Presentation on theme: "Presented by James T. Bretzke, S.J., S.T.D. Professor of Moral Theology Boston College School of Theology & Ministry"— Presentation transcript:
Presented by James T. Bretzke, S.J., S.T.D. Professor of Moral Theology Boston College School of Theology & Ministry email@example.com
In order that both s/he who is giving the Spiritual Exercises, and he who is receiving them, may more help and benefit themselves, let it be presupposed that Every good Christian is to be more ready to save his or her neighbor’s proposition than to condemn it. If s/he cannot save it, inquire how s/he means it; and if s/he means it badly, correct him/her with charity. If that is not enough, seek all the suitable means to bring him/her to mean it well, and save him/herself.
Issues Angle Judgment AngleApplication Angle Assumptions Features Strategies Principles Truth Claims Goals
Issues Angle from Medical Staff View Assumptions Features A1) Fetus cannot be saved regardless of what is done A2) No time for extensive, broad-based ethical consultation A3) Patient’s will should generally be respected & followed A4) Mother’s ongoing role in the family is quite important A5) The medical procedure is not being chosen to end an otherwise viable pregnancy A6) Belief that all that is required by the Church has been done in this case F1) Mother’s life in imminent danger due to continued pregnancy F2) Decision must be made very soon F3) Mother gives informed consent F4) Mother a husband & 4 other minor children F5) Pregnancy is unplanned, but initially mother decides to continue it. Her decision changes only when it is clear she will die before the fetus could come to term. F6) Staff follows established Catholic guidelines
“I am gravely concerned by the fact that an abortion was performed several months ago in a Catholic hospital in this Diocese. I am further concerned by the hospital’s statement that the termination of a human life was necessary to treat the mother’s underlying medical condition. “ An unborn child is not a disease. While medical professionals should certainly try to save a pregnant mother's life, the means by which they do it can never be by directly killing her unborn child. The end does not justify the means. “ Every Catholic institution is obliged to defend human life at all its stages ; from conception to natural death. This obligation is also placed upon every Catholic individual. If a Catholic formally cooperates in the procurement of an abortion, they are automatically excommunicated by that action. The Catholic Church will continue to defend life and proclaim the evil of abortion without compromise, and must act to correct even her own members if they fail in this duty. “We always must remember that when a difficult medical situation involves a pregnant woman, there are two patients in need of treatment and care; not merely one. The unborn child’s life is just as sacred as the mother’s life, and neither life can be preferred over the other. A woman is rightly called ‘mother’ upon the moment of conception and throughout her entire pregnancy is considered to be ‘with child.’ “ The direct killing of an unborn child is always immoral, no matter the circumstances, and it cannot be permitted in any institution that claims to be authentically Catholic.
“ As our late Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, solemnly taught in his encyclical “The Gospel of Life,” a ‘direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, always constitutes a grave moral disorder, since it is the deliberate killing of an innocent human being’ (The Gospel of Life #62). “ The Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Healthcare Institutions (ERDs) are very clear on this issue : ‘Catholic health care ministry witnesses to the sanctity of life from the moment of conception until death. The Church’s defense of life encompasses the unborn and the care of women and their children during and after pregnancy.” (ERD, Part Four, Introduction) The ERDs further state that ‘Abortion (that is, the directly intended termination of pregnancy before viability or the directly intended destruction of a viable fetus) is never permitted. Every procedure whose sole immediate effect is the termination of pregnancy before viability is an abortion.... Catholic health care institutions are not to provide abortion services, even based upon the principle of material cooperation. In this context, Catholic health care institutions need to be concerned about the danger of scandal in any association with abortion providers.’” (ERD 45) Bishop Olmsted, by virtue of his office, is the authoritative voice on faith and morals in the Diocese of Phoenix. This includes every official Catholic institution of the Diocese.
47. Operations, treatments, and medications that have as their direct purpose the cure of a proportionately serious pathological condition of a pregnant woman are permitted when they cannot be safely postponed until the unborn child is viable, even if they will result in the death of the unborn child.
Issues Angle From Bishop Olmsted’s View Assumptions Features A 1) Pregnancy termination was a direct abortion A 2) Hospital Staff knowingly engaged in “formal cooperation” A 3) Hospital sought to hide the termination case A 4) Hospital is engaged in other violations of the ERDs A 5) Bishop has chief role to determine the application of the ERDS A 6) Bishop must safeguard Catholic identity of institutions in diocese F 1) Medical procedure removed the fetus directly F 2) Staff knew the procedure would remove the fetus directly & allowed this to happen F 3) Staff did not bring this case to the bishop either before or after the case F 4) Hospital maintains its decision was correct and would do it again F 5) Hospital refuses Bishop’s ultimatum F 6) Refusal is causing serious scandal
Issues Angle from USCCB View Assumptions Features A 1) Local Bishop must maintain authority in diocese A 2) CHW & CHA probably stretching or ignoring the ERDs A 3) USCCB must support any bishop under attack A 4) “Culture of life” is under attack, especially by secular culture A 5) Theologians misapply double-effect principle ala proportionalism A 6) Episcopal authority is being eroded overall in the USA F 1) Olmsted has taken a clear position in this case F 2) CHC-West statements support the hospital against the bishop F 3) Olmsted needs support qua bishop (the legitimate “decider” in his diocese) F 4) Case shows lack of respect for fetal life F 5) Except for Haas, theologians & Sr. Keehan, etc. are publicly supporting the hospitals F 6) Bishops as a whole are being unfairly criticized in this case
In order that both may more help and benefit themselves, let it be presupposed that If s/he cannot save it, inquire how s/he means it; and if s/he means it badly, correct him/her with charity.
