Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ethics at St. Mary Medical Center?

Mr. Richard Brochu
Chair of Ethics Resource Team 
St. Mary Medical Center
Langhorne, Pennsylvania

Dear Mr. Brochu,


Dr. Frank Craparo of Abington Perinatal Associates has been reported to be involved with fetal "reduction" – a euphemism for abortion (See http://www.fertilethoughts.com/forums/selective-reduction-termination-due-health-issues/692269-fyi-something-my-dr-said-others-might-find-interesting.html).  In the past, Craparo's name could actually be found on the physician directory of St Mary Medical Center!

When one of Craparo's Abington Perinatal Associates, Dr. Stephen Smith, recommended an abortion to a young mom and patient, an ethics investigation reportedly ensued, and Smith's name disappeared from your directory (cf, Pope vs. Doctors: How New Vatican Orthodoxy Undermines Medical Ethics and Imperils Your Health, Huffington Post, 2/10/10).  While I can find no indication that Abington Perinatal Associates has ceased doing "reductions," Smith's name has returned to your directory!  Joining him are fellow Abington Perinatal Associates Richard Latta, MD and Marc Rosenn, MD.

St. Mary's disclaimer indicates that "practitioners also provide services outside of St. Mary Medical Center where there is no institutional obligation to practice under the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services."  Common sense should tell us that allowing Abington Perinatal Associates at a Catholic hospital is akin to allowing the proverbial fox in the hen house.  The disclaimer insults moral sensibilities and intelligence.

Also, Saint Mary's publicly available Advanced Directives and Living Wills  fails to clearly specify:

  • Catholic teaching with regard to nutrition and hydration, and
  • that health care services cannot honor advance directives (e.g., non-specific directives to forego nutrition and hydration) opposed to Catholic teaching.

Sincerely,

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About Me

I am an enormously blessed husband and dad. In regard to my Catholic theological background, I have a certificate in social ministry & a master's degree (moral theology concentration), as well as a catechetical diploma from the Vatican's Sacred Congregation for the Clergy (Nope, I am not now - nor have I have ever been - a seminarian, deacon, or priest.). I feel particularly proud to have a mandatum. I also have a doctorate in Christian counseling psychology.

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