Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Catholic ethics are all screwed up

Bishop Thomas Olmstead demoted Sister Mary McBride for not doing her job. She was supposed to represent the Catholic church in matters of medical ethics. More precisely, she was the liaison between the hospital ethics committee and physicians. She was supposed to stop all abortions. Instead, the doctors and hospital made the right decision when presented with an urgent case. A pregnant mother of four had pulmonary hypertension and was going to die. The doctors terminated her pregnancy in order to save her life. Yet Bishop Thomas Olmstead wanted McBride to enforce Catholic doctrine that calls for a ban on all abortions without regard for the details in the case. He did not care about the patient. This decision was not made from a position of Christ-like love. It was hate driven and a political calculation. The mother should have died to preserve the church’s position on abortion. The cause is more important that a single human life. The catholic church has a long history of sacrificing believers in the name of politics. 

Olmstead did not stop with a demotion. The hospital is a Catholic institution called St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix. Olmstead wanted the doctors to take a pledge saying they would never do another abortion. The doctors refused. You can read the whole story here.

What I don’t understand is the ethical math involved. To Catholics a living human who is the mother of 4 children is worth less than an unborn fetus in its 11th week of gestation. Not only that, but what Olmstead wanted to do would have resulted in the death of the mother and her fetus. How is that a win? Plus, sending the mother away to have the abortion at another facility would have simply resulted in the abortion taking place while increasing the risk to the mother. What Olmstead wanted was for the hospital to never perform an abortion, which is a wholly political position and therefore suspect. What gives Olmstead the right to make medical decisions for the doctors?

Catholics listen – you can be good without God and you can receive medical care without the Church being involved. Don’t let the Catholic church get in between you and your doctor. Don’t let Olmstead kill your mothers and daughters over a misguided and ethically corrupt position on abortion. You can make the right choice without Catholic interference. Rise up – cast Olmstead to the curb. He deserves it.

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