I don’t want to get into a great big religion debate here, but I have to ask. How much is your faith actually worth to you when you’ll toss one of your core beliefs aside completely in order to have a wrongful death lawsuit against you thrown out?
The case involves the 2006 death of 31-year-old Lori Stodghill, a woman seven months pregnant with twin boys, who was brought in to the emergency room at St. Thomas More Hospital in Cañon City, Colorado, on New Year’s Day.
According to her husband Jeremy, Lori was vomiting and had shortness of breath — symptoms that would later be attributed to the clogged artery that caused her untimely demise.
After he parked the car, Jeremy returned to the ER to find Lori unconscious. Less than an hour later she would be dead of a massive heart attack, and her twins would die with her.
But Jeremy maintains that it didn’t have to end this way.
Despite being paged by the hospital, Dr. Pelham Staples, the on-call obstetrician (who also happened to be Lori’s personal obstetrician), never arrived. Instead, he spoke with Jeremy by phone.
“He said, ‘Well, what do you want to do? Take the babies? Take the babies?” Jeremy recalled to Westword. “I kept responding, ‘I’m not a doctor!'”
ER staff, meanwhile, were unable to detect any fetal heartbeats, and the decision to perform a perimortem Cesarean section fell to doctors at the scene, who decided against it.
Not long after came the wrongful death suit. And then…oh then.
Catholic Health Initiatives, the faith-based nonprofit organization that runs the hospital and claims to do so based on church doctrine, had its lawyers argue that the rule in Colorado that says a person is only a person if it is born alive is perfectly fine and we don’t need to have you go changing it on us, please and thanks. Not only did they argue this with a straight face, but they won…twice! It worked on the Fremont County District Court and the Colorado Court of Appeals. Jeremy Stodghill is now hoping that it won’t work on the Colorado Supreme Court should they decide to hear the case.
the ruling is the sort of thing pro-choice people should hope for because it backs up the idea that the unborn are not people, so abortion is ok. for that reason, I like it. What I don’t like is that yet again, organized religion can’t stick to the rules it insists we all should live by. If they aren’t good enough for you guys and you wrote ’em, they’re certainly not good enough for me.