Catholic News Agency
Catania, Italy, Oct 26, 2016 / 06:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The tragic death of a mother in Italy after late-term pregnancy complications and miscarriage is being pinned on the doctor’s refusal to perform a late-term abortion, despite appearances that the mother died of complications of the miscarriage.
The case is complex, John F. Brehany, PhD, an ethicist for the National Catholic Bioethics Center, told CNA in a statement. “At a minimum, there seems to be a profound disagreement about what was said between the physician and the hospital, and the patient and her family. “Hopefully, this tragedy will not be exploited to promote abortion on demand or to undermine respect for the rights of conscience of physicians and other healthcare providers.”
The family of Valentina Milluzzo, who died at Cannizzaro hospital in the Sicilian city of Catania, allege that she passed away because her doctor was a “conscientious objector” to abortion and thus did not perform an abortion after she suffered pregnancy complications. The hospital denies that this is the case, and the head of the hospital, Angelo Pellicano, told Ansa news agency that the doctor did not have a conscientious objection to abortion, but that there was a spontaneous miscarriage that was forced by serious circumstances. . . [Full text]
Peter Finney Jr.
NEW ORLEANS (CNS) — Fine print contained in the Affordable Care Act has weakened conscience protections for physicians who oppose abortion, sterilization or other medical practices on religious or moral grounds, a doctor and ethicist told the American Academy of Fertility Care Professionals.
Dr. John Brehany, executive director and ethicist of the Catholic Medical Association, said with the passage of the new health care law, commonly called Obamacare, “the federal government is posing real threats to faithful health care professionals.”
“While Obamacare itself does have a couple of conscience-protection provisions built in, the fact is, if you look at the big picture, which are the old federal laws and what was achieved from 1973 to 2004, we are now missing some important protections, and we are now vague on how these old laws will carry forward into the future,” Brehany said Aug. 10 during told the academy’s annual gathering in New Orleans. . . . [Full text]
600 Catholic physicians attending a four day conference in St. Paul, Minnesota, were warned that they are practising medicine in an increasingly toxic culture and that even physicians who do not follow Church teaching may be forced to do things that they believe to be wrong. Bishop Robert Vasa of Santa Rosa, California told the audience that “American Catholic physicians, have to wake up to the fact that they can no longer presume that their individual choices about how they practice medicine in this country will be respected.” John Brehany, the CMA’s executive director, described the current situation in the United States as a “very dangerous crisis.” [NCR]