Skip to comments.Exclusive: Twenty Years of Eugenic Abortion at Ontario Catholic Hospital
Posted on 12/13/2008 10:34:36 AM PST by wagglebee
LONDON, December 5, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The chief ethicist for the diocese of London in Ontario Canada recently admitted to LifeSiteNews.com in an interview that St. Joseph's Catholic Hospital in London has been performing "early induction" procedures in cases of diagnosed lethal fetal anomalies for twenty years, under his ethical direction. While Fr. Michael Prieur attempted to justify "early induction" for lethal fetal anomaly as not being abortion, the procedure has been condemned as illicit by the US Bishops' Doctrinal Committee and called "direct abortion" by the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC).
In an "early induction" the mother is induced into labor at a point so early in the pregnancy that even a healthy child would be unable to live outside the womb without specialized intensive care; under such circumstances, a severely disabled child will likely not live more than minutes.
At St. Joseph's "early induction" is used only when the diagnosed fetal disabilities are deemed so severe that the child will likely die within a few months, days or even hours of being born. The St. Joseph's policy on the matter states: "An early induction may be permitted after viability for a proportionate reason which can include grave physical, psychological or psychiatric considerations." Psychological justification for inducing labor in such cases is to spare the mother the pain of carrying to term a child that is likely to die shortly after birth anyway.
Pro-life groups and church teaching on the issue, however, consider abortions of such children through early induction to be the same as regular abortion (the unjust killing of an unborn child), but with an added discrimination against those with a handicap.
One of the most extreme cases of lethal fetal anomaly is anencephaly - a congenital anomaly characterized by failure of development of the cerebral hemispheres and overlying skull and scalp, exposing the brain stem. Most infants who have anencephaly do not survive for more than a few days after birth. Nevertheless, the Catholic Church does not permit abortion of such infants. A 1996 document on Anencephaly by the Committee on Doctrine of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops explains: "It can never be morally justified directly to cause the death of an innocent person no matter the age or condition of that person."
In addition to being the chief ethicist at the hospital, Fr. Michael Prieur is a professor of Moral and Sacramental Theology at St. Peter's Seminary, a position he's held for over thirty-five years. He is widely known as one of the nation's foremost defenders of the Winnipeg Statement, a controversial statement of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops which many have deemed a dissent from Pope Paul VI's encyclical Humanae Vitae.
Fr. Prieur told LifeSiteNews.com that he wrote the protocol on the procedure with a team of obstetricians and neonatologists. "We've been doing it for twenty years now," he said.
He noted more than once that, "This has the approval of the bishop."
The office of Bishop Ronald Fabbro of the Diocese of London was contacted numerous times over the past week for comment but Mark Adkinson, the diocesan spokesman, told LifeSiteNews.com that while the Bishop had been made aware of the situation, the Diocese had no comment at this time. Bishop Fabbro was appointed to the Diocese in 2002, indicating that the initial permission to perform the procedure was given by now-retired bishop John Michael Sherlock.
LifeSiteNews.com spoke with Bishop Sherlock about the situation. "Well, I can't remember any details now. You're on a very specific topic," he said. Asked specifically about Fr. Prieur, Bishop Sherlock said, "I know that he was responsible for ensuring that the Church's moral teaching in the matter of life was maintained at St. Joseph's hospital and I trusted his judgement, and had absolute confidence that he would be utilizing the most advanced moral theology in judging the appropriateness of certain medical procedures and I had trust in him."
Several other Bishops offices were contacted to comment on this story but all refused comment, some stating that it was the prerogative of the local Bishop to comment on the matter.
LifeSiteNews.com has obtained the policy of the Catholic hospital permitting such procedures. (See the 1997 version of the guidelines: http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2008_docs/earlyinductionIC8.pdf; See the 2006 version at: http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2008_docs/EarlyInductionEthicalG...)
Fr. Prieur explained the procedure, saying, "Routinely, when we get them we would meet with ten to fifteen people to make sure of the diagnosis and the prognosis. We always pray. Because this is a very difficult area - what's called a conflict area. So we always pray. And then the decision is made to have an early induction."
