Skip to comments.Teacher says Catholic school fired her over IVF
Posted on 04/26/2012 12:16:11 PM PDT by redreno
Indiana teacher who says she was fired from a Roman Catholic school for using in vitro fertilization to try to get pregnant is suing in a case that could set up a legal showdown over reproductive and religious rights.
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The pastor has followed Church teachings. The following is from an article found here(http://catholicinsight.com/online/church/vatican/article_475.shtml), and explains this far better than I could.
“The moral status of in vitro fertilization (IVF) Biology and method
By John B. Shea, MD FRCP
Issue: January/February 2003
Infertile couples sometimes resort to IVF in order to conceive a child. IVF is a laboratory technique by which human embryos are conceived in a petri dish which contains a culture medium. The woman is given hormones which stimulate her ovaries to produce up to 30 or more oocyte (ova). These are retrieved by inserting a needle into the ovaries via the vagina with ultrasound guidance. These oocyte are mixed with sperm. The sperm is obtained by masturbation and is usually donated by the husband. If the husband is infertile however, the sperm may be obtained from another man. If the women is infertile, likewise, the oocyte may be obtained from another woman, whose ovaries have been similarly stimulated. The embryos thus conceived are usually allowed to grow up to the four-to-eight-cell stage over three to four days, at which time some of the embryos are implanted in the woman’s uterus.
Embryos are sometimes implanted in the uterus other than that of the wife-a so-called “surrogate mother.” Some researchers obtain oocyte from women who donate them for financial compensation in order to conceive embryos purely for research purposes. These women are pre-selected because they are judged to have the genetic qualities most appropriate for the purpose of that specific research.
Because of the availability of new culture media, it has recently become possible to let the embryos grow for up to seven days, by which time, only the most vigorous survive. This reduces the number of embryos implanted and increases the number of successful implantations, while also reducing the number of multiple pregnancies. Note that most embryos (up to 19 out of 20), conceived in IVF clinics eventually die. If they are not implanted, they are either “donated” for research, in which case they are killed, or they are kept in cold storage in very low temperatures after which most are disposed of, or eventually die. Since frequently several embryos are implanted at one time, multiple pregnancies occur. Not infrequently, early in pregnancy, some of these embryos are killed by injection of potassium chloride into the embryo’s heart. This procedure is euphemistically called “fetal reduction.”
Catholic Church teaching
A human being comes into existence at the moment of fertilization of an oocyte (ovum) by a sperm. This fact has been recognized by the science of Human Embryology since 1883, and is still acknowledged today. The Church teaches that a human being must be respected-as a person-from the very first instant of his existence as a human being, and therefore, from that same moment, his rights as a person must be recognized among which in the first place, is the inviolable right of every innocent human being to life. The Church also teaches that from the moral point of view a truly responsible procreation vis-à-vis the unborn child, must be the fruit of marriage.
Pope Paul VI has taught that there is an “inseparable connection, willed by God, and unable to be broken by man on his own initiative, between the two meanings of the conjugal act: the unitive meaning and the procreative meaning.”
IVF violates the rights of the child: it deprives him of his filial relationship with his parental origins and can hinder the maturing of his personality. It objectively deprives conjugal fruitfulness of its unity and integrity, it brings about and manifests a rupture between genetic parenthood, gestational parenthood, and responsibility for upbringing. This threat to the unity and stability of the family is a source of dissension, disorder, and injustice in the whole of social life.
What about research on a human embryo?
The Church teaches that medical research must refrain from operations on live embryos, unless there is moral certainty of not causing harm to the life or integrity of the unborn child and mother, and on condition that the parents have given free and informed consent to the procedure. Since stem cell research on human embryos, in practice, invariably causes the death of those embryos, it too stands condemned.
In summary, the Catholic Church condemns as gravely evil acts, both IVF in and of itself, and stem cell research performed on IVF embryos.
1. Donum vitae (Respect for Human Life), Instruction on respect for human life in its origin, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 1987. (Available from Catholic Insight under the title “Vatican, High Tech”). Note: see also “Moratorium” in News in Brief, under Great Britain, p. ????
