According to a story by Barry Peterson of CBS News, back in November 2009, Bishop Thomas Olmstead of Phoenix started a battle between the Catholic church and the oldest hospital in the city, St Joseph's.
It all started when doctors admitted a 27-year-old woman into the hospital for severe pulmonary hypertension. The patient was also 11 weeks into a pregnancy. Additionally, the pregnancy exacerbated her condition, which in turn caused her heart to fail to the point where her life was in danger. With a patient in critical need of a life saving procedure, realistically the doctors had but one choice. However, in our society, the caustic reasoning of minds immersed in religious dogma made others consider the unthinkable.
"Modern medicine presented two equally grim options: Terminate the pregnancy and save the mother, or lose both mother and child."Equally as grim?!?!! Not a chance. Seriously, how can people think this way, much less write something as silly as that? In one hand you have a living, breathing human, and in the other there is a parasite with the potential to be a living, breathing human. Given these choices, one is never equivalent to the other. Period. Anyway, back to the story...
The doctors decided to consult the hospital's ethics review board (which for reasons beyond my rationale, included Sister Margaret Mary McBride) with the two choices they had at hand. Logically, the choice was clear and the ethics board granted the doctors permission to terminate the pregnancy. Great! My faith in mankind had been restored. Or so I thought.
Once Bishop Olmstead got wind of the abortion, he came to the audacious conclusion that the physicians and the board:
"... had not addressed in an adequate manner the scandal caused by the abortion."That's right. With a background in priesthood, not medicine, the Bishop decided in hindsight that the doctors didn't make the correct decision - having never looked at a chart himself. In Bishop Olmstead's untrained eyes:
"The child was not, nor was the uterus - infected, or there was nothing wrong with that. So, what was directly intended was to kill the unborn child."What? Does he honestly believe that the minute the patient received her diagnosis, the mad-sciency physicians set out to kill that fetus? It's mind boggling.
After reaching his sick, twisted conclusion, Bishop Olmstead decided he should swing his religious dick around the city of Phoenix by declaring:
"St. Joseph's Hospital is no longer Catholic."
And of course, Olmstead promptly excommunicated Sister McBride. So much for my faith in humanity.
First of all, there is no rational reason that a medical ethics committee should include a nun. Unless of course, the nun is a physician. Second, my hats off to Sister McBride for making the obvious choice in this situation given how controversial this medical procedure has become within the Catholic church. (They even have bumper stickers.)
In the roughly two years since the incident, Sister McBride's excommunication has been lifted. And even in the face of such flagrant misogyny, she continues to stay with the Catholic church. I don't know whether to be proud of her resolve or utterly depressed at her mental subjugation.
Hopefully, it's obvious to most people that the Catholic Church doesn't value a woman's life beyond her ability to give birth, nor do they truly value life outside of the womb. And judging by their reaction toward molested boys and their tendency to harbor pedophiles, they do not value their own moral code.
Since this is the path that religion has chosen, I think I'd rather save my children from it.