Every sperm is sacred.....unless.....

LarryC wrote:

I'm pointing out the double standard. The Church wasn't advocating for a change to the Wrongful Death Act, and even if they did, nothing they've said is contradictory. People find it so because they WANT to find it so, conveniently obscuring details and overlooking actual law and statements issued. You don't need to look far for the contradiction in that bit of Democrat action. It's self-enclosed. I don't see why this is pathetic, or why this is a "defense" of the Catholic Church.

The sex scandal coverups? Yeah, those were bad. You won't find me saying anything otherwise. This? It's not. It's just another incident that people who have axes to grind want to misrepresent so they can do their hatchet jobs.

As noted, in terms of fetal rights, it's hypocritical, but from a women's rights perspective, it's easily argued as not so much as it's consistent there with giving women the power/protection to live their lives as they see fit. There is no angle to look at the chuch's fetal rights position in light of this case and their stance in it that doesn't come off as hypocritical (they have spent the last however many years fighting abortion saying it is murder, and then when they are assigned the blame for two fetal deaths, they say fetuses aren't people).

Raising this as a point that, hey this other group is being hypocritical on the same issue. That is what I don't like. "Everyone does it" is just not a great debate response anyway, but this becomes less so when taken in contrast to the original story, as the two really don't match up (the Democrats proposed law and position on abortion can both at least be viewed as logically consistent for women's rights).

Demosthenes:

As noted, in terms of fetal rights, it's hypocritical, but from a women's rights perspective, it's easily argued as not so much as it's consistent there with giving women the power/protection to live their lives as they see fit. There is no angle to look at the chuch's fetal rights position in light of this case and their stance in it that doesn't come off as hypocritical (they have spent the last however many years fighting abortion saying it is murder, and then when they are assigned the blame for two fetal deaths, they say fetuses aren't people).

I actually offered several points of view wherein what they said and how they acted were completely consistent. In fact, how the case has turned out so far has borne out several of these POVs. I can lead the horse to water, you know? I can't make people consider what I say, even when I say them.

If you (in general, not you specifically) can adjust your angle to make out the Democrat position to not be blatantly hypocritical, then you at least owe the Catholic Church the same benefit of the doubt, or you become subject to your own criticism.

Raising this as a point that, hey this other group is being hypocritical on the same issue. That is what I don't like. "Everyone does it" is just not a great debate response anyway, but this becomes less so when taken in contrast to the original story, as the two really don't match up (the Democrats proposed law and position on abortion can both at least be viewed as logically consistent for women's rights).

Tradition and practice is, in fact, an excellent response to any criticism. Indeed, it's codified in health care as "Standard of Care," which simply means, "This is what everyone is supposed to do and does do," for short. If you meet that, then you can't be found guilty of negligence and malpractice. "Everyone does it," is how we establish norms of behavior and expectation. Another way to put it is, "You're applying a double standard."

Larry:

You have certainly given us arguments on how saying "fetuses are people" and then "fetuses are not people" are, in theory, logically consistent. I have read those... and I don't accept them. I don't see how saying one thing and then its opposite depending on the scenario means you have only one position. I just don't.

In the case of the Democrats positions you offered, I showed you a very simple explanation of how those two positions can be logically consistent for one group of people: women's rights activists.

Arguing that my position was rejecting tradition... so not what I was going for. I don't like arguments of "we should accept these bad things because look at what other bad things people have done in the name of hypocrisy".

But, getting into your response there... We do things this way because that's the way their done is intrinsically circular. What is the justification for doing things the way they've always been done or are lately being done. That's what's important. Given this hospital rejection of standard of care by wanting to avoid abortions, birth control, etc... to align with the Catholic church, can they really even make a standard of care argument when they don't want to provide that in other areas?

The Majority of Fetal Homicide provisions, I am aware of, hinge on viability of the fetus. Viability, going back to Roe v Wade is the hinging term. By and large viability is defined as in the 3rd trimester.

