A Colorado man is suing a Catholic hospital because his wife and the 7-month twins she was carrying died in the examination room.
Lori Stodghill, 31, died from a clogged artery, after the obstetrician on call failed to answer his pager.
The hospital's defense? They're not liable for the twins' deaths, because fetuses are not persons with legal rights in Colorado. That defense rests on state law, which asserts that the "term 'person,' as it is used in the Wrongful Death Act, encompasses only individuals born alive,'" reports the Colorado Independent.
But since the St. Thomas More Hospital is Catholic-affiliated, it adheres to the Ethical and Religious Directives of the Catholic Church. These include the statement that "the Church's defense of life encompasses the unborn" and an affirmation of "the sanctity of life 'from the moment of conception.'"
The hospital is run by Catholic Health Initiatives, a nonprofit that directs 170 other healthcare facilities nationwide.