Lori Stodghill was 31-years old, seven-months pregnant with twin boys and feeling sick when she arrived at St. Thomas More hospital in Cañon City on New Year’s Day 2006. She was vomiting and short of breath and she passed out as she was being wheeled into an examination room. Medical staff tried to resuscitate her but, as became clear only later, a main artery feeding her lungs was clogged and the clog led to a massive heart attack. Stodghill’s obstetrician, Dr. Pelham Staples, who also happened to be the obstetrician on call for emergencies that night, never answered a page. His patient died at the hospital less than an hour after she arrived and her twins died in her womb.
In the aftermath of the tragedy, Stodghill’s husband Jeremy, a prison guard, filed a wrongful-death lawsuit (against Catholic Health Initiatives) on behalf of himself and the couple’s then-two-year-old daughter Elizabeth. Staples should have made it to the hospital, his lawyers argued, or at least instructed the frantic emergency room staff to perform a caesarian-section. The procedure likely would not have saved the mother, a testifying expert said, but it may have saved the twins.
(W)hen it came to mounting a defense in the Stodghill case, Catholic Health’s lawyers effectively turned the Church directives on their head. Catholic organizations have for decades fought to change federal and state laws that fail to protect “unborn persons,” and Catholic Health’s lawyers in this case had the chance to set precedent bolstering anti-abortion legal arguments. Instead, they are arguing state law protects doctors from liability concerning unborn fetuses on grounds that those fetuses are not persons with legal rights. (source)
Read the whole article, and while it seems ironic, I have to agree with the Catholic Church on this one. They *should* be tried based on what the law currently is, not on what the Church wishes it was..
And, as a bonus point, if the court rules in their favour in this case, the furor might get the law changed to more closely align with the Catholic Churches beliefs....
If I was REALLY cynical, I'd say their initial negligence was all part of a plot to accomplish just such an end, but I am not. But, I think someone will make that claim, at some point....
But the Catholic Church makes such a big deal of valuing the lives of the unborn, and here they effectively abort two babies. I'm not sure why the doctor didn't answer his page. Maybe he was in a poor reception area and the whole thing is a "shit happens" situation—a case with no merit—but it's just a sad spectacle to see the church arguing essentially "Well, we do regard fetuses as persons under all other circumstances, but if it gets us off the legal hook, we'll be hypocrites. I just wonder if they're just trying to save themselves from having to pay damages without taking a look at the bigger picture.
I really think it's more along the lines of, "well, accidents happen, but if you refuse to do as we say, and give them person status, you sure as hell can't just ignore your own law just to grief us for an accident," or something like that, I suspect.
And they'd be right on this one I suspect, legally, and morally.
Whether it was an accident or not, and what the cause was, I have no clue. Fact remains, if the law defines the fetus in this circumstance as not yet a person, you can't just ignore the law because the defendant is a Catholic institution.
If we want them to play by the rule of law and not the rule of the pope, we can can't just reverse course whenever we feel like it might stick it to them more.
they can say "accidents happen" but in the same breath say stupid things like "Everything happens for a reason" That is not only ridiculous it's mean!