Utah case

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I have had several readers ask me to weigh in on the Utah case. I have been thinking it over, and have come to the conclusion that I don't have enough of the facts to offer a reasoned opinion.
That hasn't stopped a lot of others, though. There is quite a conversation going on over at the Heart, Mind, Soul blog.
My basic concerns are pretty much echoed - I am extremely concerned at the concept that a woman can be forced to undergo a potentially fatal procedure against her will, but I am also extremely concerned that a baby may have died who could have lived.

A staple melodrama in the first decades of the 20th century addressed this issue. The concern was, do you sacrifice the mother to save the baby? There was a very real fear among many everyday Americans that if they went to a Catholic hospital to give birth, the baby's life would be valued above that of the mother. Before good surgical technique, before antibiotics and blood banks and many other technological improvements, a cesarean section had a pretty high chance of killing the mother - and even if she survived, many could expect to be left with varying degrees of disability. Even now, a woman is 7 to 10 times more likely to die from a cesarean than from a vaginal birth, and close to 50% of cesareans have 'minor' complications (bladder infections, excessive blood loss, reparable injury to other organs, wound infections). A woman with a cesarean in also in many ways an Obstetric cripple for future births - there is always the nagging anxiety that the scar tissue won't hold through the normal stress of another pregnancy and birth - and of course, repeated cesareans carry their own set of risks. Because birth in general (including cesareans) have become so much more survivable than, say, 200 years ago, there is a rather cavalier attitude about the real risks. Some time, go read the old Anglican ritual for "The Churching of Women" to see what I am talking about. I grew up reading it while bored in church, and it gave me a real respect for what my mother and grandmothers went through. (I am sorry - I don't know if there is a Catholic equivalent as I did not grow up Catholic).
But the child, also, has a right to be born alive, and to a Catholic christian, even if a baby is likely to die soon after birth, it is preferable that they be born alive and capable of receiving the Sacrament of Baptism.
One thing I don't understand about this particular case is why the doctors did not suggest induction of labor rather than an immediate cesarean. It doesn't make sense to me at all, and I think there are important details that are being withheld from the public as the prosecutor attempts to make the case in 'the court of public opinion'.



has a pretty good article on it--

I, too, would like more facts. The AP's initial story was so fantastically WEIRD that I thought something must be up. I mean, why prosecute a woman for refusing a C-section...?!?

Alicia, the lady did end up having a C-section after all, but the surviving twin tested positive for marijuana and cocaine. Additionally the mom did some weird stuff while she was in jail, like try to get potentially adoptive parents to adopt her dead baby and post bail. It seems like the initial C-section refusal part was jut the tip of the iceburg.

Churching women in is a Catholic custom. They still practice it in many Tridentine Parishes, unfortunaltely not mine. I have been dying to be Churched back in. I was thinking of making a formal request with the info to my current pastor (TLM).

Wow, interesting comments. I rather wish I would've read this before doing my own opining.

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This page contains a single entry by alicia published on March 13, 2004 2:20 PM.

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