Catholic hospital will tie your tubes after all

Pregnant lawyer threatens to sue, Dignity Health changes its mind on sterilization procedure
Rachel Miller poses for a portrait at her home in Redding, California, Saturday, August 22, 2015. Mrs. Miller, a Redding lawyer, is due to give birth by C-section on September 29 and wants to have her doctor perform a tubal ligation that the hospital, Mercy Medical Center in Redding, refuses to allow because of Catholic doctrine. Her ACLU lawyer says she'll sue if the hospital doesn't change its mind. (Photo: Ramin Rahimian, Special To The Chronicle)

Rachel Miller poses for a portrait at her home in Redding, California, Saturday, August 22, 2015. Mrs. Miller, a Redding lawyer, is due to give birth by C-section on September 29 and wants to have her doctor perform a tubal ligation that the hospital, Mercy Medical Center in Redding, refuses to allow because of Catholic doctrine. Her ACLU lawyer says she’ll sue if the hospital doesn’t change its mind. (Photo: Ramin Rahimian, Special To The Chronicle)

The following comes from an August 24 SF Gate article by Bob Egelko:

Facing a possible sex-discrimination lawsuit, a Catholic hospital in Redding reversed its position Monday and agreed to let a woman’s doctor sterilize her after she gives birth next month.

Mercy Medical Center, owned by Dignity Health of San Francisco, the state’s largest private health care company, had previously refused to allow Rachel Miller to undergo a tubal ligation, citing Catholic hospitals’ Ethical and Religious Directives against sterilization.

After attorneys with the American Civil Liberties Union said they would file a discrimination suit if Miller was being denied pregnancy-based care” on religious grounds, the hospital notified her doctor that it was reconsidering based on additional information the physician had provided. On Monday, the deadline the lawyers had set for a response, the ACLU said Mercy Medical Center had agreed to the surgery.

That solves Miller’s problem, said ACLU attorney Elizabeth Gill, but it won’t avoid a future legal confrontation unless the hospital chain changes its policy.

“That’s great that they are willing to do that for some women,” Gill said. But Miller, she said, “is just one of many women who risk being denied care because Catholic bishops are telling medical professionals how to operate.”

Miller said Monday that she hoped her case would “shine a light on this issue so that others aren’t turned away.”

“This is a decision that I made with my family and my doctor and no one else should be involved in that process,” Miller said in a statement released by her lawyers.

Dignity Health declined to comment Monday. But in a message sent by fax to Gill on Saturday, Rick Grossman, general counsel for the hospital chain, said the claim of sex discrimination was “baseless,” because the hospitals’ policy against sterilization applies to both men and women. The policy also prohibits abortions and reproductive-assistance technology such as in vitro fertilization.

No court ruling or other legal authority would require Mercy Medical Center to “violate the (Ethical and Religious Directives) and repudiate (the hospital’s) Catholic identity,” Grossman wrote.

But Gill said California law defines the withholding of pregnancy-related care as sex discrimination, even if the policy against sterilization also applies to men.

To add a comment, click on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ icons OR go further down to the bottom of comments to the Post your comment box.

Comments

  1. Clinton R. says:

    Today, Catholic hospitals are as “Catholic” as the likes of Notre Dame and Loyola Marymount. Rather than fight, they cave in to the ways of the world.

  2. Non-Catholics love to gang up and use governmental force to make Catholic institutions bend.

  3. FrMichael says:

    Curious to see how Bishop Soto will react to this provocation and capitulation on the part of the hospital.

  4. In the future, will Mercy Medical Center, of Redding, and other Catholic hospitals also perform sex-change (mutilation of genitalia) surgeries? I guess that makes them a full-service hospital.

  5. What if the doctor’s and nurses at this hospital refuse to perform the surgery? Will their employment be at stake? This is about individual freedom as well.

  6. To Mrs. Rachel Miller I beg you to reconsider what you are planning on doing to your own body as well as what you are planning to force others do to your body. Mutilation of one’s own reproductive system is the ultimate hatred of oneself if you really think about it. Forcing others to participate in that mutilation is pure selfishness.

  7. Linda Maria says:

    This chain of “Catholic” hospitals has sold its soul to the devil! They will receive their due punishments from God, for sin!

  8. USE of the name ‘CATHOLIC’ – “VERITATIS SPLENDOR” # 116
    “…… Nevertheless, Bishops are never relieved of their own personal obligations.
    It falls to them, in communion with the Holy See, both to grant the title Catholic
    to Church-related schools, universities, health-care facilities and counselling services, and, in cases of a serious failure to live up to that title, to take it away. ” – Pope John Paul II
    http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_06081993_veritatis-splendor.html

  9. On the topic of Mercy and other Catholic hospitals see:
    Church Militant Vortex – http://www.churchmilitant.com/video/episode/the-vortexsick-bishops
    The “comments’ following’ quote Code of Canon Law, etc.

  10. Steve Seitz says:

    What I don’t understand is why the woman is being forced to give birth in a Catholic hospital. Is there a law that is forcing her to give birth at a Catholic hospital against her will?

    • There is a NON-Catholic, secular hospital in Redding, CA.

      People can get whatever services they desire there.

  11. Many women have had their tubes tied, even at the advice of a Catholic priest, and lived to regret it. Believe me this woman will live to regret what she has done.

    • Contraception, and STERILIZATION are mortal sins. Even if a Priest tells you otherwise.
      They violate the Doctrine of the Faith.
      CCC # 2399.
      No Bishop or Priest has the authority to tell others to commit Mortal Sin.

      • That is one reason some regret what they did; that and the fact it is a mutilation of the body and can cause medical problems.

  12. Why doesn’t she go to a secular, protestant, Jewish, or muslim hospital? this is illegal selective prosecution.

COMMENTS POLICY: Comments are limited to 750 characters and will be truncated at 750. Comments should not contain offensive or libelous language. Please strive to be civil. All comments are subject to approval by our moderator and to editing as the moderator deems appropriate. Inclusion of your email address is optional.

Speak Your Mind

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

COMMENTS POLICY: Comments are limited to 750 characters and will be truncated at 750. Comments should not contain offensive or libelous language. Please strive to be civil. All comments are subject to approval by our moderator and to editing as the moderator deems appropriate. Inclusion of your email address is optional.