Beta Culture: Self Defense in the Medical Arena

So you go into a hospital and it looks like every other, right? Doctors, nurses, beeping monitors, an overall air of concern for patient well-being. And for most of us, it’s probably even true.

But for one targeted class, women in need of emergency, or sometimes even routine, reproductive care, one in ten hospitals in the U.S. take a radically different approach to medicine.

Read this paragraph from Miscarriage of Medicine – The Growth of Catholic Hospitals and the Threat to Reproductive Health Care:

With the rise of Catholic hospitals has come the increasing danger that women’s reproductive health care will be compromised by religious restrictions. The Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (the Directives), issued by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), govern care at these facilities. The Directives prohibit a range of reproductive health services, including contraception, sterilization, many infertility treatments, and abortion care, even when a woman’s health or life is in danger. Moreover, they often restrict even the ability of hospital staff to provide patients with full information and referrals for care that conflict with religious teachings.

That highlighted bit means that not only will they not provide certain “sinful” medical services, or even give you correct medical information on which your health may depend, they also won’t tell you where you can go to GET that information and those services.

They will lie by omission, even when your life and health hangs in the balance.

Why is this important? Because the number of Catholic-owned hospitals is rapidly increasing.

While the number of secular non-profit and public hospitals fell by 12 percent and 31 percent, respectively, in the ten years of 2001-2011, the number of Catholic hospitals grew by 16 percent. In that same period the total number of hospitals in the U.S. declined.

The real scare quote for women needing emergency reproductive care is this:

  • In 2011, one in ten acute-care hospitals were Catholic-sponsored or -affiliated.
  • That same year, 10 of the 25 largest hospital systems in the country were Catholic-sponsored.

This is understandable, of course. Hey, souls hang in the balance, right? And what are your annoying little rights, your petty little health and safety, compared with that?

Doesn’t matter that you’re not Catholic. Doesn’t matter that it might cost you your life, or the life of your wife. What matters is THEIR set of moral rules, enforced on US.

Considering that the Catholic Church appears to be actively acquiring more hospitals and hospital systems, it’s hard to say any of this — the enforcing of their moral rules, at times when patients are most defenseless and frightened — is unintentional.

Yet another reason why a new social engine — Beta Culture — is needed. If there are people in positions of influence over you who fail to consider one of the most basic social promises — that in a time of desperate need, your medical care will not be compromised or sold short — it’s time to get out from under and go your own way.

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Lest we forget one who died from this this kind of “care”: Savita Halappanavar

 

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