Fr. Prieur insisted that such procedures were not abortion. "Now it's not called abortion. We're not killing the baby. We're bringing the baby out and allowing the baby to die. That's a very important distinction," he told LifeSiteNews.com. When removed from the womb at 21 weeks gestation, however, even a healthy baby could not survive without highly specialized intensive care treatments.
Prieur explained that in order to do the early induction for infants with lethal fetal anomalies, "the babies have to be viable. It has to be done after 21 weeks just in case there's a misdiagnosis. Then we can bring that child to term in a neonatal intensive care unit." Asked if such life-saving treatments are afforded to a child with the disorder, he replied, "No, no there's nothing you can do. Some of these conditions you know, we've had babies that are terribly deformed. Oh my goodness, I mean you pray that the baby will die. They come out terribly deformed. Nature's full of surprises. And remember we're not bound to the impossible. We don't have to preserve life at all costs. We let people die. That's not foreign to Catholic teaching. Allowing death is a normal thing."
Prieur made a distinction between killing the baby via early induction of labour versus killing the baby by dismemberment in the womb. "And so we do not dismember the baby when we bring the baby out. Some hospitals would use dilatation and evacuation which means they would bring the child out in pieces. We will not allow that," he said.
However, the US Bishops document Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services defines abortion as including such early induction procedures. "Abortion (that is, the directly intended termination of pregnancy before viability or the directly intended destruction of a viable fetus) is never permitted," says directive 45 of the document. (http://www.usccb.org/bishops/directives.shtml )
In addition, the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC), which has four Cardinals and several Bishops as part of its board, has called early induction of babies with anencephaly "direct abortion." (http://www.ncbcenter.org/04-03-11-EarlyInduction.asp )
The US Bishops' Doctrinal Committee document concerning anencephaly cited above spells it out clearly: "It is clear that before 'viability' it is never permitted to terminate the gestation of an anencephalic child as the means of avoiding psychological or physical risks to the mother. Nor is such termination permitted after 'viability' if early delivery endangers the child's life due to complications of prematurity."
According to Fr. Prieur's interpretation, however, the procedure is totally in synch with Catholic doctrine, and even pro-life. He describes an early induction scenario in this way: "[The babies with lethal fetal anomaly] are dying and basically here's what happens, and I've been doing, we've been doing these for, like I said, for almost twenty years. People who are pro-life to their fingertips want the baby, get the diagnosis, find out that the baby is dying, will say, 'Is there any way we can hold that child while the child dies?' And I've often felt in my heart of hearts that's a signal from God, that what we're doing is the right thing. And there's a factor, and this is a technical term in theology - the instinct of the faith - and it's like, you know, in your heart of hearts you say, you know that makes sense. This is not your normal abortion, where we want to get rid of the baby. Not at all. See what I mean. And here's where we've got Catholic obstetricians here in town that say, 'Yes, this is the right thing to do.'"
Dr. Paul Byrne, a neonatologist and former President of the Catholic Medical Association, disagrees. Speaking on early induction for lethal fetal anomaly he said: "Every time I have been contacted over the many years that I have practiced neonatology, I instruct and encourage the mother to keep the baby in the uterus. It does not help the baby or the mother to deliver early."
Byrne told LifeSiteNews.com, "Parents usually do what they are led to do. Parents ordinarily are not equipped to deal with all this. Parents and clergy need guidance from a pro-life physician. Induction is the frequently given direction and answer to many, if not most situations these days. It brings an end to the immediate problem, but parents and clergy eventually realize that they did not have to impose or encourage death."
Dr. Byrne suggests that babies in utero with lethal fetal anomaly are "not dying, but living in the mother's womb." He adds that "they will die quicker if brought outside the uterus." Dr. Byrne concluded: "Killing is killing even when the baby has an abnormality and short gestation. We must not hasten or impose death. Sometimes when the baby gets out after natural labor, they live better than predicted."
