Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Woman suffers unnecessarily for three days due to dangerous complications with her pregnancy, after being sent home by Catholic hospital.

Courtesy of ACLU:  

Tamesha was only 18 weeks pregnant when her water broke prematurely. She rushed to Mercy Health—the only hospital within half an hour of where she lived. The hospital did not tell her then that she had little chance of a successful pregnancy, that she was at risk if she tried to continue the pregnancy, and that the safest course of care in her case was to end it. The hospital simply sent her home. 

She came back the next day, bleeding and in pain, and again was turned away. Again, she was not told of the risks of trying to continue the pregnancy, or what her treatment options were. Tamesha returned yet a third time—by now suffering a significant infection. The hospital was prepared to send her away once more, when she started to deliver. 

Tamesha's baby died within hours of being born—at 18 weeks, it never had a chance. 

How could something like this happen? Because Mercy Health is Catholic-sponsored, it is required to adhere to the "Ethical and Religious Directives," a set of rules created by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to govern the provision of medical care at Catholic-run hospitals. At hospitals like Mercy Health, the Directives are put above medical standards of care. 

The Directives prohibit Catholic-sponsored facilities from providing vital health services and the information patients need to make informed decisions about their health care, and from honoring patients' wishes when they conflict with Catholic directives. This is true even if as in Tamesha's case, compliance with the Directives pose a direct threat to patient health. 

Because of the Directives, Tamesha was never told the truth about her situation—that her fetus had little chance of surviving, that by attempting to continue the pregnancy she risked her own health, and that completing the miscarriage and ending the pregnancy was the safest approach for a woman in her condition. All that information was withheld from her. Nor was she told that because of the Directives, the hospital would refuse to provide her the safest course of care—even to protect her health. Tamesha never had the chance to direct the course of her care or make a real decision.

I am sorry but when your faith endangers the life of a fellow human being then your faith needs to take a back door to ethical and moral medical considerations.

In this case the baby was not going to live no matter what happened, yet they sent a woman home to suffer and potentially die during childbirth rather than go against church doctrine.

We need to get away from this religious definition of life, and go back to the scientific one, that suggests that life only truly viable once a fetus is capable of surviving outside of the mother, and that does not happen until around the 23rd to 26th week of life. If THAT were the accepted standard then all of this BS about the morning after pill and hospitals refusing to offer life saving abortions would be a non-issue.

I guess being an immoral Atheist I will never understand why there is more importance placed on the survival of a bundle of cells over the life of actual living, breathing human beings in this country.

There are people in this country who would literally allow children to have their mother die in excruciating agony rather than risk the potential life of their unborn sibling. That is a type of "morality" that I will never understand.


  1. First time I watched the movie "The Cardinal" as a kid....I was shocked that a mother's life would be sacrificed for the life of a child. It was a good movie and I will never forget the way this Cardinal gave permission to 86 his sister.

    Now I have to ask WTF is wrong with assisting a woman in danger during miscarriage/childbirth.....by saving her viability, she can have many more children.

    Keep your rosaries off our ovaries!!!! Pretty darn soon the Indian Reservations are gonna construct clinics and take care of business.

    1. Anonymous11:18 AM

      OMG, me too. I will never forget the movie for that reason. And you know what, Pope Francis fans? He would make the same choice. That's why his calls for social justice ring so hollow to me. They totally exclude women with life threatening pregnancies.

    2. An European Viewpoint1:18 AM

      Yes, because women are only females. While an unborn child could be male.

      Of course, no need to save the child over the mother when it's known to be female too.

  2. Anonymous10:16 AM

    The larger fault goes to her doctors. Her doctors are OBLIGATED by medical ethics to inform her of her condition, and the available treatments with their risks and benefits. If they cannot provide the treatment she needs, they need to refer her (or transfer her) to a facility that will.
    That said, the water breaking at 18 weeks is pretty much game over for the fetus. Infection is just a matter of time. I have a very hard time believing that NOONE told her her baby was doomed, NOONE told her about her condition, NOONE told her about going to another hospital to get a D&C. But I also think it would have been likely that the pregnancy would have ended itself, since the rupturing of the membranes is a big signal to the body to start labor. So the staff likely thought she'd just go into labor and have a stillborn child. Normally I would think she'd be admitted for observation, or maybe even inducing labor...there's probably a whole bunch of details that are missing from this story.
    And I would argue that the definition of life begins more at about 36weeks, since in my opinion it should be about survivability without Newborn Intensive Care. Or you could say 26 weeks but add the asterix "with $100K+ of expensive medical support" to it.

