Catholic hospital denies Michigan woman treatment on religious grounds

Oct 20, 2015

Supplied

By Ryan Felton

Weeks after learning she would give birth to her third child, Jessica Mann was faced with a difficult decision: because she was stricken by a life-threatening brain tumor, her doctor recommended she have her fallopian tubes tied at the time of her scheduled cesarean section delivery, later this month.

Mann agreed to undergo the procedure at her hospital to prevent the risk of a future pregnancy exacerbating her tumor. But the hospital, Genesys Regional Medical Center in Grand Blanc, Michigan, declined on religious grounds.

The case is part of a trend that some experts are calling a burgeoning public health crisis, as a greater proportion of patients rely on religious hospitals for medical care.

Genesys’s denial stems from a religious directive crafted by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, which governs every Catholic-sponsored hospital in the nation.


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34 comments on “Catholic hospital denies Michigan woman treatment on religious grounds

  • 1
    Miserablegit says:

    A catholic hospital what the fuck is that all about. Other than perhaps the perverted belief that they can play God with other people’s lives and of course fucking ruin them.



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  • This is clearly about the theocracies insinuating themsevles into public services for the purposes of inflicting their dogmas on others.

    It is the sort of corruption to be expected from the combination of “free-market capitalism” combined with subsidised, tax-free, religious, so called charities, undercutting other competing service providers!

    Where the state abdicates its responsibilities, there is a free-for-all!



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  • Here’s the catheterlick church supporting a neoplasm, wishing (praying) that it could spread its BS as easily as this poor woman’s brain tumor.

    This is nothing more than a modern version of the “Sack of Béziers”… If the woman gets pregnant and the tumor becomes more aggressive and kills her and probably the fetus, the religious hospital doesn’t care because “god will know his own”.

    Steve



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  • First point, a hospital doesn’t make decisions or have beliefs. A person, or group of people, made this decision based on their beliefs. I think a small step would be to “out” them, put their names and resumes out there. See if they feel any shame.
    Second point, a hospital – however funded – operates only under license from the government. When they go off the rails like this, denying a woman a potentially life-saving surgery on account of “God told me to”, it’s up to the government to take a look into the terms of their license.

    The problem is, they probably provide a lot of services to people who otherwise couldn’t afford it (because the country as a whole is afraid of “socialised medicine”, a label attached to the health care provided by many countries which are anything but socialist). So shutting them down (if it ever came to that) would do more harm than good.

    So returning to the first point, some legal eagles need to look at who is hiding behind the hospital – a hospital is not a person, SCOTUS decisions notwithstanding – and target them.
    Sketchy legal logic: Their decision risks having the hospital lose its license (at least if we assume the government is one day going to enforce the law), and is therefore incompetent, self-serving (since hospital’s don’t have beliefs), and is not in the best interests of the corporate body they are supposed to represent.

    More generally, and again ignoring SCOTUS for the moment, corporations are not people. But all too often, the wrong-headed and often malicious people in control of the corporations act in anonymity while we say things like “Company X follow religious doctrines Y”.

    Given the federal government and many state governments have been taken over by religious panderers (at best) or nut jobs (at worst), we can’t rely on government sorting this out, particularly if the GOP succeeds Obama.



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  • I get back to what I said before. It’s what you get when you have private providers in your health system, when the state opts out of its responsibility to look after its citizens health and welfare. When business and religion control the provision of health services, then society loses all hope of having rational, efficient and inclusive care.



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  • @OP – Catholic hospital denies Michigan woman treatment on religious grounds

    Secular people have this strange notion that hospitals are for caring for the sick, whereas it is very obvious that in the USA they are for caring for the god-delusions, producing children as indoctrination fodder, and for corporate profits!
    Any care provided to the sick, or in maintenance of public health, is purely coincidental!

    http://thesocietypages.org/graphicsociology/2011/04/26/cost-of-health-care-by-country-national-geographic/



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  • Genesys’s denial stems from a religious directive crafted by the US
    Conference of Catholic Bishops, which governs every Catholic-sponsored
    hospital in the nation.

    The set of rules, called the Ethical and Religious Directives,
    prohibits the facilities from performing procedures like tubal
    ligations.