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, (2323): "Because it should be treated as a person from conception, the embryo must be defended in its integrity, cared for, and healed like every other human being."
The bottom line on the matter from the NCBC is "early induction of an anencephalic child when there is no serious pathology of the mother which is being directly treated is not morally licit, emotional distress notwithstanding. Early induction of labor before term (37 weeks) to relieve emotional distress hastens the death of the child as a means of achieving this presumed good effect and unjustifiably deprives the child of the good of gestation." (http://www.usccb.org/dpp/anencephaly.htm )
The witness of parents who have gone through the birth of children with lethal fetal anomalies is powerful. LifeSiteNews.com spoke with one such mother, Barbara Farlow, who had this to say: "My daughter Annie was born with Trisomy 13 and she lived for 80 days. She smiled for the first time 3 days before she died. We would not have had that time if we had chosen early induction. I have come to know many families who had a baby who lived only a short period of time and every minute was unforgettable to them. Nobody has regrets. Families need a lot of support to carry to term and love their children until their natural death. The offer of early induction denies families this precious time and that is a tragedy." Mrs. Farlow has dedicated a website to the life of her child: http://www.anniefarlow.com/
Further, Farlow suggested that those interested in learning more about babies with lethal fetal anomalies may benefit from the videos of babies born with Trisomy 13 posted online (See below for links).
Alex Schadenberg, the executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, told LifeSiteNews.com that once the child is delivered prematurely, the omission to care for these children may be euthanasia. According to the Catholic Church, "Euthanasia is an action or omission of an action which of itself and by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering ...The error of judgement into which one can fall in good faith does not change the nature of this murderous act, which must always be forbidden and excluded," he said, quoting the Catechism, Section 2277. The Catechism also states: "Whatever its motives and means, direct euthanasia consists in putting an end to the lives of handicapped, sick or dying person. It is morally unacceptable."
Jim Hughes, National President of Campaign Life Coalition commented, saying, "All of this sounds pretty appalling to me. It sounds to me like this is nothing more than abortion dressed up in more attractive clothing." Hughes concluded: "Can some Catholic authority please put an end to the abortions going on at the Catholic hospital in London. Is this the only Catholic hospital that's doing this or is this widespread?"
To express concerns:
Bishop Ronald Fabbro
Diocese of London
1070 Waterloo Street, London, Ontario N6A 3Y2
Phone: 519-433-0658 Fax: 519-433-0011
His Eminence William Cardinal Levada, S.T.D.
Cardinal Prefect Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith
Piazza del S. Uffizio 11
011 39 06 6988 3357
Videos of Babies born with Lethal Fetal Anomalies:
Trisomy 13 lived 35 minutes
Trisomy 18 lived 99 days. (Shown on Oprah a few weeks ago)
Trisomy 18 lived 4.5 years
There is NO JUSTIFICATION for abortion EVER and this "priest" needs to be excommunicated.
Freepmail wagglebee to subscribe or unsubscribe from the moral absolutes ping list.
Peace and Justice.
This is the same type of reasoning The March of Dimes uses to support the termination of babies in the womb who are diagnosed with Down Syndrome and Spinal Bifida among other “defects”.
Agreed. This is shocking.
Along with the bishop(s) who approved of it.
Would the “priest” not concede that perhaps at least one of those he agreed to murder could have lived despite what he believed to be a lethal condition? If so, then he would admit his own guilt, as I would accuse him of.
And the bishops who refuse to teach by not commenting on what happens in a different diocese. Good grief, they are so spineless they can’t even bring themselves to COMMENT. I wonder what it would have to take to wake the north american bishops up...regularly scheduled satanic masses at Catholic churches?
Defrock and excommunicate.
Eventually you get to the point where killing anyone for any reason is OK.
At least the Code Duelo (Dueling Code) provided for a "reason" ~ honor! Yet, you'll never find a single Leftwingtard who will support bringing back dueling. Still, if we enabled dueling, we could quickly put a stop to virtually all the Leftwingtard nonsense including abortion.
