Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Life Begins When? How much money is involved?

Ok, folks, the RCC is now toast.  Their teachings that life begins at conception have now been exposed as so much rubbish - IF it's going to cost the Church money in a lawsuit!

Turns out, when a man sues a Catholic hospital for malpractice because his wife and the twins she was carrying inside her died when she turned up in the emergency room and her doctor never bothered to answer a page—well, things get a little tricky. Yes, the Catholic hospital adheres to the strict Ethical and Religious Directives of the Catholic Church, as set forth by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. And yes, those directives include the claim that "[t]he Church's defense of life encompasses the unborn" and a mandate to uphold "the sanctity of life 'from the moment of conception until death.'" But come on. That obviously does not apply when Catholic Health Initiatives, the Church-affiliated organization that runs the Church-affiliated St. Thomas More Hospital where a young woman and her two unborn fetuses died, is the lead defendant in a lawsuit:
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.”

 So, if you EVER hear a Catholic say that the RCC Teaches that life begins at conception, now you know where to direct their attention to give that claim the lie!

If ever I have seen a more disgusting example of religious hypocrisy, this one is pretty doggone near the top of that list!

Robert Ahrens
The Cybernetic Atheist


Edd.Doerr said...

The Vatican did not declare personhood at conception until about 1869. The Protestant fundamentalists did not do so until after Roe v Wade in 1973, when they discovered that medieval misogyny had been shoved into the back seat.

In 1987 Americans for Religious Liberty put on a conference in Washington bringing together scientists, theologians and others to discuss the subject of when human personhood begins. The papers were published in 1989 in ARL's book Abortion Right and Fetal "Personhood". The scientific findings were presented to the Supreme Court in the 1989 case Webster v Reproductive Health Services in an amicus curiae hrief that I designed. The signers were 12 Nobel laureate biologists (including DNA co-discovderer Francis Crick) and 150 other distinguished scientists, including such notables as E.O. Wilson. In essence, the scientists pointed out that the functions associated with personhood, notably consciousness, are not possible until a level of cerebral cortex development some time after 28 to 32 weeks. About 90% of all abortions are performed by 13 weeks, and 99% by 20 weeks. Post-viability abortions are few and are performed only for serious health reasons. The brief and list of signers is in ARL's 1999 book Compulsory Pregnancy: The War Against American Women, by John Swomley (preface by Edd Doerr), published by Prometheus and available from ARL, Box 6656, Silver Spring, Md 20916 for $10 (includes shipping and handlng).

The Vatican and the fundies posit personhood at conception, but that has almost no historical support. The Bible (Gen. 1:27, 2:7) supports the view that personhood begins at birth and does not condemn abortion. The Vatican and the fundies oppose abortion because it liberates women from male domination.

The Repubs in state legislatures and Congress are dedicated to overturning Roe v Wade and/or making abortion less available or too expensive. The war for women's rights of conscience should unite humanists and mainstream Catholics, Protestants and Jews.

Edd Doerr, Presisent, ARL (

Edd.Doerr said...

The malpractice suit should still stand because of the death of the woman. Although the fetuses were not legally persons, they might have survived if the MD had shown up or the hospital had taken other action.