The University of California Board of Regents on Wednesday tightened UC’s rules on affiliations with hospitals that impose religious restrictions on care.
The policy approved almost unanimously by the board places greater limits than before on interference by religious authorities with the medical judgments of UC physicians practicing at sectarian hospitals.
We know that transfers are not always in the patient’s interest.
The policy states that UC physicians practicing at a sectarian hospital must be permitted to provide any treatment at that location to a patient who can’t be safely transferred to another facility — even if the treatment would violate religious restrictions. Affiliated hospitals will have until Dec. 31, 2023, to comply with the policy, or the affiliation agreement must be canceled.
“We know that transfers are not always in the patient’s interest,” board Chair John A. Pérez, who crafted the key language approved by the board, said after the board’s meeting, conducted remotely Wednesday afternoon.
Wednesday’s vote capped two years of debate at UC about its practice of forging partnerships with hospital chains that impose “policy-based” restrictions on healthcare on their premises. In practice, the term applies to Catholic hospitals, which generally adhere to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, a product of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The ERDs, as they’re known, label abortions, euthanasia, assisted suicide and direct sterilization “intrinsically evil” and prohibit them at Catholic facilities. They also bar such gender-affirming procedures as hysterectomies for transgender patients.
The issue of affiliations with institutions that restrict care on religious grounds broke into the open in early 2019, when UC San Francisco sought to expand its professional affiliation with four hospitals owned by the Catholic chain Dignity Health. Thanks to an uproar by UCSF personnel, the proposal was abandoned.
It soon became clear that other affiliation contracts bound personnel connected to almost every UC medical center to limitations on care when they were working at locations that had restrictive policies, chiefly Catholic hospitals. (The arrangements didn’t affect UC personnel’s practices at UC medical centers or at hospitals that didn’t impose religious restrictions.)
Many in the UC community considered any such restriction to be an infringement on “the university’s commitment to provide treatment based on the best scientific information available,” as the UC Academic Senate observed in a May 11 letter to UC President Michael V. Drake, a physician. “It goes against the university’s obligation … not to discriminate against any individuals,” the letter said.
Drake, addressing his fellow regents Wednesday, acknowledged that “past affiliation contracts did not reflect UC values. That was wrong and it was unacceptable.” He said that amendments made to those contracts over the last two years removed the offending language.
Drake’s recommendation for UC policy going forward, however, still left a major loophole in the rights of UC professionals to practice medicine at Catholic hospitals without religious interference.
Although it stated that affiliate hospitals could not prevent UC providers from advising or counseling patients at those hospitals or prescribing treatments as they wished, it did not ensure that the doctors could perform those treatments. Instead, it allowed for patients needing those treatments to be transferred elsewhere.
Until just before the board met Wednesday to debate and vote on Drake’s recommendation, it appeared likely to pass, leaving large blocs of the UC community discontented with what appeared to be a capitulation to Catholic authorities.
At that point, Pérez, who has been a steadfast critic of past affiliations with institutions imposing religious restrictions, offered a sheaf of amendments that addressed fundamental objections to the recommendation.
Among Pérez’s amendments was one that required hospitals that offer any given medical procedure or service to provide it to all patients without discrimination.
This arose from a case in which a Dignity Health hospital refused a hysterectomy to a patient when it discovered the patient was transgender. A lawsuit brought by the patient, Evan Minton, alleging illegal discrimination by Dignity, is pending in federal court.
Pérez also attacked the transfer loophole.
Medical professionals say that transfers can often jeopardize the health of patients, especially those facing extreme circumstances. Perez’s amendment aims to ensure that in such cases, the patient could be treated at the original hospital without interference from religious authorities.
Drake and other university administrators were given 60 days to codify the general principles in Pérez’s amendments and bring them back to the regents for final review. But Pérez said after the meeting that he was satisfied that they wouldn’t be watered down in the process…
The above comes from a June 23 story in the Los Angeles Times.
Catholic institutions should never give that little pinch of incense to demons of death and perversion. They must say no to the pressure from Godless secularists.
Pertient to note that Perez is openly gay and is Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s cousin and lap dog.
No wonder He is against the Catholic Church.
It isn’t as if Catholic hospitals will collapse without UC doctors. If they want to work at nice, private hospitals (which are pretty nice gigs, mostly) they can resign their UC privileges. If not, there are plenty of folks that would take the jobs.
Not surprising that acolytes of the culture of death would forbid their practitioners contact with institutions that would deny them access to their sacraments of abortions, euthanasia, assisted suicide, sterilization. No surprise here.
UC ….. All of it; is living off the past.
No offense to any Bruins, Golden Bears, Anteaters,
Banana Slugs et alia.
It’s shrinking in the rear-view mirror.
Apparently you haven’t seen how rapidly UC Hospitals are expanding.
Catholic hospitals have entangled themselves with state and secular hospital groups, and have simultaneously watered down or abandoned their Catholic mission. Do not expect the US Conference of Cowardly Bishops to provide any God-Centered leadership. Unless there’s a miracle, Catholic hospitals will continue to drift away from their Catholic mission until most of them are Catholic in name only.
Can’t trust Perez. He’s an openly gay person on a mission to destroy the Catholic institutions. His ideology is that the gay lifestyle must be accepted with no exceptions. Due to his political connections he is obstinate.
Here it comes – For generations, Catholics have wondered how the early Christians endured their persecutions so well…Now we may soon have our chance. Today was a Gay Pride Parade day, and the Media continued their full and enthusiastic support of Gays, and the gay lifestyle. At the same time, the Media continues to condemn any criticism of Gays, and to imply that even any slight remarks will soon be a criminal offense – and also, that the Church must submit to every gay demand, like the legalization of gay marriage. Well, for those of us who have never been arrested, will a jail cell await those who stand by their Faith, rather than accede to gay demands?
Hot gas expands as it dissipates itself.
And a question to the Administrators of Catholic Hospitals: Why can’t Catholics bring lawsuits against UC for being anti-Catholic? Isn’t UC guilty of sectarian prejudice? Aren’t they showing bias against a select group of people? Why should they be allowed to selectively punish Catholics? And, isn’t this racist and biased? Hasn’t UC showed antagonistic and damaging actions against a group that has been picked out from the general population, and criminalized on the sole basis of religion? And isn’t UC now showing disdain and disregard for Catholics, by ignoring the many Laws passed by Congress, ensuring fairness and equality for all Americans?
And if the above sounds exactly like so many lawsuits in the US, brought against racism and the unfair treatment of selected groups, why, yes it is.
So, it’s time for Catholics to bring lawsuits against these biased and prejudiced Entities like UC – they must stand down and treat Catholics fairly, or…you know what!