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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Ind. Gov't. - " Monroe Hospital operating under Catholic doctrine: Relationship with St. Vincent Health means management’s religious views may override patients’ wishes"

Interesting long story today from the Bloomington Herald-Times ($$); Dann Denny reports:

Some local residents are upset that Monroe Hospital will not honor the health care wishes of its patients if those wishes run counter to the teachings of the Catholic Church.

They say the 32-bed hospital, which since September has been managed by St. Vincent Health — a 22-hospital Catholic health care system — is allowing Catholic Church doctrine to sometimes override the health care decisions of its patients.

“The pattern across the nation is that when hospitals merge with these large Catholic health systems, the hospitals’ physicians, staff and patients are required to follow Catholic rules regarding health care — regardless of their religious affiliation,” said Bloomington resident Clarke Miller, a former Catholic priest and retired nursing home director. “I would not object to these rules being applied if all the doctors, staff and patients were Catholic, but only 25 percent of our national population is Catholic.”

Joe Roche, Monroe Hospital’s CEO, confirmed that St. Vincent’s management agreement with Monroe Hospital requires that it be managed in accordance with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ ethical and religious directives for health care organizations — a 38-page document that covers such issues as euthanasia, abortion and birth control. * * *

Miller said that may work in Bloomington, where there are two hospitals and several surgery centers, but not in smaller communities.

“Nationwide, many rural hospitals that can’t survive financially are merging with Catholic hospital networks,” he said. “And in these communities, there is only one hospital option.” * * *

Roche said abortions, tubal ligations and vasectomies are forbidden at all hospitals in the St. Vincent health care system, including Monroe Hospital.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 14, 2013 02:00 PM
Posted to Indiana Government