Column: UC faces more pressure to shun healthcare deals with Catholic hospitals, as it should

Column: UC faces more pressure to shun healthcare deals with Catholic hospitals, as it should

2/21/2021 7:48:00 PM

Column: UC faces more pressure to shun healthcare deals with Catholic hospitals, as it should

Should the University of California bow down to Catholic restrictions on healthcare services such as abortion and services for LGBTQ patients? The pressure is on to say no.

UC’s report on making deals with Catholic hospitals came to no conclusion.The announcement of UCSF’s expanded affiliation with Dignity Health served as a call to arms for critics of religious restrictions. The critics argued rightly that Dignity’s adherence to the ERDs was hopelessly at odds with UC’s devotion to science-based medicine and nondiscriminatory practices.

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UCSF was ultimately forced to. But the issue remained live as it became known that UCSF and other UC campuses had entered into other contracts that imposed religious restrictions on UC professionals and trainees.AdvertisementProtests of these deals spread across the university’s campuses and to its academic council. Then-UC President Napolitano dumped the issue in the lap of a 15-member “working group” of administrators and faculty members.

The group issued its report in December 2019, but it was clear that the members had punted. Unable to agree on a single recommendation, they offered the Board of Regents two options.Option 1 required that UC affiliation contracts provide that UC personnel would be permitted to make clinical decisions, inform patients of all their healthcare options, prescribe any medically necessary and appropriate treatments and transfer patients elsewhere if the indicated treatments couldn’t be performed at a partner’s facilities.

Critics within the working group and throughout the university properly considered those terms a dodge. As the open letter to Drake explains, assuring professionals merely of the right to make decisions and issue prescriptions left open a loophole, since the option didn’t guarantee the right of doctors to provide those services or perform procedures.

Advertisement“The most effective methods of contraception, assisted reproductive technology, abortion, and gender-affirming surgery cannot be obtained by ‘prescribing an intervention,’” the letter states. “They require that providers perform a procedure (e.g., IUD insertion, tubal ligation, uterine evacuation, hysterectomy) or deliver a service by dispensing a medication on site (e.g., medication abortion).”

Assurances that UC professionals would be able to transfer patients to hospitals free of religious restrictions subject those patients to medical risks in any relocation that could be life-threatening, the critics said. Read more: Los Angeles Times »

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It's a public university. Shun away! Don't like abortions? Don't get one. The Inner-City Church has to step up and walk the talk.... But Human Leaders are NOT GOD thank you very much for your work