Over 90% of maternal deaths occur in “developing countries”. The US Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations calls maternal mortality a “sentinel event” and uses it to access the quality of a health care system in a community or country. And in Haiti the horrendous MMR accurately reflects its horrendous health care system.
Nadege had no prenatal care with David. She would have had a difficult time traveling over Haiti’s roads to access a clinic with qualified staff and equipment. Plus she has no money in the first place to accomplish this. And who would have taken care of her four children? All of her neighbors are poor. So she had David at home. Alone.
From the magazine America: “The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines the common good as “the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfillment fully and more easily.” There are three elements in the common good: respect for the fundamental and inalienable rights of the human person, the social well-being and development of society, and the stability and security of a just order.”
And when one ignores the common good we are guilty of structural sin. Listening to Nadege and being in her home made it very clear to me how one commits this sin.
Pope Francis writes about the culture of indifference that desensitizes us to the suffering of others. We are able to look away and not see the Nadeges in our society. And from America, “Pope Francis’ words about the “globalization of indifference” echo the poignant observation of Pope Benedict in his encyclical “Charity in Truth” (2009): “As society becomes ever more globalized, it makes us neighbors but does not make us brothers.”