February 29, 2024

British cleric attacked over hospital’s ethical code

Catholic cardinal refuses to allow abortion

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'ConnorAbortion is far from a dead issue in the UK, even though it has been legal
there since 1967. In the latest dispute, the country’s leading Catholic bishop
has sacked the entire board of a hospital which he feels is not acting
consistently with the Church’s teaching. Some doctors at the private Hospital of
St John and St Elizabeth had been doing abortions, providing contraception and
doing sex-change surgery. When Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor became aware of
this, he tried to implement a new code of ethics. This was opposed by the
hospital’s Medical Advisory Committee and sparked the resignation of at least
four directors. Now the Cardinal has demanded the resignation of all directors
and has appointed a new chairman, the former chief of the Army, Lord Guthrie of

The British Medical Association has criticised the move, saying that doctors
were being forced to choose between two codes of ethics: the hospital’s and the
General Medical Council’s. This stipulates that doctors are not supposed to
impose their own beliefs upon their patients. "They must treat patients with
respect whatever their life choices are. We are quite clear about our guidance,"
said a spokeswoman for the GMC. "I am not sure how they [the hospital] would
balance that." ~ Independent, Feb 23

One thought on “British cleric attacked over hospital’s ethical code

  1. I wish to let the Cardinal know that I pray for him and his efforts in this matter. I am not a doctor, but what the Catholic faith teaches about respecting and protecting human life at any and all its stages only expresses what any true medical doctor should hold true, no matter what his religious beliefs may be–because it’s not a matter of religion, it’s a matter of respecting the human person. What a GMC spokeswoman said about treating patients “with respect whatever their life choices are” is actually a statement for life; abortion is a death choice, not a life choice. One of the things that have happened in our society is that we’ve hidden the real meanings of words behind vague technicalities to be able to get away with what we want. And so, when somebody comes and tells us unambiguously when we’re doing, we get offended.

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