Miscarriage of medicine

The ACLU and MergerWatch have combined forces to put out a report on the growth of Catholic hospitals and the threat to reproductive health care [pdf]. There’s also a press release.

With the rise of Catholic hospitals has come the increasing danger that women’s reproductive health care will be compromised by religious restrictions. The Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (the Directives), issued by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), govern care at these facilities. The Directives prohibit a range of reproductive health services, including contraception, sterilization, many infertility treatments, and abortion care, even when a woman’s health or life is in danger. Moreover, they often restrict even the ability of hospital staff to provide patients with full information and referrals for care that conflict with religious teachings.

This can be lethal. Not figuratively or loosely, but literally: it can cause death.


  1. Al Dente says

    This can be lethal. Not figuratively or loosely, but literally: it can cause death.

    Savita Halappanavar comes to mind.

  2. says

    She was meant to. And we can be sure there are examples like her in the US. The case of Tamesha Means (and 5 other women at that one hospital) was found by an outside researcher. Not all such cases escape death.

  3. kevinalexander says

    It’s not that they don’t care if the rules cause suffering. The suffering is the whole point. Roman Catholicism is based on sadomasochism, that ecstatic feeling that you get from pain, both your own but especially others.
    Notice that while other christian churches use the cross as a symbol the Romans must include the tortured corpse on theirs. Notice that most of the saints are punctured, flayed, barbecued and so on. Notice that there is no Sermon on the Mount in any Mel Gibson movie. Notice that Mother Theresa named herself after the saint who had ecstatic experiences of an angel stabbing her with an arrow.
    Notice especially that the birth control rule didn’t appear until after Thomas Malthus explained that unchecked reproduction must result in human catastrophe.
    There’s an old joke that goes ‘How do you know that Jesus wasn’t a Catholic?’ ‘He cured the leper. If he had been Catholic he would have had everyone gather around to enjoy the mans suffering’

  4. Francisco Bacopa says

    Where are they getting the money to do this when they’ve been getting sued so much over sex abuse cases? Some of the settlements have been HUGE, justifiably so.

    We can only hope that the Catholic healthcare business will collapse in some Enron type debacle. Sadly, that will leave some underserved areas with no hospitals at all for a while.

  5. kevinalexander says

    God only knows how much money the church has and he, being imaginary, isn’t saying.
    The church can get sued for sexual abuse since kid diddling isn’t an article of faith.
    However, someone like Savita’s husband would probably lose his case since removing fetuses, even dead rotting ones is forbidden by church tradition.
    Technically the church scheme to deny health care to women could be trumped by law if you could get a legislature to do it.
    Good luck with that.

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