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Opinion

Readers React: How faith-based restrictions at Catholic hospitals place real burdens on patients

In this Aug. 7, 2018 photo, a doctor performs an ultrasound scan on a pregnant woman at a hospital i
A pregnant woman undergoes an ultrasound at a Chicago hospital on Aug. 7, 2018.
(Teresa Crawford / AP)

To the editor: 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 community and those in need, the system of referring out for certain services can put major burdens on patients.

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Cathy Goldberg, Seal Beach

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