UCSF Medical Center abandons plans to affiliate with Dignity Health

Cites concerns over Catholic health care system's refusal to perform abortions, sterilizations, sex-change procedures and euthanasia

Front entrance at the Parnassus Heights campus of the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) hospital in San Francisco, California, January 5, 2017. (Photo via Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

UCSF Medical Center officials said Tuesday they no longer would pursue a formal affiliation with Dignity Health, a large Catholic health care system that restricts care on the basis of religious doctrine.

The decision follows months of heated protest from hundreds of University of California-San Francisco faculty and staffers, who argued that such an arrangement would compromise patient care and threaten the famously progressive health system’s reputation as a provider of unbiased and evidence-based care.

In a letter to staff announcing the decision to end negotiations, UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood and UCSF Health President and CEO Mark Laret cited “strong concerns about a significantly expanded UCSF relationship with a health care system that has certain limits on women’s reproductive services, LGBTQ care, and end-of-life options.

Dignity hospitals are bound by ethical and religious directives from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Among other prohibitions, Dignity hospitals ban abortions unless the mother’s life is at risk, in vitro fertilization and physician-assisted death. Twenty-four of Dignity’s 39 hospitals prohibit contraception services and gender-confirming care for transgender people, such as hormone therapy and surgical procedures.

Under the proposed affiliation, UCSF would have remained independent and continued to provide such services, but UCSF physicians would have had to abide by Dignity’s care restrictions while practicing at Dignity hospitals.

The proposal sharply split faculty and the medical staff at UCSF, who aired their differences in heated public forums. Supporters of a closer alliance with Dignity said it would add capacity to a public health care system that is strapped for bed space and turns away more than 800 patients a year. They also noted that Dignity is California’s largest private provider for patients with Medi-Cal, the state-federal insurance program for the poor.

Full story at KHN News.

Comments

  1. Elizabeth T. says

    Whom in their right mind would even ATTEMPT to do such thing? That hospital is as bad as Planned Parenthood when it comes to the killing of God’s little ones.

  2. We are told, “Dignity hospitals are bound by ethical and religious directives from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops,” and yet . . .

    – Catholic Dignity hospitals ban abortions “unless the mother’s life is at risk.”
    – “Twenty-four of Dignity’s 39 hospitals prohibit contraception services and gender-confirming care for transgender people, such as hormone therapy and surgical procedures.” 15 do not, I gather.

    Indignity anyone?

    • They took out the Catholic chapel at one Dignity Hospital that still has the name of its Catholic founder, and I was told by a woman in there that it was not Catholic any more. They now have a “meditation room”.

  3. Anonymous says

    Our Catholic identity is gone, in today’s era– no more Catholic nursing religious orders running Catholic hospitals, with real Catholic names, and the crucifix in each room. No more nurse nuns in long habits caring for patients, no more priests bringing Communion and the Last Rites. No more traditional Church to give us truly Catholic institutions. Instead– compromises with the Devil in the secular world!

  4. St. Christopher says

    Catholic Readers: You really must brush up on Nazi lawmaking and judicial precedents. Slowly, at first, then more quickly, a previously Christian and cultured society was chained to violent, pagan insanity. Ideology always wins. The fact of Catholicism is like the fact of Jewishness decades ago: Society will squeeze you out because the ruling institutions want it so, then comes violence, then elimination. Nothing makes sense of this decision, except that Catholicism offends the ruling pagan class. Get ready to receive what John the Baptist received for telling Herod Antipas, and Herodias, that they could not be morally married. Just think of what happened here, people; completely unnecessary (unless you are a son of Satan).

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