Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Catholic Hospital Says Its "Fetus Is Not A Person" Defense Was Morally Wrong

As reported by the Denver Post, Colorado-based Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) released a statement (full text) Monday acknowledging that it was "morally wrong" for lawyers representing St. Thomas More Hospital in Canon City, Colorado to raise in a malpractice suit the defense that Colorado's Wrongful Death Act that does not consider a fetus to be a person.  As previously reported, the defense came in a lawsuit by the husband and the daughter of a woman, pregnant with twins, who died in the hospital's emergency room, and who argued that at least a cesarean section should have been performed to save the twins. CHI said that if the Colorado Supreme Court grants review in the case, it will not cite the Wrongful Death Act which does not permit fetuses to sue.

Meanwhile, the losing plaintiff in the lawsuit, Jeremy Stodghill, has filed for bankruptcy because of the $47,000 in legal fees for the defendants awarded against him. CHI did not file a lien or pursue a claim in bankruptcy court against Stodghill, but a physician who was a co-defendant did file lien which led to the bankruptcy filing. Stodghill's attorney says, however, that CHI used the legal fee award as a negotiating tool to try to persuade Stodghill not to appeal.