Catholic Bishops Clamp Down on Tubal Ligations; Swedish is Likely Target

In the Seattle area, Swedish Medical Center, which was taken over by Providence a few years ago, currently says it does tubal ligations. However, according to a new article posted in ProPublica, the Catholic bishops are clamping down on tubal ligations in situations where a formerly secular medical facility has come under Catholic control.  Prior to its takeover by Providence, Swedish was the largest independent nonprofit health system in the Seattle area and still claims to be “the most popular” place in Western Washington to give birth.

The likely implication for Swedish (and other health systems in Washington now under the control of the Catholic bishops) is that tubal ligations will no longer be allowed.

This means that a woman who delivers at a Swedish facility and who is committed to getting a tubal ligation (which is the most popular contraception method for women who have completed their families)  will have to undergo the unnecessary pain and expense of an additional separate surgery at a separate facility after her body has healed from childbirth.

For Seattle-area employers who provide comprehensive health care benefits, this means they’ll be footing the bill not just for the additional surgery but also for the additional recovery time associated with a completely separate surgical procedure.

Will Seattle-area employers, including private employers like Microsoft, Starbucks, Amazon, Costco, Nordstroms, Google, and Facebook, stand by while access to important health care services is systematically cut off throughout the largest maternity health care sytem in the state?  Will they willingly pay the extra costs of additional surgery and recovery times for their employees who deliver at Swedish and then decide to undergo a tubal ligation elsewhere?

Will the taxpayers who are subsidizing Medicaid births willingly pay for an additional surgery and recovery for Medicaid patients who choose to deliver at Swedish simply because the Catholic bishops have decided the procedure can’t be performed at the largest maternity network in the state?

Will anyone anywhere be able to stop Catholic bishops from using our tax dollars and private health dollars to impose their will on patients across the state?

 

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4 thoughts on “Catholic Bishops Clamp Down on Tubal Ligations; Swedish is Likely Target

  1. Howard Pellett

    You have to wonder just how much abuse people will take before they decide to stand up for reproductive rights which should be available under the constitution.

    Peace Health tried to take over Island Hospital here in Skagit County and we got organized and got mad. We beat them for now, but are remaining every watchful as the Catholic Church has at least 2,000 years of experience in screwing over the masses.

    Reply
  2. Flora Ninelles

    I have just transfered from Providence Hospice to a hospice in Seattle which does not try to enforce mandatory spirituality chaplain consultations. The oncologist at Swedish First Hill whom I have going to for two years said she was out of treatments and enrolled me in Providence Hospice. I thought she had chosen Providence because she had good rapport with them. I assumed that Providence Hospice acted professional ly with its patients these days. But from the very first interview both social workers and nurses tried to force me to sign up for a chaplain consultation. I said no politely, explaining that I was secular, and had had several years to prepare my thoughts for death, and had my books and friends. I am 87 and live in Queen Anne Manor on Queen Anne Hill. They spent long sessions o conversation trying to get e to see achaplain “just once.” Others taking their place did the same thing during their visit the next week. It was entirely about how my identity was as a secular person and that I would throw out any chaplain who tried to force their way in to my apartment or my hospital bedside, that I found religion and supernational untrue and unwholesome. It never occured to me to mention Death with Dignity, so that wa

    Reply
  3. Flora Ninelles

    I have just transfered from Providence Hospice to a hospice in Seattle which does not try to enforce mandatory spirituality chaplain consultations. The oncologist at Swedish First Hill whom I have going to for two years said she was out of treatments and enrolled me in Providence Hospice. I thought she had chosen Providence because she had good rapport with them. I assumed that Providence Hospice acted professional ly with its patients these days. But from the very first interview both social workers and nurses tried to force me to sign up for a chaplain consultation. I said no politely, explaining that I was secular, and had had several years to prepare my thoughts for death, and had my books and friends. I am 87 and live in Queen Anne Manor on Queen Anne Hill. They spent long sessions of conversation trying to get me to see a chaplain “just once.” Others taking their place did the same thing during their visit the next week. It was entirely about how my identity was as a secular person and that I would throw out any chaplain who tried to force their way in to my apartment or my hospital bedside, that I found religion and supernatural practices untrue and unwholesome. It never occured to me to mention Death with Dignity, so that was not an issue. It is very unpleasant to have nice nurses and social workers seated facing you trying to force you to sign up with something you don’t believe in. They came and did this even when they had to come in to sign the transfer papers to the hospice I now am with which offers a chaplain but immediately takes no for an answer. They acted as though they were on strict orders from the administration of what I now know to be Providence/Swedish First Hill Hospital to succeed in pressuring hospice patients to sign up for a chaplain consultation.

    Reply
    1. catholicwatcher Post author

      Thank you so much for reaching out with your story. I’m sorry this happened to you, and I applaud your resolve. I view it as incredibly unethical for anyone to force a “chaplain consultation” on anyone, especially someone nearing the end of life and especially when a person has made clear that he or she doesn’t want it. We’re not all wired alike, nor do we believe in the same things – and few things are as personal as how and whether you believe in a god or multiple gods. Somewhere we’ve lost the understanding that the patient’s wants and needs should come first.

      I’m happy that you found a place where people respect your beliefs. Sending warm secular thoughts your way:-)

      Reply

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