Thursday, January 24, 2013
Catholic Hospital's Defense In Wrongful Death Case Apparently Contradicts Catholic Teachings
Denver Westward News and the Colorado Independent this week report on a wrongful death lawsuit against Catholic Health Initiatives that runs a hospital in Canon City, Colorado in which the hospital's defense seems to contradict teachings of the Catholic Church. Jeremy Stodghill sued the hospital for the death of his pregnant wife and the twins she was carrying. Lori Stodghill, who weighed over 400 pounds, died in the hospital's emergency room of a pulmonary embolism. Plaintiff argues that at least the hospital should have performed a cesarean section to save the twins. A trial court and the state court of appeals so far has accepted the hospital's defense is that the fetuses are not persons under the wrongful death statute. This is consistent with a long-standing interpretation by state courts that define "person" under the Wrongful Death Act to include only those born alive. Stodghill has appealed to the state Supreme Court.