National Catholic Reporter:
'Mother and fetus were both in the process of dying
'Dec. 23, 2010
By Jerry Filteau
The controversial operation on an 11-week pregnant mother at a Phoenix hospital last year that caused the local bishop to excommunicate a Catholic woman religious and led him this week to declare the hospital no longer Catholic was not a direct abortion, according to a moral theologian called in to review the case. "
"The mother and fetus were both in the process of dying … It was not a matter of choosing one life or the other. The child's life, because of natural causes, was in the process of ending," wrote theologian M. Therese Lysaught in a 24-page analysis of the medical procedure performed by St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in November 2009."
"The only morally good thing that can be chosen here is to save the life of the mother,'" wrote Lysaught, who reviewed the case at the request of Catholic Healthcare West, a three-state system of mainly Catholic hospitals to which St. Joseph's belongs."
Bridget Mary's Reflection
Will Bishop Olmstead rescind his decision to strip St. Joseph of its "Catholic" identity and the automatic excommunication of Sr. Margaret McBride? Let's hope so! Otherwise, at risk is the moral credibility of the hierarchy. But, no matter what the bishop decides to do, the public can continue to trust St. Joseph's Hospital as a health care facility that is dedicated to the highest moral and ethical principles that the Catholic Church espouses.
However, this case raises a host of questions on a number of life and death issues.
Bridget Mary Meehan, RCWP