The Catholic Church was accused of hypocrisy last week when it emerged that lawyers for a Catholic hospital in Colorado had argued successfully in court that the law does not recognise unborn children as persons.
The lawyers were defending the hospital in a wrongful death lawsuit
that stemmed from the tragic death of Lori Stodghill, 31, at the St
Thomas More Hospital in 2006. She was seven months pregnant with twins,
who also died. Her husband, Jeremy Stodghill, sued the hospital and its
owner, Catholic Health Initiatives, for the wrongful deaths of all
Defence lawyers said that under state law, an embryo is not a
person until the baby is born alive, according to court documents. The
court agreed with the argument, and Mr Stodghill lost the suit.
Critics of the hospital pointed out that the Catholic Church believes
that unborn children are persons.
Mark Silk, Professor of Religion and
Politics at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, wrote in his blog
"Spiritual Politics": "every now and then you ought to demonstrate your
bona fides by acting on principle against your material interests."