This evening, I talked with someone who was very close to the situation at Loyola University Hospital that I had reported on back in October of 2003 in Our Sunday Visitor and that Jill Stanek had picked up on about a year later. Some of you may recall that Loyola was supposed to be doing early induction for fetuses with anomalies incompatible with life. That is, they were inducing early labor for women at about 24 weeks gestation because the children they were bearing had anomalies from which they would die very early on.
I had been told by a Jesuit ethicist there that this was OK since they were going to die anyway. I was also told by a perinatologist that they had only done five of these over a 10-year period. (Only five? I thought. And those five lives weren't worth anything, or what?)
Anyway, I met someone tonight who, as I said, was very close to that situation and whom I trust to be truthful and authoritative. This source told me that after Father O'Callaghan let go with his comment, heads perked up at the Archdiocese of Chicago offices and an investigation was launched. What they found was that each of the five cases had legitimate reasons for the early induction, like pre-eclampsia or some other maternal life-threatening conditions. They also went over the Ethical and Religious Directives on this particular point with the Loyola staff to make sure they got it clear.
Unless someone brings up new evidence that similar shenanigans is going on there, I am considering Loyola cleared of this particular allegation. My source told me that there are still other issues they need to deal with. Might, for instance, end of life issues be one of those?
Now, if only I could clear Providence Alaska of those same allegations....