Let’s take a look at Tamesha Means v United States Conference of Catholic Bishops [pdf].
Plaintiff Tamesha Means brings this negligence action against the United States Conference for Catholic Bishops and others for promulgating and implementing directives that cause pregnant women who are suffering from a miscarriage to be denied appropriate medical care, including information about their condition and treatment options. These mandates, known as the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (“Directives”), do not merely set forth the opinions of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (“USCCB”) on certain health care issues. Rather, the Directives require Catholic hospitals to abide by their terms, even when doing so places a woman’s health or life at risk.
There you go. That’s the first three sentences and it sums up all we need to know right there – a much too obscure and little-noticed fact about health care in these here United States – the fact that the conference of Catholic bishops orders Catholic hospitals to refuse to perform even life-saving abortions. If you tell people this they don’t believe you. They may even call you a liar. And yet it’s true.
This urgently needs to be fixed. The federal government needs to tell the USCCB that it may not interfere with medical care, period. The feds need to tell Catholic hospitals that they have to do whatever is best for the patient, in consultation with the patient, period. No bishops.
Here’s an interesting detail:
Defendant Stanley Urban is a resident and citizen of the State of Pennsylvania. Urban is the Chair of Catholic Health Ministries, an unincorporated foreign entity that is the religious sponsor of MHP.
MHP is Mercy Health Partners, which is the hospital that gave Tamesha Means such terrible faith-based treatment. Why do we even have “religious sponsors” for hospitals? Why aren’t hospitals secular as a matter of course? They should be welcome to have all sorts of religious services available for people who want them, of course, because hospitals are obviously top of the list of places where religious people are going to want religious company and help. But that should be strictly separate from medical treatment. It’s deranged that it’s not.
Another important detail:
MHP is the only hospital in Muskegon County, Michigan.
A Catholic monopoly on hospital care in a whole county.
17. Plaintiff’s ultrasound report indicates Plaintiff had an amniotic fluid index of only 3.4 and a condition called oligohydramnios, which refers to a decreased volume of amniotic fluid due to the premature rupture of membranes.
18. MHP also diagnosed Plaintiff with preterm premature rupture of membrane, a condition in which a woman’s amniotic sac ruptures with a gestation less than 37 weeks.
19. MHP informed Plaintiff that the fetus was not yet viable.
20. MHP did not inform Plaintiff that in most cases, an amniotic fluid index of 3.4 at 18 weeks of pregnancy, in the context of premature rupture of membranes, means that the fetus will either not be born alive or will be born alive and die very shortly thereafter.
21. MHP did not inform Plaintiff about the serious risks to her health if she attempted to continue the pregnancy.
It’s medical malpractice, at the behest of Catholic bishops. At the only hospital in Muskegon County, Michigan.
We live in a fucking theocracy here.