Imagine you’re suffering from a form of leukemia. To treat this, your doctor gives you a Thalidomide based drug. This drug might help you, but if taken while pregnant or trying to fall pregnant, it can cause severe birth defects.
So obviously, your doctor will advise you and your partner to use contraception of the safest kind, so you can avoid that risk.
But guess what advice you would get from a doctor at Calvary Mater Hospital? Here’s a hint: it’s a Catholic hospital.
That Catholic doctor would never advise you to use a condom. Because every sperm is sacred, and God would much rather want your baby to be born with brain damage and without arms.
Martin Laverty, chief executive of Catholic Health Australia, defended the hospital: ”Scientists, ethicists, academics should feel very free to criticise it, but appreciate a Catholic hospital is built on those [ethical] foundations.” The Newcastle situation had been ”a legitimate testing of the boundaries of that ethical decision-making process”.