We are also getting into the common law notion there as well (and Roman Civil Law...but I am an American and not a Roman). Going back centuries, arguable over 1,000 years the assault or killing of a visibly pregnant woman could carry additional penalties. At common law it would have been at "quickening" or when the fetus begins to kick and move.

You have certainly given us arguments on how saying "fetuses are people" and then "fetuses are not people" are, in theory, logically consistent. I have read those... and I don't accept them. I don't see how saying one thing and then its opposite depending on the scenario means you have only one position. I just don't.

In the case of the Democrats positions you offered, I showed you a very simple explanation of how those two positions can be logically consistent for one group of people: women's rights activists.

Arguing that my position was rejecting tradition... so not what I was going for. I don't like arguments of "we should accept these bad things because look at what other bad things people have done in the name of hypocrisy".

That's exactly what I mean. You accept one, but not the other, for reasons you deign to state. Others have reasons I'm already aware of, not relating to how consistent the Church actually is. They want to find fault, and so they do.

If you must have a pithy one-liner to explain one of the POV's I've mentioned here it is: separation of Church and State. The longer explanation is posted earlier in the thread.

But, getting into your response there... We do things this way because that's the way their done is intrinsically circular. What is the justification for doing things the way they've always been done or are lately being done. That's what's important.

It's not circular. "We do things because X," is a policy discussion, fit for when you establish Standard of Care or similar traditions. That's not the context of "Everyone is doing it anyway." The latter statement is a referral to an established tradition or norm. "We do things because that's the way it's done," is similar to "We will give you X money for your totaled car because that's what we agreed upon according to local practice guidelines," which is in no way circular.

Given this hospital rejection of standard of care by wanting to avoid abortions, birth control, etc... to align with the Catholic church, can they really even make a standard of care argument when they don't want to provide that in other areas?

I'm not sure what SoC is in Colorado, so I'm not the best judge of that. In JCI, I don't think providers are coerced to provide these services unless there are no other providers present that they can refer the case to, and even then there are caveats. SoC is not just what you personally think is right. It's an actual document with actual real articles on it.

Personally, I don't accept it because it reminds me of trying to create those elaborate solar models where the sun revolved around the Earth instead of the Earth revolving around the sun. Yes, they both arrive at the same conclusion for an observer on the Earth, but one is much simpler. Yes, they could have this very complex idea of fetal rights in the Catholic Church that explains why they picket abortion clinics, but are willing to say fetuses aren't people when it costs them money. Or... greed. One word versus several dozen? Guess which one my mind leaps to as making far more sense... especially in the wake of a lot of other abuses in this area by the Catholic Church? (Indulgences alone come to mind as a pretty good twisting of faith to make money.)

But, that's really all I have to say on this. The Catholic Church was wrong, that's why they've come out and said as much. *shrugs*

The church has said it was morally wrong and that the argument made by the attorneys was indeed in conflict with its moral code. It is also well within its rights to define its own moral code. None of that says anything about the law or creating legal precedent. It's referring to the church's assumed obligation to speak as a moral authority for itself and its members.

We can mentally masturbate to this all we want, but that's what happened.

So, the defense for the Catholic Church for immoral behavior is "everyone does it?" Really?

How does any single brain hold that much cognitive dissonance without exploding?

Malor wrote:

So, the defense for the Catholic Church for immoral behavior is "everyone does it?" Really?

How does any single brain hold that much cognitive dissonance without exploding?

I think that is one of the mysteries of faith just before the Homily.

Salon: Clergy are not doctors — and the U.S. has its own Savita Halappanavars

This is a pretty good read on the conflict between doctors and ethics committees at Catholic hospitals in the U.S.

John Ehrich, the medical ethics director for the Diocese of Phoenix, told NPR at the time. “There are some situations where the mother may in fact die along with her child. But — and this is the Catholic perspective — you can’t do evil to bring about good. The end does not justify the means.”

I'd just like to clarify that John Ehrich is not the Pope, even when he says he is. I'm not going to say that our CBCP (Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines) is any better than the USCCB, but at least they don't excommunicate us when we save people from death.

