Jesurgislac’s Journal

December 16, 2009

Pro-life is what they call themselves, part 2

Catherina Lorena Cenzon-DeCarlo is an ER nurse at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. Or was. She’s suing her employers because they forced her to save a patient’s life by a means DeCarlo disapproved of.

A woman was brought into ER at Mount Sinai, 22 weeks pregnant, suffering from preeclampsia.

Preeclampsia is the third leading pregnancy-related cause of death in the United States, after hemorrhage and embolism. Preeclampsia is the cause in an estimated 790 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. cite

The triage system at Mount Sinai’s ER figured there was a six-hour window to save this woman’s life. And, as this article in EMS Magazine makes clear in a shy kind of way:

If the patient is experiencing severe preeclampsia or eclampsia, consider rapid transport to an appropriate medical facility. The one definitive procedure to reverse preeclampsia or eclampsia is to deliver the baby and placenta. Thus, careful consideration must be given to transporting to a medical facility that is able to manage acute obstetric emergencies. cite

the only certain way to save a woman’s life if she’s suffering from severe preeclampsia is to perform an abortion.

The only person whose opinion matters in this case is the pregnant woman herself, or whoever she has granted her medical power of attorney: ER staff have the job of saving lives, and if the woman came in unconscious and without a decision-maker, it’s the medical staff’s responsibility to save her life by performing the abortion.

So what does this “pro-life” nurse do, asked to help save a woman’s life? She refuses, claiming (without any prior knowledge of the case: she first set eyes on the woman in the OR where the abortion was to be performed) that the preeclampsia isn’t advanced enough to warrant an emergency abortion. On being threatened with insubordination and patient abandonment for, well, being insubordinate and threatening to abandon a patient, DeCarlo went back and helped to save the woman’s life, under protest. (Apparently she wants everyone to know, this Nurse DeCarlo, that she was only willing to save the woman’s life after having been threatened with career-ending disciplinary procedures. Otherwise, she’d just have left the woman to die. But, if you threaten her career, under protest, she’s willing to help save a life. Nice.)

Pro-lifers by definition believe women (other women) are slaves, breeding animals, incubators: bodies to be used to generate babies, not entitled to full human rights. But even the owner of a breeding animal will agree to abort when continuing the pregnancy will kill: even the operator of a piece of machinery, a mere incubator, may take pride in the proper operation of a machine and ensure it is not “used till broken”. This kind of attitude, this belief that a pregnant woman can be left to die rather than save her life by performing an abortion: this is aggressive mistreatment of an enemy.

It is a horrid irony that these people call themselves “pro-life”.

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