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McMahon: Name Change

I hope it’s not going to come to my having to recommend that sick friends take their conditions to Joe’s hospital. It kind of sounds like discount healing doesn’t it.

The decision of Bishop Olmsted of the Phoenix Diocese to remove Catholic accreditation from St. Joseph’s Hospital has rocked the world of institutional medicine and religion.

And why not? It comes down to this. An administrative executive interprets a medical decision. St. Joseph’s hospital was faced with a moral and ethical dilemma. They decided to save the life of a gravely ill mother by terminating an 11-week pregnancy. There would have been no question anywhere else. If the mother dies they both die. The mother was near death. Save her by removing the embryo.

But at St. Joe’s the decision had to be passed by an ethics committee headed by Sister Margaret McBride. For that, she was excommunicated.

You know what? I’m still going to depend on medical professionals to make my life and death decisions. Remember church leaders: We’re the ones who punished Galileo for daring to say the Earth orbited the sun.