LarryC wrote:
John Ehrich, the medical ethics director for the Diocese of Phoenix, told NPR at the time. “There are some situations where the mother may in fact die along with her child. But — and this is the Catholic perspective — you can’t do evil to bring about good. The end does not justify the means.”

I'd just like to clarify that John Ehrich is not the Pope, even when he says he is. I'm not going to say that our CBCP (Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines) is any better than the USCCB, but at least they don't excommunicate us when we save people from death.

Anyone getting or performing an abortion for any reason is automatically excommunicated per Canon 1398.

Not for any reason. If the termination of the pregnancy is incidental, then it doesn't fall under that canon law. Moreover, I have never heard of this law applying to ectopic pregnancies, which are routinely terminated in every Catholic hospital I've served in based on its extreme non-viability (that's a reason, isn't it?) coupled with its deadly threat to the mother's life.

It's not like we haven't consulted priests on this issue. They've always deferred to our medical expertise where applicable. If they didn't, doctors would probably self-excommunicate en masse due to things like medical ethics and standard of care. Maybe the USCCB would have been as harsh if we were unfortunate enough to live under their apostolate.

I'll say this. The moment the Vatican excommunicates every doctor on the planet for performing their profession ethically, I'll probably be in that population (and consequently effectively no longer Catholic).

LarryC wrote:

Not for any reason. If the termination of the pregnancy is incidental, then it doesn't fall under that canon law. Moreover, I have never heard of this law applying to ectopic pregnancies, which are routinely terminated in every Catholic hospital I've served in based on its extreme non-viability (that's a reason, isn't it?) coupled with its deadly threat to the mother's life.

It's not like we haven't consulted priests on this issue. They've always deferred to our medical expertise where applicable. If they didn't, doctors would probably self-excommunicate en masse. Maybe the USCCB would have been as harsh if we were unfortunate enough to live under their apostolate.

That is not obtaining or performing an abortion though. That's obtaining or performing some other procedure that has abortion as a secondary effect.

I mentioned ectopic pregnancy. The treatment for it is to terminate the pregnancy. Like, there's no way to re-implant the embryo or fetus, and there's no other known way to handle the situation other than to just let both the mother and baby (fetus/embryo if you prefer) die, which is the expected outcome. I've never known this to be an issue. Apparently it is for American Catholics, which is just crazy.

Catholic hospital ethics committees in the US won't even allow for double effect, which is officially vetted by the Vatican. From the article Hypatian posted:

Take one case detailed to medical sociologist Lori Freedman by the doctor involved. A woman 16 weeks pregnant with twins was diagnosed with a molar pregnancy, which can lead to cancer, and “didn’t want to carry the pregnancy further.” She went to the hospital with vaginal bleeding, but unluckily for her, it was a Catholic one. There, the ethics committee decided that a uterine evacuation was tantamount to abortion, because there was a slim chance one of the fetuses would survive.

This is clearly a case of double effect. In a Catholic hospital here, we would have no problems whatsoever pushing this through Ethics. Clearly, the intent is to clear the molar pregnancy, and to preserve the twins as much as is possible. The chance is slim, but their chance to come to term would have been slim anyway. There shouldn't be a moral conundrum there. The committee is manufacturing one for reasons I can't understand.

LarryC wrote:

I mentioned ectopic pregnancy. The treatment for it is to terminate the pregnancy. Like, there's no way to re-implant the embryo or fetus, and there's no other known way to handle the situation other than to just let both the mother and baby (fetus/embryo if you prefer) die, which is the expected outcome. I've never known this to be an issue. Apparently it is for American Catholics, which is just crazy.

Not just American Catholics. From the wiki page on Canon 1398, abortions due to ectopic pregnancies can sometimes be considered indirect abortions, depending on how they're performed.

