Letters to the Editor: UC medical school affiliations with Catholic hospital chains are a travesty

UCSF Medical Center
The Parnassus Heights medical center at UC San Francisco in 2017.
(Smith Collection / Gado / Getty Images)

To the editor: Thanks to columnist Michael Hiltzik for bringing attention to an issue that should incense California taxpayers. The fact that University of California medical schools have entered into partnerships with Dignity Health puts UC health professionals at the mercy of the Catholic Church ethical and religious directives.

This is a public university system, funded in part by California taxpayers. As a public university, UC is guided by the California Constitution, which dictates that the university shall be entirely independent of all political and sectarian influence.

No matter how it tries to hide details of this partnership from the public or explain them away, the bottom line is that UC medical schools should be in no way affiliated with a Catholic institution.

Holly Cantos, Los Angeles



To the editor: Hiltzik’s column on the Catholic Church and UC has me asking this obvious question: What protects the public from arbitrary restrictions to standards of care due to “ethical directives” at any hospital or affiliated provider?

If the major donor to the secular nonprofit hospital in my community required the implementation of care that is not based on scientific evidence and dressed this up as an ethical directive, how would I know? How do I ensure appropriate evidence-based care for my family?

Gretchen Renshaw, Manhattan Beach