The Catholic bishop of Phoenix will strip St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center of its Catholic status on Friday if the hospital’s parent company, Catholic Healthcare West, does not meet his demands to guarantee compliance with church teachings.
The bishop has focused on the hospital since it came to light earlier this year that doctors there terminated the pregnancy of a young mother. The medical staff said she was near death with from pulmonary hypertension, a condition that limits the ability of the heart and lungs to function. The condition is made worse by hormones produced by the uterus during pregnancy. The surgery was done last November with the approval of the hospital’s ethics committee including Sister Margaret McBride.