Last year, I was encouraged to read that the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Health Care was expected to release a revised/updated Charter for Health Care Workers, this year (cf., Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service, 11/13/12). Is the new Charter still expected? There certainly seems to be a wide variety of areas where Catholic medical ethics need to be reinforced - among Catholic parishes and institutions!
Privileges at the Six Catholic Hospitals in the Archdiocese of PhiladelphiaWhile federal funding may largely be responsible for placing Catholic hospitals in positions of ethical compromise, I believe hospitals should push themselves away from such sources, before compromising their witness by allowing "privileges" to inappropriate physicians (cf., In Admitting Privileges Fight, Wisconsin Churches Discover the Flip Side of Federal Funding, Live Action News, 8/15/13). Otherwise, it is misleading for them to be called "Catholic":
- Holy Redeemer
(Catholic Health East:)
With regard to our six Catholic hospitals,
- "All physicians who value life, and especially Catholic healthcare institutions, have a duty to re-examine the available scientific information on Plan B. We think the data shows a small anovulatory effect and suggests a significant post-fertilization or abortifacient effect. Given this information, the Peoria Protocol, and other rape-based protocols should be abandoned, as use of Plan B during the critical fertile period, would not be expected to prevent ovulations in a majority of cases, and in fact, would lead to a significant possibility of post-fertilization effect.
- "Moreover, as newer emergency contraceptives with better efficacies emerge, the precedent has been set for allowing agents with abortifacient mechanisms of action" ("Plan B’s Main Mechanism of Action: The Case for a Post-Fertilization Effect," Human Life International).
- 1) there is a paucity of NFP-only physicians among OBGYNs with privileges (i.e., Only one OBGYN can be identified who is on One More Soul's list of NFP only OBGYNs);
- 2) there are IVF specialists with privileges (e.g., ALL of Holy Redeemer's "Reproductive Endocrinologists and Obstetricians" are IVF specialists - Drs Arthur Castelbaum, Martin Freedman, Benjamin Gocial, and Jacqueline Gutmann of Reproductive Medicine Associates of Philadelphia, and NONE of Holy Redeemer's obstetricians are to be found on a list of NFP-only physicians!);
- 3) there are privileges for associates of a practice involved with "fetal reduction":
per posters at FertileThoughts.com, Dr. Frank Craparo is a
of "reduction" - a euphemism for abortion. ALL of St Mary's specialists in "Maternal Fetal
Medicine" - are associates of Craparo at
"Abington Perinatal Associates."
Catholic Hospitals and AbortifacientsFr. Juan Vélez is an Opus Dei priest with a doctorate in dogmatic theology and an M.D. Along with Rebecca Peck, M.D., Fr. Juan writes:
"Brain Death"Dr Peter Colosi (a moral theologian) of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary has noted that Dr. Haas (a moral theologian) believes that "brain dead people (whole brain death) are dead," while at least two other members of the Pontifical Academy for Life - Dr. Paul Byrne (a physician) and Josef Seifert (a philosopher) - have actually cast doubt on brain death criteria (Bioethics of Organ Donation, Our Sunday Visitor, 8/19/12)! As per Pope Benedict XVI,
"individual vital organs cannot be extracted except ex cadavere....In these years science has accomplished further progress in certifying the death of the patient. It is good, therefore, that the results attained receive the consent of the entire scientific community in order to further research for solutions that give certainty to all. In an area such as this, in fact, there cannot be the slightest suspicion of arbitration and where certainty has not been attained the principle of precaution must prevail....the principal criteria of respect for the life of the donator must always prevail so that the extraction of organs be performed only in the case of his/her true death (cf. Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 476)" (Address to Participants at an International Congress Organized by the Pontifical Academy for Life, 11/7/08).How can the faithful feel assured that there is the Holy Father Emeritus' guidance is indeed employed?
"End of Life" Care and Information
- Queen of the Universe carries an ad for Oxford Valley Pharmacy. When I phoned Oxford Valley this past May, I learned that they carry "Plan B" for $39.99.
- St. Charles Borromeo carries an ad for Riccio Family Pharmacy, as does St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.
- St. Thomas Aquinas carries an ad for Mat's Pharmacy and Medical Supply.
Pharmaceuticals and Anaesthetizing ConsciencesAs per Pope Benedict XVI's Address to Pharmacists, "it is not possible to anaesthetize consciences... concerning the effects of particles whose purpose is to prevent an embryo's implantation or to shorten a person's life" and calls for recognition of the right of "conscientious objection...[so as to] not to collaborate either directly or indirectly by supplying products for the purpose of decisions that are clearly immoral such as...abortion or euthanasia." I believe that support for authentically pro life pharmacists requires vigilance, to ensure that parishes are not promoting providers of morally excluded particles and devices.
As per lists maintained by One More Soul and Pharmacists for Life International, all but a handful of pharmacies - across the country - sell abortifacients and contraceptives. Bucks County is fortunate to be home to the St Clare Pharmacy, which is self-reported to NOT sell abortifacients or contraceptives. Why does any Bucks County parish instead allow ads for providers of abortifacients and contraceptives? At the present time, four parishes in Bucks County are providing such offensive ads: