To Avoid Wrongful Death Lawsuit, Colorado Catholic Hospital Argues a Fetus Isn’t a Person

Malpractice suit being appealed to Colorado Supreme Court
US News • Views: 26,625

St. Thomas More Hospital, operated by Catholic Health Initiatives, argues its way out of a wrongful death lawsuit by claiming that fetuses are not people. The case is heading to the Colorado Supreme Court.

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.

And lest we think that this is merely some legal trick conjured by the lawyers, the client had to approve this defense from the outset.

There are other potential methods of defending a malpractice suit in this case, but the hospital chain, and the Church official at the hospital chain who were involved in the decision, agreed that they would go against the stated church doctrine on abortion and treating a fetus as a person.

In this case, it was the monetary interests of defending the hospital against a malpractice suit to bring out the hypocrisy of the church on this matter. It also presents a test case to show the limits of church doctrine as it relates to health policy, abortion, and the treatment of pregnant women.

Jump to top

Create a PageThis is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.
Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.
Last updated: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST
LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds Tweet

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!Register and sign in to a free LGF account before subscribing, and your ad-free access will be automatically enabled.

Donate with
PayPal
Square Cash Shop at amazon
as an LGF Associate!
Recent PagesClick to refresh
These Economists Say a $1 Trillion Deficit Is Just a Good Start - SFGate Jeff Stein, SFGate: These economists say a $1 trillion deficit is just a good start - SFGate To the deficit owls, America's red ink enables a great deal of good. For one, by allowing the government to spend at ...
Big Beautiful Door
15 hours, 20 minutes ago
Views: 101 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Who Is, or Was, the Greatest Martial Artist in History?I only got to the rank of 2nd degree black belt in Chinese & American Kenpo, so I am certainly no expert. I earned all my higher belts at American Karate Studios in Northeastern Ohio, and was a competitor on ...
Samuel Vargo
6 days, 21 hours ago
Views: 392 • Comments: 4 • Rating: 2
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
The Way We Regulate Self-Driving Cars Is Broken—here’s How to Fix It The key issue is this: the current system is built around an assumption that cars will be purchased and owned by customers. But the pioneers of the driverless world—including Waymo, Cruise, and Uber—are not planning to sell cars to ...
Thanos
1 week ago
Views: 404 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Android’s Trust Problem Isn’t Getting Better Android security is largely failing due to a smorgasbord of issues and lies. Published today, a two-year study of Android security updates has revealed a distressing gap between the software patches Android companies claim to have on their devices ...
Thanos
1 week, 1 day ago
Views: 675 • Comments: 3 • Rating: 2
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Tour of the Moon in 4K Take a virtual tour of the Moon in all-new 4K resolution, thanks to data provided by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft. As the visualization moves around the near side, far side, north and south poles, we highlight interesting features, ...
Thanos
1 week, 1 day ago
Views: 665 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 2
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Vermont Governor Signs Sweeping Gun Control Measures Vermont Gov. Phil Scott on Wednesday signed sweeping gun control measures -- including limits on the size of magazines -- that the Legislature passed last month after contentious debate. The measures:-- Raise the minimum age for gun buyers to ...
Thanos
1 week, 2 days ago
Views: 742 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0