….California provides the model for anti-Catholic healthcare policies that could soon go national.

First, the California courts and the United States Supreme Court are allowing Minton v. Dignity Health, a discrimination lawsuit against Dignity Health, a Catholic hospital,  to proceed to trial. The case involves a patient who sued Dignity Health under California’s anti-discrimination law after the hospital system refused to provide a hysterectomy for the purpose of sex reassignment. There were two bases for Dignity’s refusal. First, the surgery would have removed a healthy uterus. Under Catholic healthcare directives, normal body functions can only be interfered with to treat or prevent pathologies. Second, the surgery would have sterilized the patient. Under Catholic moral teaching, medical acts that result in sterilization can only be performed to treat disease.

These moral principles do not target certain patients but apply to all patients. That didn’t matter to the California courts. Because the anti-discrimination law in question applies generally—and because California does not have a state Religious Freedom Restoration Act—the case will proceed to a jury verdict. If Dignity Health is ordered to pay millions in damages, it could be curtains for the practice of Catholic medicine in California.

Meanwhile, last year, the regents of UC Health (the hospital system run by the University of California) voted to begin breaking the existing affiliation between UC Health and Catholic hospitals if the latter don’t adhere to the “values” of secular institutions. UC Health has a contract with some Catholic hospitals to provide services to patients in areas where there are no UC hospitals. If UC Health carries out its plan, Catholic hospitals will be forced to choose between following Catholic moral teaching or continuing to care for the patients they currently serve….

The above comes from a Feb. 1 story by Wesley Smith in First Things.