I have no doubt that the so-called ethecist whose the target of this report would oppose dueling and we'd have to go dig him up out of a hole under his house like they did his brother in blood Saddam Hussein!
Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:
Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of interest.
Obama Says A Baby Is A Punishment
Disgusting and heart rendering.
“In addition to being the chief ethicist at the hospital, Fr. Michael Prieur is a professor of Moral and Sacramental Theology at St. Peter’s Seminary, a position he’s held for over thirty-five years. He is widely known as one of the nation’s foremost defenders of the Winnipeg Statement, a controversial statement of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops which many have deemed a dissent from Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae.”
Why am I not surprised?
Even more disgusting is the weasling of the former Bishop for the Diocese. Trust me he was probably told about this policy by those who were appalled by it. To shrug this off with “I trusted him” is inexcusable. That Bishop needs to be defrocked as well as the priest involved.
Christ have mercy on us.
So disgustingly hateful to “pray” before deciding to kill children. !!!!!
I just thought of something. One of the reasons people like him (and others) are pro-abort is because they ultimately have a world view that this world is here for everyone’s enjoyment. It is not “enjoyable” to be a parent of a severely disabled child. There are many troubles and hard work and sorrows. And of course the baby suffers.
But this world is not meant to be a Disney World of fun fun fun. It is a testing ground, meant for spiritual purification and learning, to get closer to God.
Killing children in the womb because the parents and the child would suffer is based on a false, materialistic and non-religious or spiritual view of the purpose of life.
And, of course, utterly rebellious of the position of the Catholic Church, which is reprehensible for Catholics in general and priests in particular.
(If Catholics will forgive me for commenting on their church.)
Very well said!
Yhank you for pinging so many informative (if hair raising) articles. Too bad there are so many of them...
I’m getting a bit freaked out right now.
He just liked playing God. He was slipping on the slippery slope and justifying every decision with his God complex.
Well, Maryknoller Bourgeois finally got his walking papers, perhaps Father Prieur will follow along.
Given the legalistic hairsplitting in the article, I wonder if Fr. Prieur is a Jesuit.
The big break occurred in the 1930s, when the Anglican (Protestant) church approved artificial birth control, which then led to all the Protestant churches doing likewise. And this is a slippery slope: once children are regarded as a sort of optional addendum to sex, and not a very welcome one at that, abortion becomes the easiest way of dealing with this. Protestants approved of abortion way back when - I remember meeting many Protestants in the 1960s in New York who were working to get the NY anti-abortion law overturned.
The big problem in the Catholic Church has been the rise of the "dissident Catholic," who of course disagrees with all Church teachings but is sought out by the press as an authority and is rarely called out by the bishops. This is because many bishops appointed in the 1970s, fortunately the older ones who are dying off, are very liberal and either agree or are too timid to oppose this thinking.
I would say the bishop of this diocese may have had suspicions about this hospital, but he was too lazy or timid to act on them. And of course, they found a liberal priest to come forward and defend it, and the bishop, wanting to keep his invitation to the nice dinner parties and press events, either didn't care or was too scared to say anything.
You are obviously a good, orthodox Christian who would not have been a member of one of the many Protestant churches that worked - and still work - to spread abortion. But the doctrine on this comes from way back when, before the existence of Protestants, and that is what you are drawing your moral courage from.
I know this thread will be very difficult for many to read and digest. Some good people who learn about such terrible betrayal might have their faith seriously shaken. Never give up. We have to remember that Christ Himself warned that great evil will be around us till the end. We all can do something to help with pro-life.
“You Can Save Someone’s Life Today”—Dozens of Suggested Activities for Everyone [PDF Format] Priests for Life http://www.priestsforlife.org/brochures/youcan.html
Pro-Life Activism What You Can Do to End Abortion
Catholic hospitals commit and U.S. bishops condone live-birth abortion
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Posted: September 15, 2004 1:00 am Eastern
By Jill Stanek © 2008 WorldNetDaily.com
The news was a real bummer. A reporter named Tom Szyszkiewicz, who writes for the Catholic publications, Our Sunday Visitor and the National Catholic Register, was calling to tell me he had discovered two Catholic hospital systems were committing the induced-labor abortion procedure live-birth abortion on handicapped babies.