    1. Anonymous11:22 AM

      The doctors worked for the Catholic hospital whose rules take precedence. They weren't "her" doctors. She wasn't their priority, church teachings were. Let it be noted and never forgotten that these are the rules Pope Francis supports.

    2. Anonymous11:58 AM

      Catholic hospitals HAVE ALWAYS BEEN THIS WAY! When I was preg with my Son (Many years ago) started to bleed at 5 mos. Went to the nearest CATHOLIC hosp, was made to walk all over and then told to go home and put my feet up and rest. Not EVEN a WHEELCHAIR to help me out.
      Well Thankfully I was fine in a few days until My reg doc came back.
      You never EVER want to go to a CATHOLIC hospital ever. Don't blame this shit on Pope Francis. He just got on board. He may shock you all soon.

    3. Anonymous2:26 PM

      11:58, you seriously need to get real. As a former Catholic, I will tell with 100% certainty that I will NEVER be proved wrong on this: Pope Francis SUPPORTS THIS SHIT. He will never, ever, ever, EVER support any change to the fetus-first/mother-last Catholic Church policy. EVER. The Catholic Church believes and has always believed that in cases where the expectant mother will die unless the fetus is removed, then the mother must die because it is God's will. And you don't mess with God's will. The Pope will NEVER change this. Never.

      Believe it.

    4. fromthediagonal6:03 PM

      anon @ 2:26... Misogyny, thy name is hatred of the female by the male who feels threatened. Pure and simple. The ancient worship of the Goddess who created Life, lived it with passion and designated it to end when it had outlived its usefulness,was superseded when the Male discovered that his sperm was instrumental in the creation of Life.
      Being physically stronger, the male version of it all remains the overpowering factor of assessing valor. Simple. Correct me if you think me wrong...
      Correct me if I am wrong.
      Oh, and By-

    5. Anonymous11:00 AM

      11:22, I'm a doctor who actually is currently working for a Catholic hospital. I can assure you, although they will not allow an abortion at their facility (or sterilization), since that is one of the medical options available to this woman, the DOCTOR is obligated to TELL her that she can go to another facility to get an abortion. The Catholic authorities cannot gag the doctor for doing his ethical duty, because frankly they wouldn't be able to find doctors. When I had to sign a contract for them saying I wouldn't prescribe contraceptives, I told them that was a deal breaker. The exec who was hiring me told me that they would NOT be enforcing that particular portion of the contract (although they would if I started perfoming abortions in my office). And there has been more than one OB/GYN who did an "oops" during C-section surgery and "accidentally" cut the fallopian tubes of a woman who wanted a sterilization without going to the risk of another operation.
      But again, I think this is being oversimplified. I'd love to hear the hospitals description of what happened. I've heard more than one patient tell a story that was completely divorced from reality to make the patient look good or the hospital look bad. I have a hard time believing this lady's story at face value.

  3. This is the worst thing a woman must endure... and from experience it is one of the most physical and emotional pain I have been through.

  4. hedgewytch10:28 AM

    This hospital, and all who have "business models" like it, needs to lose their license to give medical care. It is a direct violation of the Hippocratic oath - the health and well being of the patient comes first. Also, the patient is entitled to know exactly what her medical condition is, and what medical options are available to her. This should become a law suit. A huge class action law suit because you can bet your buttons this isn't the first time this has occurred.

    1. Anonymous11:03 AM

      I agree with you! This is so wrong.

      I'm not going to get rude or pushy about it, but the issue of abortion rights is my top priority, and it hurts me that this young woman was treated so horribly. I will continue to speak about the right to make personal decisions about one's body, even at the detriment to the life of the fetus. I will never stop defending the right to abortion; not because I think it's a "good" thing, but because it is a necessary thing.

      That baby growing inside of the young woman was a health risk to her. They should have removed it, in as compassionate and private a fashion as they could. The fact that this is public news is a big part of the problem, and is shocking, in and of itself.
      We sit in our homes, jeering at celebrities, scorning politicos, and complaining about things we can't or shouldn't even try to control, when we should be constantly, politely, and firmly protecting our rights to certain guaranteed liberties. Let us be ever vigilant, even when it is difficult, to make sure that we are part of the solution and not part of the problem.

