, then it leaves one to wonder... Perhaps this is what the Church really believes?
Not really - the Bible doesn't mention any of that, because they thought babies grew out of sperm like flowers or something.

It's more about following what God says to you - it's up to everyone by themselves to make a decision, honestly.

That's why Catholic Church official conferences take so long - the Bible is really ambiguous about most everything, because it had to be written and for (for the most part) uneducated nomads who didn't really care about stuff like abortion. For them, it was more of "get it out alive" and "have more than two children have themselves some children so our tribe can grow" than "oh no social responsibilities".

And there are pretty decent people of all religions in the majority - not many Muslims go "ALLAH" and blow themselves up, not many Christians hate gay people rubbing their parts together, and not many Catholics give less than a damn of what's right or wrong. It's more like the bouncer is harassing us and we can't see the awesome dance floor with pretty ladies and the general betterness of the club, completely unlike the dick of a bouncer that ruins our experience, even though he's probably the least important and memorable situation of the night.
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  #7    
Old January 26th, 2013, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. X View Post
When they say that they will follow the directives of the Church, that it what they are to do.

However, given that this group follows Catholic directives, and the Church has yet to come out against this, then it leaves one to wonder... Perhaps this is what the Church really believes?
I think you're looking too far into this.

They screwed up. And when faced with a lawsuit they legally covered their behinds.

It's wrong and they're hypocrites, but that's... about all I gather from this.

Their purpose is to follow Catholic directives, yes. But I don't think they are an extension of the Church organization. You could also imply that because there are people who are Catholic (and as such should be "following Catholic directives") who use birth control, then the Church endorses birth control. That wouldn't be so.
  #8    
Old January 31st, 2013, 09:56 PM
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This doesn't bother me. If foetuses (foeti?) aren't people this should mean we can advance in stem cell research.

Stem cells are good everyone knows. Abortions are another debate entirely.

EDIT:
I forgot about the part where they didn't bother trying to save the twins.
Obviously it would have been the right thing to attempt a caesarean and give them life rather than flat out deny them any chance.
Although technically it's not the surgeons problem so..
  #9    
Old February 17th, 2013, 03:07 PM
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I admit I am a bit opposed to abortion, but it's not for religious reasons at all. (I just happen to be Catholic - even if I was an atheist I'd still be pro-life). I think that abortion should only be given if absolutely necessary (like if the baby or the mother is in danger, or if the baby was conceived in a way it shouldn't - like if the mother was raped).

Actually, a lot of the people in the pro-choice movement are former Catholics. Margaret Sanger was one such person (though she went too far in the other direction with her racism and support for eugenics).
  #10    
Old March 9th, 2013, 03:54 PM
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What. The. ****. Hypocrites. What if it was their own unborn child? Would you call that a thing?
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