The bad news warped to bizarre when Szyszkiewicz said these hospitals were waiting until babies were 23 to 26 weeks gestation before aborting them i.e., until they were of viable age so they could say these weren't abortions at all, but simply labor inductions and, thus, sanctioned by the Catholic Church.
"That's crazy," I thought. Most hospitals I'm aware of that commit LBA do just the opposite: They make sure to abort babies before 23 weeks the most recent viability cutoff date according to the American Heart Association and American Academy of Pediatrics to avoid the ethical and legal dilemmas of deciding whether to resuscitate a baby they just tried to kill.
The Catholic hospitals' abortion strategy seemed even more risky when taking the Born Alive Infants Protection Act into account. It states that live-born babies, no matter what their gestational age or circumstances of birth, are "persons." According to the 14th Amendment, "persons" born in the United States are automatic citizens who cannot be "deprive[d] ... of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor den[ied] ... equal protection of the laws."
This means live-aborted babies can't be cast aside to die in hospital soiled utility rooms, or drowned in buckets of water, or sealed to suffocate in biohazard bags. They must be medically assessed and cared for just like wanted babies.
Last week, I contacted both hospital systems to make sure I wasn't missing something. I wasn't.
Loyola Health System in Chicago, and Providence Health System on the West Coast and Alaska, both commit live-birth abortion.
But they don't like the word, "abortion." They call what they do, "early induction of labor."
Webster's Dictionary defines abortion as, "the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus."
So now "termination of pregnancy" is called "early induction of labor." Euphemisms ... what would abortion proponents do without them?
Other Catholic hospitals may also be involved. Szyszkiewicz reported in the March 7, 2004, Our Sunday Visitor that Providence is the 10th largest U.S. Catholic health system, and "spokespersons for the other nine ... were either vague about their hospitals' practices or did not return calls."
Loyola and Providence say they are acting in accordance with the 2001 U.S. Bishops' Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services that states, "For proportionate reason, labor may be induced after the fetus is viable."
Theologian James LaGrye from the bishops' doctrinal office said the term "proportionate" is used "for situations in which some grave risk would be incurred if an action were not taken to avoid it," wrote Szyszkiewicz, who added, "LaGrye said the mental health of the mother 'is a reason' to perform early induction."
In addition to having "mental health" concerns, Fr. Jack O'Callahan, staff ethicist at Loyola, said they are trying "to ward off the physical complications of bringing to term a child who is not going to live anyway."
But, euthanizing one's handicapped child is not the solution to maintaining mental health, nor do handicapped babies normally spread voodoo vibes to make their mothers sick.
What about the physical and mental complications of abortion?
Even fatally ill babies, left to develop until term, give their mothers the gift of lowering their risk of breast cancer. Contrarily, mothers who abort dramatically increase their risk.
Aborting mothers also stand a much greater chance of ending up in hospital high-risk maternity departments next time they get pregnant. Their forcibly stretched cervixes will have difficulty keeping subsequent babies inside until full term.
But I digress.
The Aug. 19 New England Journal of Medicine reported that the smallest known surviving preemie just celebrated her 15th birthday. In 1989, Madeline Mann was born at Loyola Hospital at 27 weeks, weighing 9.9 ounces. She is now a violin playing, roller-blading, high-school honor student.
Doctors at Loyola delivered Madeline early by Caesarean section after determining she might fare better in their care than in her mother's uterus.
Oh, the irony.
In 1970, Nobel Prize winner Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn observed:
Let us not forget that violence does not and cannot flourish by itself; it is inevitably intertwined with lying. Between them there is the closest, the most profound and natural bond: nothing screens violence except lies, and the only way lies can hold out is by violence.
The more odious the violence, the greater the deceit is needed to justify it. Therefore, the defense of partial-birth abortion has required an inexhaustible store of lies.
