Cor­rect de­ci­sion made in Calif. tubal lig­a­tion case

Modern Healthcare - - COMMENT | LETTERS -

Re­gard­ing “Cal­i­for­nia hos­pi­tal doesn’t have to do tubal lig­a­tion, judge rules” (Mod­ern­Health­, Jan. 15), the judge made the cor­rect de­ci­sion. Lib­eral or­ga­ni­za­tions and their lawyers have in­ten­si­fied their at­tacks re­cently on or­ga­ni­za­tions that prac­tice the be­liefs of their founders, and this prac­tice should be strongly re­sisted. Other than when need­ing true emer­gent care, peo­ple can go to doc­tors and hos­pi­tals that share their per­sonal be­liefs—as this woman could. And the idea that this is sex dis­crim­i­na­tion is pre­pos­ter­ous: Catholic or­ga­ni­za­tions will not nor­mally per­form vol­un­tary ster­il­iza­tion pro­ce­dures on men ei­ther. This woman can ei­ther de­liver else­where if she chooses (although in­con­ve­nient to her, it should be pos­si­ble), or de­liver at the Catholic fa­cil­ity, then have the ster­il­iza­tion else­where.

The “med­i­cal treat­ment” ar­gu­ment is faulty. Fer­til­ity is the nat­u­ral state; thus, how can ster­il­iza­tion (sup­press­ing per­ma­nently the nat­u­ral state) truly be con­sid­ered med­i­cal treat­ment, un­less another preg­nancy would clearly en­dan­ger the woman’s life?

And the “govern­ment money” ar­gu­ment is also faulty: Hos­pi­tals are not be­ing paid flat amounts by the govern­ment to per­form all “med­i­cal ser­vices”; they are be­ing paid, by one method or another, to per­form spe­cific, in­di­vid­ual ser­vices, or bun­dles of ser­vices, on govern­ment-cov­ered pa­tients. They nor­mally have no obli­ga­tion to per­form spe­cific non-emer­gent, non-ac­tive-la­bor ser­vices.

Ross Case Ed­wardsville, Ill.

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