2. Encyclical letter Humanae vitae, No. 14, AAS 60 (1968), 488-489.
3. Donum vitae.
© Copyright 1997-2006 Catholic Insight
Updated: Dec 3rd, 2006 - 14:48:37 “
If she signed a contract swing her actions would always conform to church teachings then she doesn’t have a leg to stand on.IVF is seen as a sin against G*d for interfering in his work and wishes.
That appears to be her ace in the hole here. Apparently she’s signed no such contract nor made any attempt to portray herself as Catholic. Which doesn’t surprise me. My wife has worked almost exclusively for Catholic hospitals for the last 30 years, and there have been no contractual obligations outside of the scope of medical care she delivers on their behalf.
“IVF is seen as a sin against G*d for interfering in his work and wishes.”
Without question, that is the Truth.
Medicine has gone too far in not only destroying life, but also creating or saving lives.
FTA: "Herx's lawsuit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Fort Wayne, alleges the diocese violated the Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act by discriminating against Herx based on gender and on infertility, which is considered a disability."
Neither being female nor being infertile is a sin acording to the Catholic Church: she was not fired for gender or for disability.
As understand it, the USSC ruled earlier this year that being a teacher in a denominational school was ministerial in the Lutherans' (Hosanna-Tabor) case, which obviously didn't restrict the definition to those who have received priestly ordination.
So, they fired for for being guilty of murder for hire. Sounds like a reasonable reason to fire someone as far as I'm concerned.
I'm assuming she didn't achieve a pregnancy (if she had, it would have been in the lede), so maybe it's an ongong quest on her part.
The Catholic school doesn't want to be forced to be a payer-provider for more procedures that kill "leftover" kids. So if she told them she's got plans for more lab babymaking attempts, maybe the only way they could evade becoming material cooperators was to terminate her employment.
Just a guess. I don't know. I'm just trying to read between the lines.
Great reference, thanks for posting it.
Teacher says Catholic school fired her over IVF
Teacher Claims Catholic School Fired Her Over IVF
Pope says arrogance drives infertility field, tells couples to shun artificial procreation Man Made Limbo (the consequences of IVF)
IVF babies risk major diseases
Polish Cardinal, Former Secretary to Pope JPII: Politicians, Like Pilate, Kill the Truth of the Life of the Unborn
Bishop criticizes reproductive technologys procreation without sex
Excommunication for deliberate embryo destruction?
Catholic School Teacher Fired for Having In Vitro
Vatican Summit Looks at Selecting Embryos
62-year-old Redding woman gives birth to 12th child
Actress Brooke Shields kills 140 of her very own Children by undergoing 7 IVF Treatments
Clinic Mix-Up Sparks Fears over IVF H
Insurance almost never covers fertility treatments of any kind, let alone IVF.
How is it a sin against God. God tells us to procreate and it takes a male and female to carry out procreation. So was she not doing that - do you know, or laying with a same sex partner? Or was something wrong with either of their reproductive organs?
Do you take medicine or go to a doctor? Well, did anyone accuse you of sinning against God? So be careful who you do.
Better yet, stay out of her personal life. Little nannies sticking their nose where it doesn't belong gossiping over what she 'should' do.
Obviously you've never heard of Onan and you also quite obviously don't understand what is involved in IVF.
Do you believe in killing innocent babies?
God so opposes IVF that a new human life is allowed to be created by this method anyway?
James, may I suggest that you reread the article I posted. The most “viable” embryos are allowed to live. All the others are killed/allowed to die. Not to mention that, in the Catholic Church, masturbation(used for collection of the sperm employed in fertilization of ovum) is a mortal sin, one against both natural law and divine law.
Suppose, for the sake of discussion, that a hypothetical couple were trying to use IVF. While 30 ovum were collected and fertilized, only one was allowed to grow, in utero. That math means 29 babies are killed/allowed to die. Also, there are those who use IVF and then selectively abort (murder) babies not of the preferred gender, whatever that may be.
Another Church teaching, simplified, is that the ends do not justify the means. Evil actions cannot, ever, make for good happening. So while a human life is precious, as a baby most certainly is, the murder of up to ~30 other babies-to-have-been is never acceptable.
That's exactly what they've done - fired her so her personal life will no longer be an issue and she can now go work somewhere else and do what she wants. You want to work for a Catholic school you follow the Catholic rules. Or leave. She knew that when she signed up.