LBA is murder ... a child born alive is a human being member of the citizens of this nation, so killing these struggling little ones via purposed neglect is in fact murdering an American citizen. Barack Obama worked hard in IL to protect that evil, wicked man that he is.
Anyone who does what 0bama did on LBA certainly would be opening themselves up. At the least we can say “he sold his soul” for a fleeting moment of power, relatively speaking. Eternity lasts much longer.
I think you are very likely correct.
I just read the first sentence of you comment - will read the rest in a minute. I did not express myself clearly!!! I didn’t mean that the Church holds an utterly rebellious position, but the priest and any others who are supposed to represent Christ’s teachings as expressed through the teachings of the Church are rebellious, by allowing, condoning and authorizing abortion.
Sorry I was so muddy. I will read the rest of your comment now.
I knew my “utterly rebellious” comment wasn’t clear enough...
Actually I am a follower of Hindu Dharma but simultaneously revere the teachings and person of Jesus Christ, as the truth is the truth. I am (I will admit) particularly attracted to Catholic tenets and practice more so than Prostetant although I have dear friends here and elsewhere of both stripes, because the Catholic teachings are more close to the principles I follow. Especially in regards to the teachings on sexuality.
I consider all faithful theists my dear family members.
Some Canadian Catholics got flaky for a while there. Sounds like the folks running this hospital were part of that.
That is sad and sick.
Ping to this linked post.
My second-favorite, BTW, is a good pro-life Vaishnava in Oakland who keeps trying to get me to stop being a carnivore. His vegan ideas are foreign to Catholicism in general, though not unehard-of in a Cistercian kitchen! For my part, I'm stickin' with my pork fried rice. Kosher or not. :o)
I’ve always hsard that if you’re ever flat on your back in a hospital bed, and see the bespectacled pink face of a bioethicist hovering over you, don’t make any sudden moves but reach slowly for your gun.
These inductions are particularly wrong-headed because the 'proportionate reasons' mentioned in the Bishops' Directives must relate to the physical well-being of BOTH mother and child. For instance, if a pregnant mother has uterine cancer but could carry the baby until, say, the 27th week, they can induce labor at that time in order to save BOTH mother and baby, i.e. the baby, unharmed, goes to Neonatal Intensive Care and the mother gets the hysterectomy or chemo or whateve she needs to treat the cancer.
It is absolutely illicit and prohibited to do such a thing for the mother's emotional reasons, in the case of a Trisomy 13 or other afflicted baby. For one thing, the mother in this case does not have a medical condition which can be treated by via induced labor; for another thing, there is no evidence that such a procedure has better psychological outcomes for the women.
And why would it? Having a baby that you can hold, care for and love for its expected short life is a challenge and a heartache, but it is not traumatic: certainly not if the family has adequate support. But deliberately ending the baby's life IS traumatic: it adds to the mother's distress the very real guilt of having killed her child. It's the difference between caring for a dear one who has reached the end of his natural lifespan, and murder.
David Reardon and other post-abortionr esearchers have found that the mothers who fare worst, psychologically, after abortion, are those who abort a wanted child under pressure from someone else (a husband, a doctor, a 'bioethicist'), and/or who do so late in the pregnancy.
The final point, which is the fundamental ethical point ignored by these unfaithful Judas priests and their pathetic bioethicists, is that in this case the death of the child is directly willed: that is, it is not an undesired "double effect." If inducing labor routinely resulted in the child living just as long as full-term babies with the same genetic or chromosomal condition, they would never induce. Why would they? The death of the child is not collateral: it is the directly intended effect.
Here’s my priorities - once humans stop killing humans*, then I’ll work on getting humans to stop killing animals... ;-)
(And if anyone’s interested, I’ve got great vegetarian recipes stuffed with protein!)
*Other than just executions and necessary wars, of course.
PS to Mrs. Don-o - thank you for your kind words.
“The death of the child is not collateral: it is the directly intended effect.” It is murder, and since it is planned to kill the alive little one, it is premditated murder. And our ‘poseur-elect’ worked hard to defend this premeditated murder in Illinois.