In accordance with the principle of double effect, excommunication is not incurred in the rare cases of indirect abortion, such as when, in an ectopic pregnancy, the fallopian tube is removed, or in cases of ovarian cancer. In these cases the procedure is aimed only at preserving the woman's life, and the death of the foetus, although foreseen, is not willed either as an end or as a means for obtaining the intended effect.

If you were to administer a drug to terminate the embryo or perform surgery that only removes the pregnancy, you would be automatically excommunicated for it in the eyes of the Vatican. That your Catholic leaders are more progressive on this is great, but they're not following Canon law.

Stengah:

Canon law is behind on medical technology. We no longer remove the fallopian tube if we don't have to. Why? Because it preserves fertility better. The same principle would have been the case for the molar pregnancy that was not terminated. Why wasn't this exception known or cited by the ethics committe of that hospital? Why didn't Ehrich comment based on the details of the case and where it might fall under "indirect abortion?"

A strict reading of Canon Law would prohibit MDs from preserving fertility by removing only products of conception, but then the upshot of that is that you're doing what amounts to an artificial means of contraception (removing the fallopian tube) when you don't have to - when another method saves the woman's life just as much.

It's weird when you get all fanatical and technical about it. We go where common sense directs us, and our leaders are content to defer to our expertise.

We don't call this "progressive." It's just common sense.

LarryC wrote:

Stengah:

Canon law is behind on medical technology. We no longer remove the fallopian tube if we don't have to. Why? Because it preserves fertility better. The same principle would have been the case for the molar pregnancy that was not terminated. Why wasn't this exception known or cited by the ethics committe of that hospital? Why didn't Ehrich comment based on the details of the case and where it might fall under "indirect abortion?"

A strict reading of Canon Law would prohibit MDs from preserving fertility by removing only products of conception, but then the upshot of that is that you're doing what amounts to an artificial means of contraception (removing the fallopian tube) when you don't have to - when another method saves the woman's life just as much.

It's weird when you get all fanatical and technical about it. We go where common sense directs us, and our leaders are content to defer to our expertise.

That's a major problem with Canon law then, isn't it (one that Benedict isn't likely to fix soon either). Personally I'm not a Catholic so it doesn't apply to me at all, but I'm pointing out that it's Canon law according to the Vatican, so it's not just an American Catholic problem, as you suggested in response to the article Hypatian posted. That the Catholic officials in the Philippines are disregarding Canon law in favor of advances in medical technology is great, but they might want to remind any Catholic doctors that they're potentially excommunicating themselves.

Edit -

LarryC wrote:

We don't call this "progressive." It's just common sense.

I agree, but it's progressive when compared to the official Catholic stance on it.

You would have to contest their interpretation of Canon Law in that instance, then. They're good with it, and I haven't had time to consult the Pope about it, so it's good enough for me. I'm willing to take their interpretation over yours on just what the official Catholic stance on these things are.

Even Ireland does not consider treatment of ectopic pregnancies to be abortion.

Robear wrote:

Even Ireland does not consider treatment of ectopic pregnancies to be abortion.

From what I've found, in Catholicism it can be considered an indirect abortion, and not trigger the automatic excommunication, but it depends on the treatment method, and whether the abortion is an end or means for the procedure. If the tube is removed, the fetus dies because we can't keep it alive, so it's an indirect abortion. If drugs or surgery are used with the intention of terminating the pregnancy, it's a direct abortion.

Common sense is not a Catholic virtue.

I wonder how things will change now that Benedict has announced he's stepping down.

Not much. 55% of the Cardinals were appointed by Ratzinger, and the other 45% selected him as Pope...

Robear wrote:

Not much. 55% of the Cardinals were appointed by Ratzinger, and the other 45% selected him as Pope...

Wasn't that vote for him largely as a trasitional pope due to lack of consensus for other cardinals? Listening to NPR, it sounds like a few groups of Catholics, German and French sources cited, are glad he is leaving due to his polarizing effect on the Church.

As far as I can tell, both John Paul II and Benedict 16 moved the Church away from the liberal path it had been on and pushed hard to make it more conservative. I don't see that that trend has changed much.