The unused embryos are typically stored frozen, but that said, how does the Catholic church which terms masturbation as “mortal sin” treat nocturnal spontaneous emissions (wet dreams)? This is a spontaneously-produced ejaculation accompanying an erotic dream, a function the body performs when the testicles have no room to store newly produced sperm:
Where I work has impressive insurance, and it doesn’t pay for IVF.
Mortal sin has three components: it must be a sin of grave matter, it is committed with the full knowledge of the sinner, and it is committed with deliberate consent of the sinner. Thus, nocturnal emissions are not mortal sins.
Actually, you’re right I know nothing about it.
In any case, she was getting time off (sick leave), and she gave them the explanation that she was getting IVF procedures, which is they found out. I don't see why they would need to accommodate this.
Well, it doesn't say if she knew the rules so I don't know how you know that.
Yes, very many children are conceived under circumstances that fall far short of love and marriage. Babies do get conceived by acts of random haphazard screwing, commercial breeding contracts (e.g. surrogacy), laboratory production processes, assault-rape, prostitution, and so forth. That doesn't make the baby's life worth less, or make the baby an unworthy person; but his parents have brought him into existence in an unworthy way.
In other words, it fell short of what any child would want for himself and what God wants for him: that he should have been brought into existence by the bodily and loving union of his parents.
(That's why marital sexual union is such a beautiful and fitting way. It is a kind of micro-cosmos, bringing together male and female, soul and body, spiritual and physical, love and life: a child in the center of a little paradise, a little world made by his father and mother's love. That's something inherently fascinating, intricate, brilliantly designed, and beautiful. It should be considered every child's birthright.)
The problem with IVF (aside from killing the leftover embryos) is that it makes the conception of a baby into a lab project and a commercial transaction: it's objectively dehumanizing. It pushes him into the category of a product rather than a person.
A case here in Tennessee illustrated how crass it can be. A divorcing husband and wife sued each other over the ownership of their own cryopreserved, embryonic children. The State appeals court ruled that it was not a matter of "custody", just a matter of lawful disposal. They were like a can of old paint back in the garage. They could be discarded as the parents --- no, the "owners" -- saw fit.
-—They were like a can of old paint back in the garage. They could be discarded as the parents -— no, the “owners” — saw fit.-—
If that's what she signed, that's what she was supposed to do.
I don't see how her employer could be in the wrong for firing her, if she violated her contract. Especially since the Supreme Court ruled just this year, and unanimously, that a school teacher in a church-related school can be included under the ministerial definition as understood by the court.
It would never have become a public issue if she hadn't (1) taken days off work in order to get the procedures (that affects her employer) (2) told her employer about it herself (it's not like they went snooping into her medical records) and then (3) brought a lawsuit against them (that makes it about as public as it can get.)
In fact, the reason her employer terminated her job was to prevent harmful publicity. She'd been at the school for 8 years and apparently had reasonable reading comprehension skills, since she was an outstanding English teacher. It takes about 4 mouse-clicks in less than half a minute to find out that that according to the Catholic Church, IVF is morally objectionable.
If it is school, couldn’t she have done the procedures in the summer?
You’d have to ask her, not me. As it was, she took medical leave days from the school, so I suppose it was during the school year.
I don’t have to be careful I am repeating the view of the Catholic church.If one can not conceive the normal way as a Catholic it is viewed as interfering with the work of G*d.You are stretching this far beyond what the church views as a sin.As more and more news comes out about the problems with the DNA of invert children I am glad my church views it like this.Sorry it upsets you but it is what it is and as far as I’m concerned it is a sin against G*d.Being told to be fruitful and multiply does not have a passage about using a test tube.....
I didn’t mean you would know, was just surmising, hypothetical questions... she wouldn’t have gotten in trouble if she would have scheduled procedures during the off months.
Freedom of association and freedom of religion ensure they can fire her for this.. the contract, which I am sure exists, is not needed.
Infertility is the inability to become pregnant from normal intercourse. IVF doesn't cure infertility: it doesn't restore the ability to become pregnant from normal intercourse.
I don't know what this woman's disease, injury or disability consists of, but any drug, device, or surgery that would actually restore this woman's fertility would be wonderful. There are a LOT of genuine healing-curing approaches which can result in the restoration of natural function. These are not lab technologies which bypass or substitue for real sexual intercourse.
