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Read, and Despair.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, Fourth Edition


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Is this new?

Yeah, the Church's position on this stuff sucks, but that's hardly news.

No, it's not news that they're a load of bastards, but it's the first time I, personally, have seen this or read through it.

The Catholic Church actually threatened to withhold humane services from any US state that legalized gay marriage. They also aid and abet pedophiles. They're despicable.

I didn't know about that threat. Richard Dawkins gets it in the neck for saying Catholicism is the second most evil religion. (He ought to have said 'sect', which would have been more accurate.) Yet one cannot help thinking he's right - and we both know which aggregation of sects he thinks is more evil...

Interesting...did he consider Islam the first?

I presume so. However, he, like anyone else with any sense, does not condemn all those who follow Islam as being evil, any more than all Catholics are. It is the leaders, the fundamentalist adherence to doctrine that forms the core danger to modern secularist society that needs to be condemned.

There are good people who are Catholic and good people who are Muslims, but a lot of the doctrine coming from the leaders of both (and particularly certain sects of Islam) stinks.

People are people... and I don't have anything against Islam that I don't hold against any other religion. As a feminist I deplore the position of women within Islamic societies but that is as much cultural as religious and it is certainly possible to separate the two. I suggested Islam because I couldn't think of another religion Dawkins might consider worse than Catholicism

But a great deal of the nastier part of many Islamic societies stems from the Koran. Of course, modern Muslims have tried to pretend that the Koran should be interpreted with a modern bent, just as many Christians try to avoid the nastier of Yahweh's acts in the Bible.

All religions cherry pick from their religious books - but the problems arise when they don't.

"All religions cherry pick from their religious books - but the problems arise when they don't."

I agree. It's impossible to completely separate religion and culture, especially in a theocracy but there is just as much unpleasant shit aimed at keepin' the wimmins down in the christian version of the fairy tales as there is in the muslim - as can be clearly seen in the cultural practices of US fundamentalists.

Nope- even the ones that claim they don't cherrypick do- or they would all go stark staring bonkers trying to follow all the contradictory instructions.

"Reproductive technologies that substitute for the marriage act are not consistent with human dignity"

Hmmm... that was essentially the point of Lewis's "That Hideous Strength".

I note that even an extra uterine pregnancy cannot be aborted which must be mean that the ugly, painful death of mother and child is considered consistent with the "human dignity" they keep prattling on about.

I just think all this worrying about and regulation of private sexual affairs is bizarrely prurient. Especially for a bunch of celibates. Does the attempt to maintain celibacy cause you to dwell incessantly on other folks sex lives - like being on a diet and dwelling incessantly on chocolate!

It just seems rather grubby and unhealthy.

I was led to this from a current post on Pharyngula about a Catholic hospital in Arizona where the staff aborted a fetus to save the mother, or else both would have died. The local Archbishop has excommunicated the nun who was part of the group who made the decision and withdrawn Catholic support from the hospital (though they weren't actually giving them financial support anyway) which basically means that Catholic patients and staff cannot take Mass in the hospital chapel. I personally think this is just as well, but it is punishing the patients.

Both should have died for the sake of "the sanctity of human life," I guess.

But that's actually covered in the rules and regs if I read it right. Where an 'operation or treatment' is to save the life of the mother when without the intervention both mother and child will die before the child is brought to term. Admittedly it doesn't _say_ the operation or treatment includes an abortion, but if without one the result is a double death, what then?

'Directive 47: Operations, treatments, and medications that have as their direct purpose the cure of a proportionately serious pathological condition of a pregnant woman are permitted when they cannot be safely postponed until the unborn child is viable, even if they will result in the death of the unborn child.'

Sheesh! the rest of it's bad enough, but refusing a woman a lifesaving procedure doesn't cut it under anyone's rules.

I have to admit I didn't read that far - but if so, that directly contradicts the extra-uterine conception ban on abortion.

Although I suppose they are arguing that it is appropriate to ask a woman to carry an extra uterine pregnancy to term and then perform a caesarian. Which is insanely dangerous.

I'm not a doctor, but it's my understanding that an ectopic pregnancy can't be carried to term. Without intervention it will rupture the fallopian tube leading to internal bleeding and death. Anyone refusing an abortion to a woman with an ectopic pregnancy is effectively committing murder. Doesn't the catholic Church recognise sins of omission?

Actually, that's a good point. I hadn't thought of an ectopic pregnancy because I was thinking of extra uterine being those rare cases where an embryo attaches itself to an intestinal wall. Theoretically these can be maintained until the fetus is viable but it's desperately dangerous for the mother and the outcome is rarely good. But you may well be right that they have for some odd reason decided to call ectopic "extra uterine" despite ectopic being the correct and widely recognised name. And, yes, in this country any doctor who allowed a diagnosed ectopic to rupture would be investigated and probably struck off.

When I googled 'extrauterine pregnancy' the article that I found said that in rare cases an embryo could attach elsewhere, but 95% of extrauterine pregnancies are ectopic so if the RC church is saying no abortion for extrauterine pregnancies 95% of the time the prognosis is 'certain death' and 5% of the time it's 'mainly death' - neat choice.

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