The following comes from an April 27 89.3 KPCC story by Rebecca Plevin:
The California Medical Association is seeking to join the ACLU of Northern California in its lawsuit against a Catholic hospital system over one of its facilities’ refusal on religious grounds to allow a doctor to perform a tubal ligation after a planned Cesarean section.
The Medical Association says it’s illegal for Dignity Health’s hospital administrators to intervene in the decision to tie a woman’s tubes after a C-section.
“It’s the physician, with his or her patient, who should make that decision,” says Dr. Ruth Haskins, the Medical Association’s president-elect. “It should not be administrators, who are laypeople, making medical decisions that have such a consequence.”
The Medical Association is involved in at least half a dozen lawsuits at any one time, but this is the first time it has moved to take legal action against a hospital system over its religious rules, says Association legal director Long Do.
The suit stems from a case at Mercy Medical Center in Redding, one of Dignity Health’s 29 hospitals across the state. Mercy Medical says its refusal to perform the procedure was based on the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, written by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The Directives – followed by all of California’s 35 Catholic hospitals – prohibit birth control, abortion and, in most cases, sterilization.
The Medical Association, which represents more than 41,000 doctors, is asking the San Francisco judge hearing the case to issue an injunction that would prevent Dignity Health hospitals from using the Directives to block tubal ligations after C-sections.