    2. Anonymous12:01 PM

      Yesterday it didn't get much "news" shock but SCOTUS refused to hear "HobbyLobby" and Liberty uni about Not wanting to cover BC etc. So basically we are not slaves to the corp. They can not tell us as women we CAN'T have BC. Even if its AGAINST THEIR religion.

    3. Anonymous2:28 PM

      12:01, your statement is not correct; the Hobby Lobby and Liberty University cases are two different cases. The SC has already agreed to hear and rule on the HL case.

    4. Anonymous3:30 PM

      This reminds me of the states that have proposed (and some have passed) laws that prohibit families from suing doctors for withholding information about fetal abnormalities.

      This permits doctors to LIE to their patients if they think the mother may choose to abort a fetus. The family has no idea there are any problems with the pregnancy until delivery, when they discover their child has a severe disability or even a condition that will cause suffering and death.

      Not only does this prevent the parents from making an informed decision regarding continuation of the pregnancy, but it also prevents families from preparing themselves to care for the child if they choose to continue the pregnancy. Many conditions can be fixed or reduced in severity prior to delivery and that potential for early medical intervention will be eliminated.

      I believe that the laws that have been passed (Arizona, Kansas and Oklahoma) are being challenged in court but many women will have to endure the fear of being lied to by their doctor until these matters are settled.

  5. Anonymous10:59 AM

    Somewhere in AR Jim Boob and Mullet Duggar are smiling

  6. I'm with you. The only hospital within about 150 miles of where I live is St. Charles, a Catholic hospital. My co-worker had an ectopic pregnancy which they treated, i.e., terminated an non-viable pregnancy. When she had her second child she had her tubes tied...at St. Charles. So not all Catholic hospitals adhere to those draconian directives.

  7. angela11:19 AM

    Almost sounds like that poor woman in Ireland. This poor woman was luckier though having lived.

    What a load of bullshit. Any hospital that is willing to sacrifice a patience's health over religious doctrine needs to close down.

  8. JKarov11:22 AM

    Read up on this case, and decide for yourself.



    The Catholic doctors that treated Savita let her die in the hospital after 3 days of agony and suffering, all because of religious prejudice and Irish law

    Plenty of conservatives are in favor of exceptions for life of the mother, rape, and incest.

    No one should be forced to have sex at gunpoint, or be coerced into sex when she is just a child.

    These religious fanatics favor murdering the mother by neglect over delivering a still born infant.

  9. Anonymous11:44 AM

    What happened in that young woman's situation was medical malpractice, no doubt about it. And the religious beliefs of the people running the hospital are no excuse.

    Almost thirty-nine years ago the same thing happened to me, at just about the same stage of pregnancy, four and one-half months. The doctor told me that I had a 1 in 10,000 chances of having a live baby at the end. I was sent home to wait for labor to begin, the doctor thought within 24 to 36 hours. I was also told that it could go on as long as six more weeks but that I would likely, by that time, develop an infection and the baby would die in utero. I was lucky not to be working, I saw my doctor every two weeks, took to my bed for the last six weeks and was visited by the doctor's nurse weekly then. For me, it was a living nightmare but with a miraculously good ending: a healthy baby born just two weeks early, despite months of leaking and then bleeding. No one could explain the successful result. I feel so very sorry for this young woman.

  10. Anonymous12:03 PM

    Disgusting! My ob's partner was not allowed anywhere near me during my pregnancies with my sons.He was extremely old school Catholic,and looked at women as breeding cattle,not humans.I knew five-FIVE-couples who's children died during labor,because he only believed in vaginal deliveries.My younger son was delivered by c-section,and would have died had I delivered him vaginally.My doctor was great,and respected my my loathing of the other doctor-and kept him away from me.My sons are 29 and 27,so it's disgusting that this mentality is still in practice.

    1. Anonymous12:47 PM

      Your doc should have reported him to the medical board and kicked him out of his practice or left to start his own. If you allow it, you are complicit in the crime.

  11. Super Fan In Atlanta12:43 PM

    Me either! And, for the life of me, I REALLY don't understand why men -- whom I love dearly but who do not have a womb, a period, a vagina or the capability of actually carrying and birthing a baby -- get to weigh in so heavily on these types of issues. It almost seems as if they are angry at us because they don't have complete and utter control over the ability to procreate. I'm just sayin'

    1. Leland1:38 PM

      "It almost seems as if they are angry at us because they don't have complete and utter control over the ability to procreate."

      Actually, I believe that is exactly what they want: Absolute and total control.

