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Letters to the Editor: Catholic hospitals are an asset to California. UC is right to partner with them

Critics say partnerships between UC Health Centers and Catholic hospitals limit the availability to certain treatments.
(Smith Collection / Gado via Getty Images)

To the editor: Contrary to what you might believe after reading Daniel Grossman’s op-ed article about the policies of Catholic hospitals, our hospitals do provide emergency contraception for rape victims. In fact, 10 are designated rape trauma centers or sexual assault response teams in California communities.

We do treat miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies according to the standard of care; Catholic-affiliated hospitals performed 21% of all ectopic pregnancy procedures in 2019, per data from California’s Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. Residents in Catholic hospitals are trained in placing IUDs.

The services not offered are elective abortions and sterilizations, in-vitro fertilization and physician-assisted death. Our doctors are expected to work with patients to obtain those procedures at a hospital that provides those services.

Far from “betraying its values,” a May 2020 UC Health report had this to say about partnerships with hospitals like ours: “These affiliations are core to our education and public service missions to offer access to high-quality care to all the people of California. A policy of disengagement would undermine our mission and weaken our health care infrastructure, and not one patient would be better served as a result.”

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Lori Cappello Dangberg, Sacramento

The writer is vice president of the Alliance of Catholic Health Care.

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To the editor: The question of whether UC Health centers should partner with Catholic hospitals has been an issue for a while now.

These partnerships, which prevent all sorts of care, are disgraceful. When someone has a baby and wants their tubes tied during a caesarean section, when it is most convenient and least disruptive, they cannot in a Catholic hospital.

Elective surgeries and treatments may be able to be scheduled elsewhere, but all treatment options may not be explained and people may not be able to keep their doctor, losing some continuity and communication. It’s not like you are buying a loaf of bread and can get the same thing anywhere.

The UC Health system is renown for its scientific expertise, research, depth of knowledge and its multidisciplinary ability to handle the whole person. This will be lost or compromised by this affiliation.

I proudly worked for UCLA Health for 22 years, until I retired. I take this personally.

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Elizabeth G. Lannon, North Hills


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