Investigations of religious hospitals sought

NEW YORK — Citing "potential violations" of federal law governing emergency medical treatment, the American Civil Liberties Union has asked the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services to investigate how religiously affiliated hospitals provide emergency reproductive care.

"Religiously affiliated hospitals across the country inappropriately and unlawfully deny pregnant women emergency medical care," the ACLU said in a letter to the Medicaid and Medicare administrator July 1. "This issue was recently highlighted by a situation in Phoenix, Arizona," it said.

The reference is to a case at St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix, in which an ethics board approved the termination of an 11-week old fetus because the mother's life was in danger. Though the procedure was carried out, a Catholic nun on the ethics board was reprimanded by the local bishop, who said the procedure violated church law and should not have been allowed.

"While the hospital in this case made the right decision in saving this woman's life, the subsequent treatment of the staff could have a chilling effect on the staff at hospitals across the country that may face similar situations in the future," said Daniel Pochoda, Legal Director of the ACLU of Arizona.

"Religiously-affiliated hospitals -- which are often the only hospital in a particular area -- are not exempt from providing critical care to patients who come through their doors," he said.

"The situation in Phoenix is part of a worrying pattern of religiously-affiliated hospitals denying emergency reproductive care to patients," an ACLU statement said. It cited an article in the American Journal of Public Health that reported instances "in which miscarrying women were forced to travel to another facility after religiously-affiliated hospitals refused to terminate their pregnancies, and a woman who was denied care until the moment her fetus' heartbeat stopped, placing her in grave peril."

The ACLU letter warned of "potential violations of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), 42 U.S.C. § 1395dd, and the Conditions of Participation of Medicare and Medicaid (COP), 42 C.F.R. § 482.13, by religious hospitals that refuse to provide emergency reproductive health care."

"Religiously affiliated hospitals are not exempt from complying with these laws, and cannot invoke their religious status to jeopardize the health and lives of pregnant women seeking medical care," the letter said.

ncronline.org/news/politics/investigations-religious-hospitals-sought

The problem is that federal law requires a hospital emergency room to accept all comers. regardless of ability to pay.

Granted, there is an established pattern of emergency rooms at some private hospitals to stabilize a patient, and then order a transfer to a publicly funded hospital, so long as it doesn't endanger the health of the patient. Its a practice known as "patient dumping."

I think the question in this case is two fold. First, should Catholic hospitals be expected to perform abortions in order to save the life of the mother/ Second, could the hospital in question have transferred the patient to a secular hospital, without endangerment?

Sadly, this could be the beginning of the end of all Ob/GYN services at all Catholic hospitals who intend to stay committed to the teachings of the Church.

And when euthanasia is legalized,(it will be eventually by federal mandate) all Catholic hospitals will have to close.

And guess who will step into all those empty hospitals.

Get ready, it's coming.

[quote="Indyann, post:3, topic:204182"]
Sadly, this could be the beginning of the end of all Ob/GYN services at all Catholic hospitals who intend to stay committed to the teachings of the Church.

And when euthanasia is legalized,(it will be eventually by federal mandate) all Catholic hospitals will have to close.

And guess who will step into all those empty hospitals.

Get ready, it's coming.

[/quote]

I suspect that new hospitals (most likely public) will take their place and it won't become an issue.

If it is legalized (made into law), it will have been done so by state legislatures, not by the Congress. But, even if it were, it would have become law by legislative process, NOT by mandate.

[quote="Rich_Olszewski, post:5, topic:204182"]
If it is legalized (made into law), it will have been done so by state legislatures, not by the Congress. But, even if it were, it would have become law by legislative process, NOT by mandate.

[/quote]

That's "now". What about "then"? I know its legal in a couple of states now.

The Constitution means nothing to some.

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