I’m in two minds about the declaration by Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart that Catholic Hospitals may have to close if the proposed legislation before Victorian Parliament is successful.
Particularly, Archbishop Hart is concerned about the provisions that mean whilst a medical practitioner can refuse to participate in an abortion or advise on one, they must refer to a practitioner they know to not hold the same beliefs they do.
They’re also concerned about the provision within the act that means they could not refuse to perform an abortion if the mothers life is threatened by a medical emergency.
On one hand, I can sympathise with a medical practitioner if they feel torn between their religion and their duties as a health professional.
On the other hand, no woman should be at the mercy of the belief her doctor holds. She should be able to obtain a referral is the doctor is a conscientious objector - and that's especially important in rural areas.
And she should absolutely not have to die simply because the closest hospital happens to be a Catholic hospital, or she wasn't aware it was a Catholic Hospital.
Consider this scenario: A woman has Pre-eclampsia or HELLP. She lives in a rural area where the only hospital is a Catholic Hospital. She is too ill to stabilise enough to move.
Would you be okay with both mother and foetus dying simply because the doctor is Catholic? You can't save both mother and child, but you can save the mother.
And if you are okay with that, what possible right do you have to call yourself pro-life and others Pro-Death?
Let's be honest. Pro-Lifers - the kind who don't wany any abortion taking place anywhere for any reason, are quite comfortable with maternal death. They'll label the circumstances that might lead to it "rare" and "unfortunate", but they'll still happily legislate that your mother, sister, daughter or wife should die. They will choose the possible - or even the impossible - life of a foetus over your life, or the life of your loved one.
They want your doctor to watch you die, when you can be saved.
Let me be clear - once again, I sympathise with any doctor who has to perform a procedure he or she feels contravenes their chosen religion.
But that doesn't mean I will ever be okay with any doctor choosing to put the life of a child before the mothers because of his or her religion - that, my friends, I consider to be manslaughter. If you can do something to save someone and you don't - when they've asked you to - that's medical manslaughter.
Let me say again - sympathies, Catholic medicos - Now get in there and save your patients life.
Why on earth would a practitioner who feels so strongly about their religion they'd be willing to watch a woman die when they could save her be working in a field where that exact scenario comes up? Get out of Obstetrics, Catholic Medico, and into something where you don't have to risk peoples lives to follow your religion.
This declaration by Archbishop Hart, coupled with Pope Pious coming out and imploring people in pain and dying not to die with dignity but to let God choose the hour of their death has forced me to resolve my religious impasse.
As of this moment, I can no longer consider myself Catholic. I will not be part of an organisation that condones watching women die when they can be saved. I cannot ethically do that. For the Archbishop of my town in this day and age to come out and declare that, I cannot comprehend. I cannot abide.
Ad Te levavi animam meam, but my conscience dictates something different.
1 day ago