Here’s Another Case of a Catholic Hospital Interfering With Patient Care
Rebecca Chamorro, 33, is a married woman who is due to give birth to her third child by C-section on Jan. 28. She and her husband decided they don’t want any more children after their third, so she asked her obstetrician to perform a tubal ligation immediately after her Cesarean delivery to prevent further pregnancies.
That’s the medical standard of care for tubal ligations: The safest way to perform the procedure is immediately after delivery, in order to avoid a second surgical procedure under anesthesia. Chamorro’s physician, Samuel Van Kirk, asked for authorization from her hospital, Mercy Medical Center in Redding.
Religious institutions that provide services to the general public should not be allowed to discriminate or deny health care. - Redding attorney Rachel Miller, who fought Dignity Health to obtain a tubal ligation
The hospital turned him down. Not because its administrators thought the procedure was medically unwise, dangerous or illegal, but because it violates the Catholic religious principles to which the hospital’s owner, Dignity Health, subscribes. Although the letter denying Chamorro’s procedure came from Mercy’s vice president for medical affairs, James De Soto M.D., the rules he cited — the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services — were produced not by a medical body, but by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.