Friday, June 1, 2012

Catholic Hospitals In America: 'We Reserve The Right To Refuse Service To Anyone'

Americans of a certain minimum age will remember the signs on the doors of dining establishments back in the 1950s, mostly but not exclusively in the Deep South: "We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service to Anyone". What they meant, of course, was "We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service to People of Color". Lunch counter occupations were among the early protest events of the Civil Rights movement.

Via Adgita Diaries, from AMERICAblog's John Aravosis, we learn that

The Catholic church is now making rumblings about turning away non-Catholics from the emergency rooms of Catholic hospitals. I shudder to make a Nazi analogy, so I won't. But what other analogy is there for a hospital to even dare start talking about picking and choosing who lives and who dies based on their religion?


From Maureen Dowd, writing about the latest Catholic scare tactic, distributed in tax-exempt churches, to oppose President Obama's new contraceptive policy that Mitt Romney previously endorsed as well.
The Archdiocese of Washington put an equally alarmist message in the church bulletins at Sunday’s Masses, warning of apocalyptic risk:

“1. Our more than 600 hospitals nationwide, which will need to stop non-Catholics at the emergency room door and say, ‘We are only allowed by the government to heal Catholics.’
Aravosis goes on to note the cognitive dissonance experienced by many non-Catholic Americans over the difference between the surveyed beliefs of Catholic Americans regarding contraception, abortion, premarital sex, etc. on the one hand, and on the other hand the fist-of-iron approach of the newly mean-spirited Catholic hierarchy in America. And he's right; it bugs the Hell out of me.

But hospitals are institutions that are necessarily ultimately under secular law, laws not about the practice of faith but the practice of medicine. Any hospital that decides to threaten to deny emergency care to any human being for reasons not related to the current best practices of medicine should have its doors shut and padlocked until it recants the threat. Every institution that calls itself "hospital" should without hesitation render emergency medical aid to any person... no exemptions, no qualifications... who needs it. Enough is enough.


  1. If they do it, they will lose their certification as hospitals and won't be eligible for reimbursement from Medicare, Medicaid, or other government sponsored insurance programs. They will also lose government grants and access to Federal and state programs.

    To hell with them. Let them find out what entering the private sector is all about.

  2. Bryan, a significant part of the problem is the delusional Rat Zinger. He seems to believe he lives in those dark ages when the Pope ruled the world, or at least the European culture within it. The days when popes were king-makers... literally... are hundreds of years gone now. Many of the American Catholics I have known over the years are quite devout, but if Zinger pokes his oar in their waters once too often, he may find significant portions of his American membership departing. It couldn't happen to a nicer guy, or a nicer institution. [/snark]

  3. The Vatican, its pro-fascist Pope and Bishops are far over reaching. Do they seriously think the Church has any credible standing or moral authority after decades of serial child rape, coverups, not to mention the millions of AIDS deaths and orphans created by their contraceptive ban. I long for the day when the Vatican collapses in its own filth and corruption.



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