Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Catholics Divided

Have you heard of the decision made by Bishop Thomas Olmstead from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix regarding St. Joseph Catholic Hospital?  He is at the center of an abortion decision that led to St. Joseph's Hospital's Catholic identity being revoked and a nun being ex-communicated from the Catholic Church.

Here's the background of what happened even though I do not believe all of the details have been disclosed to the public.

A woman with a history of pulmonary hypertension sought treatment at the hospital when she was 11 weeks pregnant. The condition, which affects the heart and lungs, is often fatal for pregnant woman. While at St. Joseph’s, the woman’s condition worsened to the point that doctors described her as “moribund” which means dying or nearly dead.  Sister Margaret McBride made the decision to terminate the pregnancy.  This decision resulted in Bishop Olmsted excommunicating her from the church as well as revoking the Catholic identity of the hospital.  This has produced an outcry and a very heated debate whether the abortion was justified or not.  http://reform-network.net/?p=8146

I wasn't there in the emergency room when she went in... I have no idea of the patient's medical history with the exception that this was her 5th pregnancy and the baby was 11 weeks along....I am not a doctor or a nurse and yet,  I'm guessing this tragic story is probably not unique. 

A life was taken before it really had a chance.  Was it necessary?  Could terminating a healthy fetus save the mother?  Did the doctors do everything they could before coming to that decision? 
But I have to be honest, I am pro-life and it feels wrong.  Like I said, I wasn't there nor am I trained in the medical field, but I am a bit cynical in our litigious society.  Did this factor in?

Only God knows the answer to these questions.  What I do know is that this mother has lost her baby and St. Joseph's Hospital is in an uproar, Bishop Olmsted is under fire, and Sister Margaret McBride has paid the price of this decision. 

The only thing I can do is to pray for all involved in this heart-wrenching story.