The Colorado Independent reported on a strange story yesterday involving a pregnant woman who lost her unborn children due to malpractice, and the calamity that followed when they confronted the Catholic hospital responsible for the death of her children. They reported:
Lori Stodghill was 31-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.The bad situation turned into a tragedy when the hospital didn't live up to its obligation to save the unborn children. That was just the beginning of Stodghill's problems though:
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.”
Yes, you read that right. The Catholic Church has been fighting tooth and nail for decades - four decades, to be exact - to overturn Roe w. Wade on the grounds that unborn children have the same rights as everyone else. They've gone so far as to lobby Congress to pass so-called "personhood" legislation to grant rights to fertilized embryos. At the first sign of having to take responsibility for that line of argumentation - when being held to their word - the Catholic Church suddenly wants to throw its hands in the air and hide behind existing law rather than hold true to their so-called beliefs.
This is nothing new though - conservatives are famous for caring about fetuses right up until they're born (at which point they're at the mercy of the world - no aid or health care for you!). This is just a natural extension of that backward thinking. Perhaps someone should let them know they can't have their cake and eat it too.
(h/t to DailyKos for linking to the original story)