Christ among the Doctors of the Law



Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Seton Hospital must vigorously resist mutilation surgery

Seton Hospital in Daly City CA, administered by the Daughters of Charity, is being intimidated into performing immoral surgery. This Catholic hospital, in the face of civil litigation, appears to have backed down from its originally correct refusal to allow "breast-implant" surgery to be performed on a male. It must now, upon deeper reflection, reverse its faulty decision and refuse the surgery.

Catholic moral teaching generally condemns mutilation where it is intentionally performed against otherwise healthy body parts.
CCC 2297, J. Lynch, "Mutilation", New Catholic Encyclopedia 10: 145-146 (1967), and P. Palazzini, "Mutilatio", Dictionarium Morale et Canonicum III: 334-335 (1966).

Canon law makes it a crime for Catholics to commit mutilation.
1983 CIC 1397. See also 1983 CIC 1041, n. 5. Accomplices to canonical crime are liable to punishment under 1983 CIC 1329.

In my opinion, "breast-implant" surgery performed on one born a male constitutes mutilation. If my opinion is correct (and it is, but others will want to verity that for themselves) Seton Hospital should vigorously defend against its being forced to perform or facilitate this immoral surgery. Free exercise and freedom of conscience arguments seem applicable here.

Related post: Ashley's treatment was a travesty (5 Jan 2007).