Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story, Fox News! For those who missed it, I will catch everyone up on the particulars of the woman who wants to get sterilized, but can’t.
Recently FoxNews.com reported a Catholic hospital has refused to sterilize a woman who is set to have a Caesarian section in late October of this year.
The news agency’s outrageous headline read, “Catholic hospital allegedly denies Michigan woman life-saving sterilization procedure based on religious belief.”
That headline makes it sound like the woman came into the ER with an immediate life-threatening medical condition. Instead of performing a sterilization that supposedly would have saved her life, the hospital refused. She narrowly escaped death and now is considering legal action against the hospital.
But that’s not what went down.
WHAT REALLY HAPPENED?
Jessica Mann, a resident of Flushing, Michigan, has brain tumors. Her doctor claims each pregnancy puts her life at risk.
Mann requested a tubal ligation to be done in conjunction with the C-section she has scheduled soon—a common practice, unfortunately, nationwide.
The hospital, Genesys Regional Medical Center refused to permit the sterilization earlier this month.
Mann’s doctor has admitting privileges only at Genesys. Thus, Mann is unwilling to go to another hospital to obtain her “life-saving” procedure.
The ACLU has gotten involved on Mann’s behalf, having written a letter to the hospital. They say they are now mulling a lawsuit against the Catholic hospital. They contend that the sterilization is a potential “life-saving” procedure. If Mann is rendered sterile, they claim, then no future pregnancy could threaten her life again.
GENESYS APPLIES MEDICAL ETHICS CORRECTLY
The hospital staff correctly made clear that doing the tubal ligation for Mann could never be considered “medically necessary.” In fact, a direct sterilization of a man or a woman could never save any patient’s life. Direct sterilizations do not treat a single illness.
These very important facts remain lost on Mann, the ACLU… and Fox News.
Catholic medical ethics does not prohibit all sterilizations. The catch remains that the sterilization would be allowed only if done indirectly. Or, in other words, it must be an unintended side effect of a medically necessary procedure.
For instance, say a woman develops uterine cancer and must have her uterus removed to preserve her life. The surgical removal of her uterus will clearly render her sterile. This, however, is not the direct intention of the surgeons. Rather, it is a foreseen and unfortunately unavoidable side effect to a necessary procedure to preserve her life.
Another illustration would be a man who develops a tumor in his testes. He might die if his sexual organs were not removed. Thus, the Catholic Church would say he can morally have them removed. His resulting sterility would be foreseen but unintended.
Contrast that to the case in Michigan. Mann’s direct sterilization would do nothing to alleviate the immediate threat to her life: the brain tumors.
More than that, the tubal ligation would actually mutilate a perfectly healthy organ for a contraceptive purpose. Such an act would not be morally permissible, as Genesys rightly contests.
This Michigan woman or anyone else seeking a direct sterilization, thus, is attempting to play god.
THE NATURAL LAW MUST BE PRESERVED
Respect for our bodies and for their natural ends in accordance with the Natural Law has virtually disappeared from our culture. In its place mankind has developed an arrogant habit of trying to redefine what it means to be human.
In place of identifying and complying with the laws of nature, modern man has tried to subvert his own biology. He has tried to deny a defined, strict structure to his natural existence. Modern man pretends to be his own lawgiver, ignoring the Supreme Lawgiver in the process.
Look at the recent media circus surrounding Bruce Jenner’s sexual identity. Supposedly he can just declare himself a woman and everyone is supposed to celebrate his “courage.” In so doing, modern man lies to himself that people are free to define their own gender. After all, if gender is designed and static, then that implies a planned design, and a Designer.
If there is a Creator, then that means there is a greater power than man. One that we would seemingly have to answer to. Modern man trembles at that thought, so he runs headlong into perversion after perversion, trying to outrun his own human nature.
In the end, modern man has convinced himself the sexual act is devoid of any moral weight. It is a recreational activity reigned solely on the whims of each person. With this attitude in mind, modern man has squashed any notion the human body deserves respect.
This Michigan woman or anyone else seeking a direct sterilization, thus, is attempting to play god. No one has the right to subvert human nature. Not when God Himself established it to rule mankind’s human nature.
OFFERING AN ALTERNATIVE
What recourse does this mother from Michigan have, if she cannot morally obtain get sterilized? Mann would seemingly have a moral reason to practice periodic abstinence. Assisted by any number of effective Natural Family Planning methods, she could avoid becoming pregnant.
To any objectors who contend such a suggestion would be too difficult to carry out, consider two things. First, no one died from not having sex. Sexual activity is not a necessity to living like eating, drinking or breathing.
Second, practicing chastity helps to develop self-control. These are virtues still worth pursuing, despite what our culture claims.
God willing, Genesys Regional Medical Center will keep up the good fight and not go against their conscience. Deterred, maybe the ACLU could reconsider its stance in this case—a pipe dream, I know.
But after all, the doctors and staff of Genesys are being asked to violate their moral convictions and their faith, if they perform the sterilization as requested. There does exist an American Civil Liberties Union, right?
Are not freedom of conscience and freedom of religion civil liberties protected in America? Or, are those days seemingly over?
Had you heard of this story of this Michigan woman wanting to get sterilized?
What thoughts do you have on it?
Please sound off below!