Pro-Life: October 2003 Archives

The National Catholic Bioethics Center offers a helpful guide to Catholic teaching on medical ethics and how it applies to decisions for a patient in danger of death. It mentions some of the main points that should be included in a morally sound "Advance Directive" document to regulate medical decisions in case a patient is incapacitated.

The Register reports that Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage, a Catholic hospital, has been performing "early induction" procedures to terminate pregnancies of children with unsurvivable abnormalities.

The president of Alaska Right to Life, Ed Wassell, contacted the hospital about what appears to be a form of abortion.

The only therapeutic reason given by hospital officials for early induction was "to relieve familial distress," according to Wassell.

Providence officials did tell Wassell that if Archbishop [Roger] Schwietz told them to stop performing the procedure, they would.

From then on, Wassell said, Right to Life stopped talking with the hospital and started talking with the archbishop to persuade him to take action.

Abp. Schwietz asked the hospital to suspend the use of the procedure and, with the help of Boston's National Catholic Bioethics Center, got the hospital to tighten up its policy somewhat. He thinks the new policy is in compliance with the bishops' medical-ethics directives.

These directives say (among other things):

49. For a proportionate reason, labor may be induced after the fetus is viable.
Is the reason sufficient?

What? Who?

On life and living in communion with the Catholic Church.

Richard Chonak

John Schultz

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unless you state otherwise.


About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Pro-Life category from October 2003.

Pro-Life: November 2003 is the next archive.

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