    “As a Catholic healthcare system, we follow the ethical and religious
    directives of the church,”

    A system where medical care is determined by a Conference of Bishops rather than medical professionals, is both irrational and dangerous. It is no wonder that it is being called a burgeoning public health crisis, as a greater proportion of patients rely on religious hospitals for medical care. For the sake of their health, I would urge American Women to take a leaf out of Jessica Mann’s book and boycott catholic hospitals.
    There is no justification for a cabal of older and allegedly celibate churchmen to make key decisions on women’s health. This is a matter upon which they are entirely ignorant. This is demonstrably a Conference of Scribes, Pharisees and Hypocrites, devoted to arcane law rather than the health and wellbeing of their flock.
    It simply inhumane and extraordinarily idiotic.

    That these bishops feel they have the right to deny a woman the chance to see her children grow up, makes them seriously inadequate human beings. For the sake of the Nation’s health they should stop interfering in things they know nothing about.



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  • But…what do you replace them with? It seems to me that there is no appetite in the US for state run hospitals, that leaves religion or business to pick up the can. is there another alternative?



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  • eejit
    Oct 21, 2015 at 11:51 am

    But…what do you replace them with? It seems to me that there is no appetite in the US for state run hospitals, that leaves religion or business to pick up the can. is there another alternative?

    There could have been, if Bush & brother had not fiddled his way into the presidency on the Florida vote!

    Six trillion dollars could have been invested in medical research and a national health service, instead of being wasted on munitions, silly wars, and creating a massive refugee crisis!



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  • Hi Alan,

    A small point of order:

    … the combination of “free-market capitalism” combined with subsidised, tax-free, religious, so called charities, undercutting other competing service providers …

    This statement is an oxymoron. If some Provider of a product or service is subsidised (incl. by being in a separate class due to tax breaks), then the market they supply is not a free market.

    A truly free market is one where the providers compete under the same rules and conditions.

    This is, of course, why the TPP, TTIP & TiSA are anti-free market.

    This appears to be the main problem for the Patient: Because she apparently can’t change doctors and the Doc she does have is only able to send her to this one Hospital.

    Not much of an open market – it sounds more like a monopoly to me.

    Peace.



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  • Stephen of Wimbledon
    Oct 21, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    This statement is an oxymoron. If some Provider of a product or service is subsidised (incl. by being in a separate class due to tax breaks), then the market they supply is not a free market.

    That was the point I sarcastically making!
    The shouts about a “free market”, are from those on the Xtian right, who have stacked a very un-level playing-field!
    It’s rather like some of the shouts about “free-trade” from the USA when it imposes all sorts of restrictions on US companies operating abroad, and has a long history of protectionism against foreign imports!

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/fe1dcedc-59e4-11e4-9787-00144feab7de.html#axzz3pDm4wYPo

    Canada accuses US of protectionism

    Mr Fast said the growing number of “Buy America” laws being passed at the federal, state and municipal level in the US were hurting workers and companies on both sides of the border 20 years after the North American Free Trade Agreement went into effect. They were also undermining the US’s case for freer trade internationally, he added.

    “These policies run contrary to the US government’s own attempts to limit such practices in other countries,” Mr Fast said in a statement. “Such protectionism also runs counter to the type of strong leadership that’s needed to deepen economic relations on the world stage, including through ongoing trade negotiations.”

    Like “religious freedom” This is hypocritical “one-way freedom” to impose on other people!



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  • Buying up all the hospitals and clinics in an area is a way for the religious to do an end run around state and federal laws, without the expense and uncertainty of going through the legislative process. In my state of Washington, considered one of the most liberal and progressive western states, Catholic and Lutheran healthcare organizations now own the majority of healthcare facilities. It’s especially a problem in rural parts of the state where patients have no choice but to go to a Catholic hospital for emergency services, or travel long and expensive distances for less urgent needs. In my county, I can either go to one of two Catholic hospitals, or take a ferry (an hour-long ride, only available at certain times) and drive for an hour through heavy city traffic, or be airlifted by helicopter to one of the few remaining secular hospitals that may or may not be covered by my health insurance. These Catholic hospitals have turned away women in dire need of emergency surgery for ectopic pregnancies (because the fucking church says it’s an abortion, even though the fetus is not viable). They apparently can get away with denying patients their legal right to a pregnancy termination, death with dignity for terminal conditions, and accommodation of LGBT partner and spousal rights – all of which are mandated by state and /or federal law – just because the patients’ welfare is less important than their heinous religious tenets.

    It got so bad here that our Governor issued a moratorium on new purchases of hospitals by religious organizations, but that was temporary and does nothing to address the problems with the existing religious healthcare monopoly. We need to force these healthcare organizations to abide by the law, or get out of healthcare altogether.



