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Nun resigns following abortion decision
Ethics committee convened, consulted
Earlier this year, a nun, Sr. Margaret McBride, who served on the ethics committee at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix ultimately "resigned from her position as vice president of mission integration" at the institution, following what was described as a "tragic case" involving the "termination of an 11-week pregnancy," according to a statement from the hospital.
"At St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, our highly skilled clinical professionals face life and death decisions every day. Those decisions are guided by our values of dignity, justice and respect, and the belief that all life is sacred," the statement reads.
"We have always adhered to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services as we carry out our healing ministry and we continue to abide by them. As the preamble to the Directives notes, 'While providing standards and guidance, the Directives do not cover in detail all the complex issues that confront Catholic health care today,'" the statement continues.
"In those instances where the Directives do not explicitly address a clinical situation such as when a pregnancy threatens a woman's life an Ethics Committee is convened to help our caregivers and their patients make the most life-affirming decision.
"In this tragic case, the treatment necessary to save the mother's life required the termination of an 11-week pregnancy. This decision was made after consultation with the patient, her family, her physicians, and in consultation with the Ethics Committee, of which Sr. Margaret McBride is a member."
A follow-up statement from St. Joseph's indicated that "At the bishop's request, Sr. Margaret resigned . . . St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center values her highly, respects that this was her decision to make, and we continue to support her."