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Catholic World News

ACLU lawsuit aims at Church ethical directives on hospital policies

December 03, 2013

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a lawsuit against the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), claiming that the ethical directives issued by the American bishops are responsible for negligence in the care of a woman treated in a Michigan Catholic hospital,

Tamesha Means, who reportedly suffered damaging infections during a troubled pregnancy that ended in miscarriage, should have been advised to abort the child, the ACLU argues. The lawsuit claims that officials at Mercy Health Muskegon, a Catholic hospital, failed to provide the woman with the best medical options because of restrictions imposed on Catholic hospitals by the USCCB’s ethical directives.

The ACLU lawsuit is a challenge to Church policies at all Catholic hospitals. An ACLU official in Michigan said: “It’s about a nationwide policy created by nonmedical professionals putting patients in harm’s way.”

To win the case, the ACLU would be required to show not only that the treatment of Tamesha Means was negligent, but also that the USCCB exercised direct control over the hospital’s policies.

The ACLU case has important implications for the American health-care system overall, since 13% of the hospitals in the US operate under the auspices of the Catholic Church.


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  • Posted by: rpp - Dec. 03, 2013 5:44 PM ET USA

    USCCB, if you are listening, please, DON'T SETTLE OUT OF COURT! This has HUGE implications. If murder is to be forced on us, let them FORCE it on us, defending the innocent to the best of our ability.

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Dec. 03, 2013 4:44 PM ET USA

    This gang of professional lefties didn't get the moniker "Anti-Christian Lawyers Union" for nothing.