News Headlines Article

Will Ties To A Catholic Hospital System Tie Doctors’ Hands?
Kaiser Health News

As Catholic health care systems across the country expand, the University of California’s flagship San Francisco hospital has become the latest arena for an emotional debate: Should the famously progressive medical center increase its treatment space by joining forces with a Catholic-run system that restricts care according to religious doctrine?

At issue is a proposal that UCSF Medical Center affiliate with Dignity Health, a massive Catholic health care system that, like other Catholic chains, is bound by ethical and religious directives from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Among other prohibitions on services, 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.