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Catholic hospital issues statement on woman’s sterilization

August 26, 2015

A California Catholic hospital that decided to permit a mother to be sterilized after the ACLU threatened a lawsuit has issued a statement on the case.

In initially declining to permit the sterilization, Mercy Medical Center Redding cited the US bishops’ healthcare directives, which state that direct sterilization is intrinsically evil.

The Redding Record Searchlight reported:

Lauren Davis, representative from Dignity Health’s Mercy Medical Redding, said the decision made in [Rachel] Miller’s case would not affect any of its policies in the future and that the hospital would always operate within the [Ethical and Religious Directives].

In a prepared statement, she said that “tubal ligations are not performed in Catholic hospitals except on a case-by-case basis.” If the procedure is not approved, the physician must help the patient make arrangements at a facility that provides accommodation.

When asked if Miller’s case would have been reviewed had the ACLU not sent the demand letter, citing patient privacy issues, she declined to comment.


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  • Posted by: Bernadette - Aug. 27, 2015 12:28 AM ET USA

    Fear of the lawsuit prompted the "cave in." Does this hospital have any connection to the religious Sisters of Mercy or any sisters on its staff; or, is it completely owned and run now by another entity. The bishop should remove its "Catholic" identity as our Bishop Olmsted of the Diocese of Phoenix did a few years ago with St. Joseph Hospital.

  • Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 - Aug. 26, 2015 7:37 PM ET USA

    Another example of giving away our religious freedom inch by inch.

  • Posted by: filioque - Aug. 26, 2015 5:57 PM ET USA

    "[T]ubal ligations are not performed in Catholic hospitals except on a case-by-case basis.” How else would they perform them, on an assembly line? This is double-talk. They are side-stepping the fact that they caved but still claiming it won't affect future decisions. Why not? What principle is left to guide future policy and decisions? One more "Catholic" hospital down the tubes, so to speak.