Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Homicide at Boise hospital

Many people are aware that one of the two major hospitals in Boise, St. Luke's, performs 2nd and 3rd trimester abortions. Many more are not aware.

Under Idaho statutes, abortion is a homicide for which prosecution is impeded.

TITLE 18
CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS
CHAPTER 40
HOMICIDE
18-4016. DEFINITION OF HUMAN EMBRYO AND FETUS -- PROHIBITING THE PROSECUTION OF CERTAIN PERSONS.
(1) For purposes of this chapter "embryo" or "fetus" shall mean any human in utero.
(2) Nothing in this chapter, arising from the killing of an embryo or fetus, shall be construed to permit the prosecution:
(a) Of any person for conduct relating to an abortion for which the consent of the pregnant woman, or a person authorized by law to act on her behalf, has been obtained or for which such consent is implied by law;
(b) Of any person for any medical treatment of the pregnant woman or her embryo or fetus; or
(c) Of any woman with respect to her embryo or fetus.
(3) Nothing in this chapter is intended to amend or nullify the provisions of chapter 6, title 18, Idaho Code.

So the bottom line, is under Idaho law, St. Lukes is performing a
homicide every time an abortion is performed in it's facilities.

Is St. Lukes bound to provide the service of homicide? The answer,
again from Idaho Code, is a resounding NO.

TITLE 18
CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS
CHAPTER 6
ABORTION AND CONTRACEPTIVES
18-612. REFUSAL TO PERFORM ABORTIONS -- PHYSICIANS AND HOSPITALS NOT LIABLE.
Nothing in this act shall be deemed to require any hospital to furnish facilities or admit any patient for any abortion if, upon determination by its governing board, it elects not to do so. Neither shall any physician be required to perform or assist in any abortion, nor shall any nurse, technician or other employee of any physician or hospital be required by law or otherwise to assist or participate in the performance or provision of any abortion if he or she, for personal, moral or religious reasons, objects thereto. Any such person in the employ or under the control of a hospital shall be deemed to have sufficiently objected to participation in such procedures only if he or she has advised such hospital in writing that he or she generally or specifically objects to assisting or otherwise participating in such procedures. Such notice will suffice without specification of the reason therefor. No refusal to accept a patient for abortion or to perform, assist or participate in any such abortion as herein provided shall form the basis of any claim for damages or recriminatory action against the declining person, agency or institution.

Why do they do it?

Apparently the Ethics Committee at St. Luke's believes that since it is legal it is OK. St. Lukes doesn't provide Euthanasia services; such services are not legal in Idaho. They are legal in Oregon, so would St. Lukes provide them at a hypothetical clinic in Ontario, OR, for example? What is fundamentally wrong with turning to the law as a cover for a bad decision?

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