Catholic Hospital Sued for Declining to Perform Transgender Surgery

A Catholic hospital in Maryland is being sued for declining to perform a transgender surgery, according to news outlets.

The hospital reportedly opted not to perform a hysterectomy as part of an apparent sex-reassignment surgery. Now the hospital is being sued.

There are several problems with this case, but here are a couple:

First, Catholic hospitals operate according to the principles and teachings of the Catholic Church — including the Catholic Church’s teachings about abortion, assisted suicide, and gender identity.

It should come as no surprise that a Catholic hospital would decline to participate in sex-reassignment surgeries.

Second, Catholic hospitals generally object to performing major surgeries on healthy patients.

As bioethicist Wesley J. Smith notes,

Catholic moral principles only permit body parts to be removed to treat physical pathology. If the patient’s uterus had been cancerous, the surgery [hysterectomy] would not have been a problem.

Stories like this one underscore why Arkansas needs to strengthen its laws protecting rights of conscience for healthcare workers and hospitals.

Unfortunately the Arkansas Legislature has failed to pass measures protecting healthcare workers’ rights of conscience two legislative sessions in row — once in 2017 and once in 2019.

Conscience protections are very important for healthcare workers and hospitals.

Without them, we could end up with doctors and hospital boards who are not guided by conscience at all.

That’s a very sobering thought.

Researchers Continue to Kill Human Embryos in the Name of Science

We have written before about how scientists have tried to use the controversial gene-editing technology CRISPR to alter the human genome.

In some cases, researchers have attempted to create human-animal hybrids using this type of technology.

This week our friends at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview have highlighted yet another example of scientists using CRISPR to meddle with — and then kill — human embryos in the name of science.

John Stonestreet writes,

[A] team of researchers at the Francis Crick Institute in London used CRISPR to edit 18 donated human embryos. The purpose, they claimed, was to study “the role of a particular gene in the earliest stages of human development.” Unfortunately, around half of the embryos “contained major unintended edits.”

“Major unintended edits” is a euphemism for “mutation” and “genetic damage” which, as Medium told its readers, “could lead to birth defects or medical problems like cancer later in life.” As one genetics researcher put it, “…you’re affecting so much of the DNA around the gene you’re trying to edit that you could be inadvertently affecting other genes and causing problems.” Even worse, the Crick Institute team didn’t inadvertently mess with a gene near the one they were targeting. In other words, they “hit their targets.” The results were, however, unexpected.

Fyodor Urnov, a professor of molecular and cell biology at Berkeley, was more blunt: “There’s no sugarcoating this . . . This is a restraining order for all genome editors to stay the living daylights away from embryo editing.”

Once a “gene-editing expert” gets frightened, you’d think we might want to cool our jets in this whole “playing god” thing. I doubt it. . . . By the way, all the embryos affected by the Francis Crick Institute team were destroyed.

This kind of “create-and-kill” research is simply unconscionable.

It treats unborn children like lab material.

The unborn children created and killed as part of these gene-editing experiments had zero say in what happened to them. They were simply at the mercy of researchers in a lab.

As we have said many times, human beings are not research material. Unfortunately, gene-editing technologies like CRISPR treat them that way.

We must insist that scientific research respect the sanctity of human life at every stage of development.

Challenging the “New Normal” on Commercial Surrogacy

Last week we published a blog post about New York’s recent decision to legalize commercial surrogacy.

On Friday, John Stonestreet at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview released a column about CNN host Anderson Cooper’s decision to hire a commercial surrogate.

Stonestreet writes,

This story demonstrates that commercial surrogacy, including cases in which the child is intentionally deprived of its mother, is now fully normal. . . .

Behind Anderson Cooper’s money and these headlines is this baby’s mom. No matter what we tell ourselves about how willing she was or how better off she is now, she is harmed and so is her son – who somehow knew from the moment he was born to look for her. Unfortunately, he won’t find her. Shame on us.

Stonestreet points out several of the ethical problems with commercial surrogacy, such as:

  • Commercial surrogacy assumes “children” are a right that God never promised
  • It denies children the opportunity to be raised by their biological mom and a dad
  • It treats children as products
  • It poses a significant risk of financial exploitation for women

As we keep saying, being pro-life means believing that human life is sacred from conception until natural death.

It means treating human life with respect at every stage of development.

It also means recognizing that human beings are not products that can be bought or sold. That’s why Family Council opposes commercial surrogacy — and will continue to oppose it.

Read John Stonestreet’s entire commentary here.