Principles Truth Claims Medical Staff’s Judgment Angle P 1) Health care professionals primary moral code must be followed P 2) Hospital protocols should be followed P 3) Save all lives you can P 4) Indirect abortions are morally allowed P 5) Act according to best medical knowledge currently available P 6) Act in a timely, but not precipitous manner T 1) Hippocratic Oath gives ethics standards for health-care professionals T 2) Hospital has established ethical protocols for difficult cases T 3) It is morally unreasonable to let more people die when some (or one) can be saved T 4) Not every “direct removal” of a fetus constitutes a “direct” abortion T 5) Mother’s prognosis without termination of pregnancy was morally certain death with no possibility of saving the fetus T 6) Emergency situations require immediate action
Principles Truth Claims Bishop Olmsted’s Judgment Angle P 1) Never abort a fetus. P 2) Never allow pregnancy to constitute grounds for the Double Effect Principle P 3) Never directly (physically) terminate a pregnancy regardless P 4) Accept moral martyrdom if the situation warrants P 5) Never allow a termination of a pregnancy through direct means P 6) Bishop must take action when Catholic teaching is under attack T 1) Life of a fetus is absolutely sacred T 2) Pregnancy is not a medical disease T 3) Any surgical intervention that physically “attacks” the fetus is a “direct” abortion T 4) Life of the mother is not to be preferred over life of the fetus T 5) Knowingly Allowing “X” to happen = “formal cooperation” with evil T 6) Bishop has moral responsibility to safeguard Catholic identity & doctrine & corresponding authority to “authentically” interpret the natural law
Principles Truth Claims USCCB Judgment Angle P 1) Act to support the bishop & avoid improper role of episcopal correction P 2) Formulate doctrinal statements of principles P 3) Defend against any proper encroachments against legitimate episcopal authority P 4) Act responsibly in living out the 3 munera (teach, govern, sanctify) T 1) The USCCB serves as collegial support for residential bishops. T 2) The USCCB has a formal role to articulate & defend Catholic doctrine, especially when under attack. T 3) The USCCB has the primary authority for deciding disputed questions & maintaining policy directives such as the ERDs T 4) Bishops has the charism of authority & therefore the special assistance of the Holy Spirit in their 3 munera (teach, govern, sanctify)
In order that both may more help and benefit themselves, let it be presupposed that Every good Christian is to be more ready to save his or her neighbor’s proposition than to condemn it.
Strategies Goals Medical Staff’s Application Angle G 1) Have mother make informed medical choice G 2) Save both mother & child if medically possible G 3) Save whatever life is possible if cannot save both G 4) Follow ERDs & Hospital protocols G 5) Keep case low profile to protect woman & hospital S 1) Give mother best medical information, time, and respect her decision S 2) Continue treatment of mother and her pregnancy S 3) Determine when situation becomes critical & advise accordingly S 4) Convene ethics board S 5) Do not advertise the case with the bishop or press
Strategies Goals Bishop Olmsted’s Application Angle G 1) Consolidate Catholic identity & orthodoxy in all institutions in the diocese G 2) Uphold clear Catholic teaching on abortion & intrinsic evil G 3) Tighten up after the looser governance of his predecessor Bishop O’Brien G 4) Confirm legitimate authority of the local bishop G 5) Indicate the Cost of Discipleship for Catholics S 1) Ultimatum to St. Joseph’s Hospital S 2) Insist on the black/white nature of the issue S 3) Declare the latae sententiae excommunication & remove Catholic designation of St. Joseph’s S 4) Insistence on bishop’s role as “decider” on natural law interpretation S 5) Moral martyrdom may be required at times such as this case
Strategies Goals USCCB’s Application Angle G 1) Support Bishop Olmstead G 2) Forestall “other voices” from pronouncing on the merits of the case G 3) Exercise munus docendi on relevant ethical prinicples G 4) Focus on Culture of Life dynamic S 1) Maintain collegial support (at least by silence?) S 2) Engage Sr. Keehan & CHA S 3) USCCB Committee on Doctrine note on Direct & Indirect Abortion S 4) Reiterate Culture of Life theme and Anti- Abortion rhetoric in other media possibilities
In order that both may more help and benefit themselves, let it be presupposed that Every good Christian is to be more ready to save his or her neighbor’s proposition than to condemn it. If s/he cannot save it, inquire how s/he means it; and if s/he means it badly, correct him/her with charity. If that is not enough, seek all the suitable means to bring him/her to mean it well, and save him/herself.
CLARIFICATIONS ?CORRECTIONS? How can a medical procedure that seems to directly operate against the fetus still be considered an “indirect” abortion? If one accepts the views of Martin Rhonheimer, OD et al., then correction is not necessary, but if one accepts the views of Haas, Cavanaugh, etc. then we seem to have a real problem. How to decide? Who’s to decide?
CLARIFICATIONS?CORRECTIONS? Understanding of “Formal Cooperation” with evil?? The “Missing” ERD #47?: Operations, treatments, and medications that have as their direct purpose the cure of a proportionately serious pathological condition of a pregnant woman are permitted when they cannot be safely postponed until the unborn child is viable, even if they will result in the death of the unborn child. It seems he is mistakenly conflating “material” cooperation with formal cooperation, and that would be a significant departure from the Catholic moral tradition that even as a resident ordinary he would not be empowered to make in his own diocese Interpretation of ERD #47 in this case?
CLARIFICATIONS?CORRECTIONS? How do we understand the legitimate roles of the moral theologians and Sr. Keehan, etc. to be essentially side- tracked as non-decisive in this case? Are we confusing or equating episcopal juridic authority with the munus docendi such that if Bishop X says that Proposition “Y” is the natural law in his diocese then we must conclude that Bishop X is necessarily correct?