Catholic hospital argues fetus isn't person in wrongful-death suit

(Fotolia)

(Fotolia)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:33 PM ET

A Catholic health group in the U.S. is arguing in a wrongful-death case that a fetus is not a person, despite following Catholic directives that forbid abortions and non-natural forms of birth control.

In the case, Lori Stodghill, 31, was seven months pregnant with twin boys, the Colorado Independent reports. She went to St. Thomas More Hospital in Canon City, Colo., feeling sick in January 2006.

At the hospital, she vomited and passed out, and though staff tried to resuscitate her, it was later determined that a main artery into her lungs was clogged, which led to a major heart attack.

Stodghill died less than an hour after arriving and the twins died in her womb, the Independent reported.

Stodghill's husband filed a wrongful-death lawsuit, arguing staff should have performed a caesarean section, which may have saved the twins.

The defendant, Catholic Health Initiatives, argues that under the law, the term person only refers to people born alive, not unborn fetuses.


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