Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

A different question about the Arizona case

I am not sure whether or not the procedure approved by Sr. McBride in Arizona is best regarded as "intentional" killing of the innocent or, indeed, whether -- even if it isn't -- it is well regarded as justifiable or "fair."  Here's another question, though:  Given all the givens, was there any good reason for Sr. McBride to approve this procedure at a Catholic hospital?  I have not read anything that leads me to believe that the procedure was immediately necessary to save the mother's life.  Assuming for now it wasn't, then shouldn't the fact that the procedure approved was (at the very least) plausibly regarded as immoral -- combined with an appropriate desire to avoid creating a scandal or causing confusion among people who are not schooled in the intricacies of these difficult questions -- have resulted in a different decision by Sr. McBride?

UPDATE:  Cathy Kaveny brought to my attention this story, which reports that:

[The mother] was 11 weeks pregnant with her fifth child, and she was gravely ill. According to a hospital document, she had "right heart failure," and her doctors told her that if she continued with the pregnancy, her risk of mortality was "close to 100 percent."

The patient, who was too ill to be moved to the operating room much less another hospital, agreed to an abortion. But there was a complication: She was at a Catholic hospital.

So, the question I asked -- which, in my view, remains an important question at a general level -- does not seemed to be presented in this particular case.  Thanks to Cathy for the pointer. 


Garnett, Rick | Permalink

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