      Why? So they can get their P**kers wet when THEY want to!

  12. Anonymous12:51 PM

    20 years ago I was unknowingly pregnant with twins. I delivered a healthy baby girl, then got severely sick over the next week. Long story short my Dr. worked for a Catholic hospital. and it took over a week to get the hospital's permission for me to have a D&C for a dead baby rotting inside of me! Meanwhile I was literally bleeding to death but hey what's the hurry right? I only had a 3 year old and a newborn to take care of, not as important as that dead baby :(

    Reading all these other stories makes me realize I'm not alone and that PISSES me off!

    1. Anonymous4:16 PM

      BTW Obviously I knew I was pregnant, just not with twins. There was never another heart beat or really viable baby there, just basically placenta. But they still took a week to grant permission! It's a miracle I didn't get a severe infection.

  13. Anonymous1:29 PM

    IF life means so much to "Christian" organizations, how come a women's life never means anything.
    She is lucky to be alive and whatever Dr she encountered needs to be sued for her days of pain, suffering, and however long the symptoms of that mass infection last.

  14. Gryphen, while I take exception to your "bundle of cells" misnomer (I recently went through an 18.5 week loss so I feel I'm qualified to speak) because I saw my child's jellybean sized feet, impossibly tiny toes, and even the beginning whorls of downy fine hair...I am still on your side. That woman's baby was a baby, just like mine was. However, there wasn't "little" chance either of our children would survive; there was ZERO chance. Babies born at 16-18 weeks do not survive. End of story. I believe there has been ONE documented case of an 18 week gestation that survived, but it was later found to be a complete fabrication on the part of the pro life media machine- the child was actually born at 22 weeks.

    So they knew if her labor progressed, there was ZERO chance her child would survive. None. That makes this even more despicable. It's not like she was eight months along and her attending clinicians claimed to be an advocate of the unborn child.

    What I see here, as an old black woman who used to be a young black woman...is a young black woman who was treated worse than an animal. I bet those catholic clinicians would even take their cat to the vet if they showed signs of an infection.

    Instead, they kept their hearts "pure" while probably secretly patting themselves on the back for preventing another "welfare mommy".



  15. Randall2:36 PM

    The tragic irony of it all is:
    Roe vs. Wade has saved thousands and thousands of lives.

    Only the pathetically ignorant believe that overturning "Roe" will save lives.

  16. Anonymous3:26 PM

    Come on, Gryphen. You know that If she had died from her infection it would be "God's will" and she would be "in a better place."

  17. Anita Winecooler5:23 PM

    I'm one who endured a full term still birth, different circumstance, but I feel for this woman, and stories like this don't surprise me one bit. Any "doctor" that works for a "Catholic Hospital" has broken their oath, "First do no Harm". This "sin of omission" put this woman's life in danger, and for what? What "quality of life" did that "baby" have with zero chance at viability outside the womb? This woman could have lost her ability to have a baby, or even worse, ended up dead because information was kept from her. It's a grueling, painful and unnecessary way to die. . Part of me doesn't want to go "there", but I wonder if the mother wasn't a woman of color, would she get the same treatment?
    Unfortunately, some people don't have a choice BUT to go to a "Catholic" hospital, but I guarantee one thing, if a man gave birth, the church would be pro choice and perform abortions.

  18. They need to be sued, repeatedly. Often.

    Not only did they risk this woman's life, they also risked her being sterile and never being able to have another baby due to the infection.

    No hospital should be allowed to override the best medical care available with religious doctrine. They don't know the religious beliefs of the patients who come to their emergency rooms and have no right to force their beliefs on others.

    Yes, they need some big, fucking lawsuits. Often. Repeatedly. With big honking' payouts and lots and lots of publicity. Negative publicity.

  19. Anonymous5:36 AM

    It's time to get the Catholic Church out of the hospital business!! Maybe 100 years ago it was a good thing in our society to have Catholic hospitals but now with the ACA we now have healthcare for all. All doctors, nurses, hospitals, clinics and PHARMACISTS, need to be held to secularism when it comes to performing their job. If they can't uphold their duties as caregivers without religious interference then they need to go into another field!! If you hate kids don't be a teacher. If you hate animals don't be a veterinarian. If you like to smoke pot don't become a cop. Get it?? Most people go to their job and leave their religion at home. That's how it should be in the United States!!


Don't feed the trolls!
It just goes directly to their thighs.