The episode reminded me of a conversation I had long ago with an older obstetrician who was a Catholic himself. He told me stories of obstetricians in the 1960's and 70's doing hysterectomies for birth control in Catholic women who wouldn't have their tubes tied because of the church's prohibition against it. The OB would fabricate a reason for the hysterectomy - say the woman had excessive bleeding, for example - do the hysterectomy and voila, faster than you can say"unethical behavior", the mother has birth control but doesn't have to tell anyone, including her Catholic friends or priest, the real reason for the hysterectomy.
I'm not writing this to debate the correctness or not of the Catholic church's teaching that birth control is wrong. I happen to think it's wrong, but a church has the right in our country to believe what they want. But I am bothered that obstetricians would actually do that. It's not only medically unethical, it's not even correct from a moral or Christian standpoint. In order to do the hysterectomy, the OB would have to, one, lie about the indication for surgery, and two, put the woman's life at unnecssary risk by doing an operation that was more than was needed to effect birth control. In other words, lying and causing unnecessary harm were okay; just don't go against the church's teaching re birth control.
I don't doubt that this happened. I've known Catholics and some can be very picky about doing what the church teaches. It's as if the teachings of the church trump common sense and morality. I don't think, though, that it happens much anymore, mainly because most U.S. Catholics ignore the church's teaching about birth control. I wonder, though, if it still happens once in awhile, or if it happens in other countries where perhaps some Catholics are more adherent to their church's teachings. Happening even once is too many times.