Los Angeles Times

Why religion, care don’t mix


Re “Dignity Health and UCSF,” letter, April 19

The letter from a senior vice president at Catholic hospital chain Dignity Health defending its affiliatio­n with UC San Francisco was accurate, but somewhat disingenuo­us. While patients are provided with informatio­n on services not offered at a Catholic facility, there are still cases where the outcome for the patient may be less than optimal.

I worked for years as a diabetes educator at a Catholic hospital helping pregnant women with diabetes. Some of the women feared that another pregnancy posed too much risk, so they asked for a tubal ligation to be done during a planned C-section.

They found out that they had to recover from the C-section and then, many weeks later, make an appointmen­t to go to an outside facility for the additional procedure. As a result, I saw some back in my office feeling depressed, fearful and frustrated with a subsequent high-risk pregnancy.

While it is admirable that Catholic healthcare institutio­ns are focused on the serving the community and especially those in need, the system of referring out for certain services can put major burdens on patients. Cathy Goldberg Seal Beach

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