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Sun May 26, 2013, 06:07 AM

Biblical Medicine? How Religious Corporations Are Gobbling Up Healthcare Facilities

http://www.alternet.org/personal-health/biblical-medicine-how-religious-corporations-are-gobbling-healthcare-facilities



***SNIP

Of the largest healthcare corporations in the country, five of six are administered by the Catholic Church including the famously conservative Catholic Health Initiatives which operates the Franciscan brand and has $15 billion in assets. By the end of 2013, if all proposed mergers go through, 45 percent of Washington hospital beds will be religiously affiliated. In 10 counties, 100 percent of hospital facilities will be accountable to religious corporations, which are rapidly buying up outpatient clinics, laboratories and physician practices as well.

In the words of the U.S. Conference of Bishops, Catholic hospitals and healthcare corporations are “ healthcare ministries” and “opportunities:”

New partnerships can be viewed as opportunities for Catholic healthcare institutions and services to witness to their religious and ethical commitments and so influence the healing profession. . . . For example, new partnerships can help to implement the Church’s social teaching.

Here is the diabolical stroke of genius. In any merger between a secular and Catholic care system, fiscal health comes with a poison pill. One condition of the merger is that the whole system becomes subject to a set of theological agreements call the “ Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services” or ERDs. Rather than care being dictated by medical science and patient preference, a set of religious doctrines place restrictions on what treatment options can be offered to (or even discussed with) patients.

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Reply Biblical Medicine? How Religious Corporations Are Gobbling Up Healthcare Facilities (Original post)
xchrom May 2013 OP
pipoman May 2013 #1
Freddie May 2013 #2
pipoman May 2013 #4
HockeyMom May 2013 #3
Freddie May 2013 #5

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 06:53 AM

1. Nothing new..

 

religious affiliations in hospitals and nursing has been very common for over a century. Some have become very big, but, most hospitals and nursing facilities at least started as a service of religious organizations, and they aren't all catholic or even christian. National Jewish in Denver comes to mind as the nation's leader in respiratory research. I suppose one could see something sinister or "diabolical" in every one, but there is a reason religious groups have taken this role. I happen to work for a religiously affiliated nonprofit nursing group. The facilities are clean, the services are good, profit isn't paramount and is used to keep people who otherwise can't afford care..in fact in over 50 years nobody has ever been asked to leave or even change arrangements for lack of money. I personally assist in over $100k annually in fund raising with the money directed into the indigent fund (not called the indigent fund). 40-50% of the over 200 people in nursing within our organization are on partial or complete assistance..with zero regard for religious affiliation or lack of. Even while other for profit facilities are expelling indigent residents because of the massive Medicaid cuts in our state, we continue to strive for the best living conditions anywhere. We don't have anything resembling socialized medicine in the US, the next best thing is a network of nonprofit facilities, regardless the religious affiliation IMO..

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Response to pipoman (Reply #1)

Sun May 26, 2013, 07:16 AM

2. Their real mission is to line their pockets

And force their religions rules about reproductive health and end-of-life issues in all of us.
A good friend of mine is a labor-and-delivery nurse, loves her work. For 20 years she worked at a big-city Catholic hospital. While she did not agree with all their policies (they had to send postpartum women to another hospital for tubals), this hospital served a vital need in a very poor community. The maternity unit was almost always full.
Then the nuns who originally ran the hospital retired and it got taken over by Mercy Health, a big Catholic hospital chain. The bean-counters decided that they were losing $$ in the birth business and closed the maternity unit (after flat-out lying to the staff about their plans), forcing women without means to travel far for maternity care, not to mention the loss of jobs. How "pro-life" is that?

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Response to Freddie (Reply #2)

Sun May 26, 2013, 07:25 AM

4. Yeah, it would be so much better if big for profits ran healthcare

 

in this country...maybe big pharma could begin taking over..how great would that be? I lieu of something more socialized, I prefer nonprofit religious facilities over many alternatives..

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 07:19 AM

3. Town where I lived tried to fight Catholic Hospital

taking over the secular one. This was about 20 years ago. Why? For one thing, many of the local women wanted to have their tubes tied after giving birth when their family was complete. The Catholic Hospital refused to do this. I knew many women who went miles away to give birth. I remember back then that the hospital was complaining that their maternity ward had too many empty beds.

The local police also took rape victims to the state hospital 15 miles away. Again, why? No so called Morning After Pill, aka, high dosage of BC.

Nope, the local women did not like having ONLY a Catholic Hospital in the town.

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Response to HockeyMom (Reply #3)

Sun May 26, 2013, 08:12 AM

5. Nearby (Philly burbs)

There was an attempted merger of a Catholic and community hospital/health system. The doctors and community response was swift: letters to the editor, a FB page protesting the merger, pickets--and it was stopped. The outstanding community hospital is a regional center for fertility treatment and high-risk pregnancy and birth, no way did they want Catholic directives interfering with the practice of medicine.

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