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  1. #1
    Ultimate Carrie Fan clh_hilary's Avatar
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    Post Catholic Hospital Argues Fetuses Are Not People In Malpractice Suit

    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...n_2534383.html

    So Catholics are now pro-choice!!!

  • #2
    Carrie Guru pklongbeach's Avatar
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    What a terrible tragedy. And why must the husband make it worse for himself and his daughter by fighting for something that can never be undone.
    How sad.
    Sue Sue Sue!!
    "I stubbed my toe" I am suing both the manufacturer for not making it clearer to me that this was a potencial danger, but also the builders of my home for making that path to the restroom too narrow!!!
    (I wish schroidnger was here to tell me my chances)

  • #3
    Insane Carrie Fan carebear4eva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pklongbeach View Post
    What a terrible tragedy. And why must the husband make it worse for himself and his daughter by fighting for something that can never be undone.
    How sad.
    Sue Sue Sue!!
    "I stubbed my toe" I am suing both the manufacturer for not making it clearer to me that this was a potencial danger, but also the builders of my home for making that path to the restroom too narrow!!!
    (I wish schroidnger was here to tell me my chances)
    I cannot even slightly agree with this. If something like this were to happen to my mother, I'd sue the hospital until it had to sell the paint off its walls.

  • #4
    Carrie Guru pklongbeach's Avatar
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    I don't mean to seem insensitive.
    Is there something I am missing?
    How is this actually anyones fault?
    I don't agree with their stand switiching to meet their needs.
    but suing for something like this? I guess I'm confused.
    Set me straight.

  • #5
    Insane Carrie Fan carebear4eva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pklongbeach View Post
    I don't mean to seem insensitive.
    Is there something I am missing?
    How is this actually anyones fault?
    I don't agree with their stand switiching to meet their needs.
    but suing for something like this? I guess I'm confused.
    Set me straight.
    Screw the stand of Catholic hospitals in general; I couldn't care less.

    The fact is that this doctor was the on-call doctor that night. It was his legal and moral duty to be available at any moment to rush like a maniac to the hospital in order to avoid a tragedy like this. Where was he? A father might have two new-born twins in front of him if he had been responsible and answered his page. Questions regarding the POSSIBILITY OF saving his wife/children are irrelevant : He ought to have been there. The end.

  • #6
    Carrie Guru pklongbeach's Avatar
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    True that. but, I am not sure we know the story well enough to know "where he was" though.

  • #7
    Ultimate Carrie Fan bigbluegrl23's Avatar
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    what a bunch of ****ing hypocrites...
    Becca

  • #8
    Ultimate Carrie Fan
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    Quote Originally Posted by carebear4eva View Post
    Screw the stand of Catholic hospitals in general; I couldn't care less.

    The fact is that this doctor was the on-call doctor that night. It was his legal and moral duty to be available at any moment to rush like a maniac to the hospital in order to avoid a tragedy like this. Where was he? A father might have two new-born twins in front of him if he had been responsible and answered his page. Questions regarding the POSSIBILITY OF saving his wife/children are irrelevant : He ought to have been there. The end.
    I agree with especially the bolded part. I think it is also the doctor professional duty (per their oath) to be there and do all he can to save life. For some hospitals, doctors on call need to be within a certain amount of minutes of the hospital when on call.

    Quote Originally Posted by bigbluegrl23 View Post
    what a bunch of ****ing hypocrites...
    Becca
    Possible, but I would separate what Catholics believe and what lawyers do within the law. The law as it stands is the law, and that is what this land goes by, whether we like it or not. So, any lawyer, include the ones representing this Catholic hospital, needs to abide by the law. Now, they are hypocrites in that they are using a law to their advantage despite not agreeing with it (ref. Psalm 139:13).

  • #9
    Ultimate Carrie Fan clh_hilary's Avatar
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    Further shows that Church and religion are not sources and/or representatives of morality.


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