Here's just one very helpful example: Real Cures (Link)
If you can show me where that was agreed to before hand, I'll concede that you have a point. Otherwise, you're talking out your (^%.
As I've stated, my wife has worked almost exclusively for Catholic hospitals, and not once, at any time, ever, has she agreed to adhere to any teachings of Catholicism in her personal life. After the birth of our second child, she even took an ambulance to a nearby clinic where a tubal ligation was performed, and an ambulance back to the hospital where she stayed for another month.
Following this discussion, I’m really starting to understand why the Catholic church as been the flint to protestant steel (or the other way around if you prefer) throughout history. As similar as some may want them to be, they are worlds apart. With all due respect, the Catholic church is no respecter of autonomy, and IMHO, unamerican. I have new found respect for Elizabeth I.
I’m not saying they are wrong at all and didn’t mean to imply that. My first comment was they keep their nose out of her business, I just assumed they asked her but I see she told them because she took sick days to get the treatments, then she found out it was not allowed.
So I will give her that because it just may be true, she did not know. Because she is the one who told them. So when they fired her (it’s not because of who she is), but because, she went against their teachings that WE KNOW she agreed to - she’s suing them. Sorry, that is just wrong!
She should be apologizing to them and not be suing them. I have no idea how many sick days she took but possibly a good lawyer can make her pay them back because she took them for the reason they weren’t intended for. I’m speaking of those she took, if any, after she found out it was against their teachings.
Sick days are a benefit to their employees to see the doc or whatever but when it’s revealed it’s for doing something that is against their teachings, I see they have no obligation to pay for them. My biggest thing is - she is suing them - it shows her heart,(malice, bitterness?) IMO. And it waters down ‘she didn’t know’ a bit, IMO. And when all things considered, if there are any sick days she took after she knew, she is basically stealing from them.
Since we don’t know all the details, just on the fact she has a heart to sue them and put them in such a situation and, probably costly, she is wrong!! When they really were obligated to fire her and not encourage, enable or be a part of something they vehemently disagreed with. If her heart was right, IMO, she would apologize, accept the firing or leave and go live her life. If it were a friend or relative of mine, I’d do my best to show her how shameful it is to sue them - and I would do it until there was some remorse until they dropped it. I don’t care this lady will never be blessed with any money she thinks she’ll get. It will turn out to be a curse because again she’s stealing, money that she didn’t work for or entitled to - because she sued after she found out what she was doing was wrong according what she to agreed to.
I pray she gets enlightened, she’s young, wants/has a family and it is not wise to bring such taint on herself like that. What could be a growing experience for her spiritually, she went the way of the world. I’m sure when she gets the reaping part of what she’s sown - she will blame God or others around her - never acknowledging - in the spiritual realm - she may have brought it on herself.
Salvation, since I made that comment I found out more info and she told them herself! No one was sticking their nose anywhere. She told them when she took sick days to have the procedures done. So, I was wrong and, also, she is wrong on more than one level with suing them - IMO, she should be apologizing as I am, also! Forgive me.
Any contract requires that the parties act in good faith. The school says she broke the contract by engaging in behavior that impairs their relationship. Many contracts are breeched accidentally, but this one was obviously not. Accidental breech is often overlooked, because it does not fundamentally change the relationship. The Orthodox Church, In understand, allows divorce on account of adultery, because it transforms the marriage relationship. What she has done is analogous of adultery, to what adultery was in the old days.
Read on, I’m not interested with what is wrong with it - that really isn’t nor should be the focus of this case and a hopefully, their lawyer won’t either. It’s about what she agreed to obey. IMO.
It has become material, because the conventional morality has become so different from Catholic morality. Fifty years ago, this was not the same, and this was when the law was formulated. IVF is really nothing sophisticated; it is simply applying the techniques of animal husbandry on human beings.
This is a “Kaching” lawsuit.
Catholics see love, the sexual act, marriage and children as all part of God’s plan. She says “I WANT A KID”. Fine. Adopt one.
those of us who adopt as single parents are giving a home to a child who needs one.
To your thinking, think how to win in court. That’s where the focus should be, IMO. She was wrong and that’s where the focus should be and way way way less costly.
They don’t have to justify why it’s a church teaching! It is. Simply as that.
