Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

January-25-13

Catholic Hospital Claims Fetuses Aren't People in Malpractice Defense

A Colorado Catholic hospital defended itself against a wrongful death suit by claiming that the hospital failed to perform an emergency c-section to save the lives of twin fetuses in court by arguing that fetuses are not people.

In 2006, Lori Stodghill was seven months pregnant with twins when she arrived at St. Thomas More Hospital in Canon City, Colorado, with what was later determined to be a heart attack. Emergency Room staff were unable to resuscitate Lori, and the obstetrician on call, who was also her primary obstetrician, did not answer their pages. The twin fetuses died in the womb. Jeremy Stoghill, Lori's husband, filed a wrongful death suit arguing the while a c-section might not have saved Lori, it could have saved the twin fetuses.

Catholic Health Initiatives, which manages the St. Thomas More Hospital, filed a brief that "Under Colorado law, a fetus is not a 'person' and plaintiff's claims for wrongful death must therefore be dismissed." The defense attorney for Catholic Health Initiatives Jason Langely, wrote in the brief that 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 Church is currently investigating whether the brief filed on behalf of Catholic Health Initiatives violates Catholic Doctrine. The Catholic Bishops of Colorado released a statement saying "Catholics and Catholic institutions have the duty to protect and foster human life, and to witness to the dignity of the human person - particularly to the dignity of the unborn. No Catholic institution may legitimately work to undermine fundamental human dignity. ... The Catholic bishops of Colorado are not able to comment on ongoing legal disputes. However, we will undertake a full review of this litigation, and of the policies and practices of Catholic Health Initiatives to ensure fidelity and faithful witness to the teachings of the Catholic Church."

Media Resources: Huffington Post 1/25/2013; USA Today 1/24/2013; Raw Story 1/24/2013; Colorado Independent 1/23/2013


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

1/27/2015 Marissa Alexander To Be Released from Prison - Marissa Alexander is expected to be released from prison today, where she spent the last three years of her life after firing a warning shot into the air to defend herself from her estranged and abusive husband. . . .
 
1/26/2015 Anti-Choice Extremists Target Abortion Clinic Director in Kansas - Anti-abortion extremists have taken to protesting outside the home of Julie Burkhart, the CEO and founder of the Trust Women Foundation and the Executive Director of the South Wind Women's Center. In the wake of the 42nd anniversary of Supreme Court decision Roe v. . . .
 
1/26/2015 Egyptian Court Sentences Doctor In Female Genital Mutilation Case - An Egyptian appeals court convicted and sentenced a doctor today for performing female genital mutilation (FGM) that lead to a 13-year-old girl's death. . . .