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  • Sue, I think you are referring to the Franciscan Health Care. It has been buying up clinics and hospitals in the South Puget Sound area for decades.
    I have serious concerns about the availability of procedures and care that they will provide that conflicts with its religious base.



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  • “In an effort to quell the current pace of healthcare consolidation in Washington and examine issues of healthcare access, 11 civil rights and healthcare advocacy organizations have called on Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee to enact a six-month moratorium on hospital mergers and acquisitions in the state.

    The groups, which include the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington and NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, said they want the State Department of Health to hold off on approving any hospital transaction because they believe many proposed deals could alter access to healthcare.”



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  • The problem is there are so many of them. We already have a doctor shortage and the Social Security system has no problem referring the patients to these hospitals.
    In some areas that is the only medical facility. That’s capitalism applied to the medical field.
    There would be an outcry from the fundies if we tried to withhold “religious exemption” to them.



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  • It sounds like her doctor needs to sort out his referral and admission arrangements, so she can have an alternative hospital arranged which WILL carry out the necessary treatment on the basis of medical needs.

    Failing that, she needs to change to a doctor who can get referrals to an appropriate hospital.

    From a UK perspective this is ludicrously sick!
    In recent years I have been referred to three different local hospitals on the basis of their specialist departments’ expertise in dealing with particular conditions. (and this is paid for by the National Health Service – not by me personally at point of delivery!)



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  • Most of the big insurance carriers here in US force us to get medical care through their own approved network of providers – hospitals, clinics and Drs. If someone goes outside the network they will face paying most or all of the bill themselves.

    Just for those of you who are not American, as a reference point, my insurance plan that covers us is provided by my husband’s company. They pay some amount of it, I’m not sure how much but our monthly (forced) contribution is more than seven hundred dollars. This covers him, me and one daughter aged 24. Our son aged off our plan years ago when he turned 19. This was before Obamacare. He went for years without insurance. In two weeks my other daughter will turn 26 and she will be booted off our insurance policy by the insurance co. that has already sent a gleeful (my subjective judgement) letter informing her of that. She will now take up her company’s insurance at a few hundred dollars a month out of her check and the policy covers next to nothing.

    this is ludicrously sick!

    Agreed. It’s a “Pay up or die!” health system.



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  • The twenty countries that out perform the US in health provision pay only half the American costs…

    The USA leads the world in innovation which mostly benefits only the wealthiest minority.



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  • LaurieB
    Oct 22, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    Agreed. It’s a “Pay up or die!” health system.

    I have posted this first link before, but it should be required reading for all US voters!

    http://thesocietypages.org/graphicsociology/2011/04/26/cost-of-health-care-by-country-national-geographic/

    The 2014 figures give more detail and some change but they still show high costs for low ratings!

    http://www.oecd.org/unitedstates/Briefing-Note-UNITED-STATES-2014.pdf



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  • Yes, Franciscan Healthcare now owns the only hospital system in Kitsap county (my county). To get non-Catholic healthcare services, residents are forced to go to Seattle, or to Jefferson Hospital in Jefferson county, on the other side of the Hood Canal – if time, transport, and insurance coverage allow. I’ve lived here for thirty years, and never had problems with Harrison Hospital before it became Catholic. I used to work there (I’m an RN). I’ve noticed a real decline in the level of care and the morale of the staff. It’s tough to find or keep a job if you’re an atheist or non-Catholic nurse and want to stick to your ethical principals. It’s far worse for patients.



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  • cbrown

    I think there is a medical word for that already:

    Medical Dictionary

    primigravida
    noun pri·mi·grav·i·da \-ˈgrav-əd-ə\
    plural pri·mi·grav·i·dae \-ə-ˌdē\ also pri·mi·grav·i·das
    Medical Definition of PRIMIGRAVIDA

    an individual pregnant for the first time

    I’ve often wondered what it would be like if female sapiens didn’t have to contend with the whole virginity thing in the first place. What if that damn troublesome bit of tissue called the hymen never existed? Why the hell does it exist at all? Even though I’m against all forms of genital mutilation, I can’t help but wonder if a hymenectomy wouldn’t eliminate much social (and physical for many of us everywhere) misery for those women in the world who are still under the nasty old virgin/whore oppression. In some parts of the world it’s a capital crime to not be a virgin on their wedding night. No such a requirement for men though. Oh no! A little experience is a commendable attribute in their case.

    Note: I am not advocating genital mutilation. I’m just engaging in some passing bitchy speculation.



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