She signed to obey their rules, she told them what she was doing, then (supposedly) found out it was against their teaching and she was fired. What would she expect they do? Renege on the agreement they both signed? Every company has rules and are obligated to do what needs to be done when one goes against them lest their company run amok.
Don’t think ‘religious’ here nor trying the ‘we have higher standards routine - that’s a sure looser, IMO. Think employee/employer. Case closed. With time and money left to fight fights than a disgruntled employee because she feels wronged. WOW!! A snoozer of a case for any half way decent lawyer. Going the IVF route (going to prove what? IVF is bad/against God? In court! LOL! This isn’t about them preventing her from going for the treatments and why. This isn’t what this case is about and I hope they don’t make it that. If the other side brings it up, a sharp attorney will bring it right back down to where it belongs - the lowest level. Rules were disobeyed and not about she’s violated our teachings - but rules we have in place. Again, employee/employer.
So going the IVF route - you need witnesses as surely than anything, you will have an opposing view for everyone they bring forth. In the end, it’s up to who are you going to believe ‘witness x’ or witness y’. This isn’t about IVF nor should be it’s about her going against the rules she signed to obey. If she works there, it’s up to her to know the rules, not to make sure she knows them. She was hired as a professional and a professional would want to know what the do/do not are in a company.
If she failed in teaching her class the required courses necessary, which has nothing to do with church teachings, they could fire her! So keep it as employee/employer. It’s just rules they have in place that she went against.
Her attorney, I’m sure is just hoping they go the IVF route - a big case, more the CC may have to shell over - otherwise she wouldn’t even have brought the case. She gets a D-.
Another future employee wouldn’t touch her, taking a former employer to court because she was supposedly didn’t know the rules of the company after 8 years working there and when she disobeyed them was fired - her solution to that problem was take them to court, for them obeying their rules while she didn’t? Lady, move over, there are 100 others who know you disobey, they stand the chance of getting fired and not to retaliate.
She may get a job in a place that has no ethics to stand by their own rules, then when she’s loaded down with work or suffers mistreatment from others that would be tolerated by management - maybe she will learn to appreciate a company with ethics. She’s already a little old to learn that lesson, greed has a way of blinding some.
Autonomy for me but not for thee!
Then there's "Sexual autonomy," -- sexual self-will ---- another proud hallmark of the Church of England. It was founded on Henry VIII's demand for multiple divorces and remarriages (in all fairness, I'll leave the beheadings out of the discussion). The CofE later distinguished itself as the first Christian church to approve contraceptive intercourse (breaking with nearly 2 millennia-long Christian moral teaching against onanism--- deliberately contracepted sex acts) at Lambeth in 1930. They went on to heap honor upon themselves in sex-and-gender moral doctrine department by OKing priestesses, then homosexuality, then homosexual (lesbian) priestesses, and now (in the USA branch anyway) the first Lesbian Bishop!
Hurrah for autonomy! Hurrah for the religion of Good Queen Bess!
By the way, I'm not saying this to the detriment of the honorable Anglicans/Episcopalians who still tenaciously hold to a recognizably human and Christian understanding of blessed natural sex. There are many such whom I revere for their good morals, good hearts and good lives. But their goodness is less and less supported (I could say, more and more sabotaged) by the ever-changing core doctrines of their church.
As for their church leadership and its official teachings: there's not a doubt in my mind that those who celebrate sex without babies will also celebrate babies without sex. So yes, they'd be OK with IVF.
The total deconstruction of sex, gender, marriage and procreation. Heady stuff, that autonomy.
Why because we follow the Bible the way it was originally wrote and not the way it was changed later?
In legal cases, religion does have the high ground, and that goes back to magna carta. The common law owes much to the civil law, but that came to English law through familiarity with canon law. Equity, of course, began as the chancellory courts, and when they were finally blended, the ecclesiastical element remained. Judges could not get by with as much as they do if they did not retain some royal dignity, as being originally deputies of the Crown, the kings office itself having its own divine sanction. Positivism of course dominates the legal profession, but even they have to nod occasionally to the older forms, which are based not on contract but covenant.
“Medicine has gone too far in not only destroying life, but also creating or saving lives.”
I don’t think it’s possible for medicine to go too far in “creating or saving life.” I say, more power to them. If you consider death to be more ‘natural’, then by all means, you’re welcome to it.