UPDATE: Bishop Strickland issues statement regarding his decision not to sign the Texas Bishops’ Statement on Scarce Healthcare Resources.”
A Texas prelate is breaking with fellow Lone Star State bishops, refusing to sign a statement that would strip hospital patients of their protections. His act has exposed a growing rift within the U.S. hierarchy over fundamental Catholic teaching on protecting life.
Bishop Joseph Strickland of the diocese of Tyler won’t back a declaration by the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops (TCCB) that calls on Gov. Greg Abbott to lift penalties against healthcare rationing at hospitals amid the growing viral pandemic. In essence, the declaration would give hospitals carte blanche to decide who gets to live and who gets to die among coronavirus-infected patients, regardless of their reasons for choosing one patient over another.
Published Friday, the “Statement on Scarce Healthcare Resources” declares that “critical medical triage decisions are best left to the professional judgment of healthcare providers.”
“In order to encourage this sound practice of medicine, the Bishops support the Governor waiving regulations and statutes which could result in fines civil liability, and even criminal charges for decisions related to the allocation of resources during this declared disaster,” the statement continues.
Pro-life observers note that to the uninitiated, the statement may read as reasonable — but the devil is in the details. One analyst who asked to remain anonymous told Church Militant Saturday that the TCCB wants to remove legal protections that hold physicians accountable — measures designed to ensure doctors practice good medicine. The ability to sue helps keep bad behavior in check, stressing that patients and their families must have legal recourse, especially in times of crisis, as now.
Read more at Church Militant
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