In a heavily promoted event that is already sold out, Santa Clara University will host a dialogue between the Dalai Lama—who in the past has advocated abortion and population control—and the CEO of Dignity Health, who stripped the organization of any links with the Catholic Church after a hospital performed an abortion and was criticized by Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmsted.
The event entitled “Business, Ethics, and Compassion: A Dialogue with the Dalai Lama” is cosponsored by Santa Clara’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics and Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education.
The Dalai Lama was quoted in the New York Times in 1993, approving of birth control and abortion in cases of fetal abnormalities or economic difficulties. He reportedly said:
When I was in Lithuania a few years ago, I visited a nursery and I was told, ‘All these children are unwanted.’ So I think it is better that that situation be stopped right from the beginning -- birth control. Of course, abortion, from a Buddhist viewpoint, is an act of killing and is negative, generally speaking. But it depends on the circumstances. If the unborn child will be retarded or if the birth will create serious problems for the parent, these are cases where there can be an exception. I think abortion should be approved or disapproved according to each circumstance.
And according to the Population Research Institute, the Dalai Lama even advocated population control by reportedly telling delegates at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago, that they “should advocate birth control as a means of sustaining life on earth.”
“If you look at each individual human life as precious, it is better to control that previous life instead of having too much precious life,” he is reported to have said.
Also taking part in the “dialogue” is Lloyd Dean, who was the president of Catholic Healthcare West when one of its hospitals, St.Joseph’s Hospital, performed an abortion in 2009. Shortly after the incident came to light, Bishop Olmsted demanded that hospital officials acknowledge that the abortion was a violation of Catholic directives for hospitals. Dean, according to Catholic World Report, refused to acknowledge that and even sent a letter to Bishop Olmsted stating that the abortion was “a complex matter on which the best minds disagree.”
As a result, in December 2010 Bishop Olmsted officially revoked the Catholic status of St. Joseph’s Hospital, declaring that the hospital may no longer refer to itself as “Catholic.”
In 2012, Catholic Healthcare West announced that it was ending any and all governing ties with the Catholic Church and changed its name to Dignity Health.
The Markkula Center, which is co-sponsoring the event, has an inconsistent relationship with Catholic ethics as reported by The Cardinal Newman Society's Catholic Education Daily. Under the banner “Bioethics,” the Markkula Center has a section called “End of Life Ethics” that links to the Compassion in Dying Federation, which provides information regarding end-of-life “choices” with advocacy for assisted death.
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