To their credit, I think, Colorado’s three Catholic bishops have issued a statement criticizing a Catholic hospital for defending itself against a wrongful death action by arguing in court that because a fetus is not a person under Colorado law it could not be guilty of the death of two fetuses.
According to the letter, the bishops did not know that counsel for St. Thomas More Hospital in Cañon City had made the argument, nor did Catholic Health Initiatives, which sponsors the hospital.
CHI was unaware that legal counsel for St. Thomas More had aligned itself with an argument based upon an unjust law. CHI officials have assured us that they believed it was “morally wrong” to make recourse to an unjust law. They have also assured us that they will no longer utilize this unjust law if the case is heard before additional courts.
Whether that makes the lawsuit more likely to be reinstated is another question. The bishops, no doubt upon advice of counsel, contend that there was no way that the fetuses could have been saved because of testimony that they “tragically died before medical care commenced, so an emergency C-section would not have saved them.” That, presumably, is a matter of dispute. According to court papers, no effort was made to remove the fetuses after the mother suffered a pulmonary embolism.
Should a Catholic hospital make a special effort to save endangered fetuses? The bishops did not say.