Interesting take on the future of Catholic Healthcare

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CNS' news briefs page for yesterday (4th item) includes the following:

Future of Catholic health care seen in long-term, not acute, care

NEW YORK (CNS) -- Retired Auxiliary Bishop Joseph M. Sullivan of Brooklyn said May 20 that the future of Catholic health care would likely be in delivering long-term care rather than acute care. Catholic hospitals do not have the resources to compete with the major research hospitals that patients tend to prefer when they develop acute illness, he said. He also said people with acute illness do not usually choose a hospital on the basis of its religious sponsorship. When Cardinal John J. O'Connor of New York developed cancer, he did not go to a Catholic hospital but to the prestigious Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Bishop Sullivan recalled. But he said people often do prefer an institution run by their own religious denomination for long-term care. Bishop Sullivan discussed the problems and possibilities of Catholic health care in an address to the Catholic Healthcare Administrative Personnel program, which was held in New York May 15-20 at St. John's University with joint sponsorship by St. Vincent Catholic Medical Centers.

That's very interesting, and I sympathize with those who spurn Catholic hospitals. My mind goes to a Catholic hospital in Chicago where my grandmother received care towards the end of her life. The conditions where atrocious, and she was eventually transferred to Northwest Memorial in the burbs where she received much better care.

The Church may do well to reflect on specific areas of health care that She could focus on and within which She could do the best job of evangelizing.

For instance, the Church could concentrate on areas where modern secular medicinal practice has gone farthest off track, such as women's health and beginning-of- and end-of-life care, and leave transplants and splints to the for-profit institutions. Also, the Church could focus on low-cost clinics to help the poor have access to better basic care and stay healthier.

I don't mean to say that the Church should withdraw from the hospital system - on the contrary, no matter what one finds himself in the hospital for, being able to gaze upon a crucifix or pray with a chaplain can bring great comfort - rather, I'm just pointing out that a prayerful reflection on how the resources going into Catholic healthcare are being used could benefit the health and souls of many.

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I agree with you, that Catholic Hospitals should (continue to) focus on Women's health. The doctor we found is at a Catholic Hospital (Resurrection on Talcott) and it puts me at ease to have a doctor who I know is pro life. THe are hard to come by these days, unfortunately.
They also have a long term care facility across the street, which is almost as big as the hospital itself.

Alas, often the 'catholic' hospitals are only nominally pro-life in women's health care. Even if they don't perform abortions or tubal ligations, they also don't encourage NFP (but rather give information about ABC), and they don't require that their staff physicians adhere to the health care directives. So an OB could be doing abortions in his office, and still be on staff at most Catholic hospitals.

That's a great point Alicia, I didn't even get into the ethical confusion and scandal that comes along with so much of the Church's involvement in health care.

It is rather unfortunate. I asked the crisis pregnancy center that I volunteer at for a list of pro-life doctors, and I chose from those (it wasn't very long, unfortunately)
It's amazing, J-Lu told me that not even the crisis pregnancy center by you guys had such a list handy.

That's correct. Sad, isn't it?


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This page contains a single entry by Papa-Lu published on May 25, 2005 7:23 AM.

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