The New York Times published an article today (February 21, 2012) explaining the ramifications of health care mergers. They wrote about what happens when large Catholic health care systems buy smaller secular hospitals. Situations exist where patients still want to have contraceptives and sterilizations, but the Catholic health care system wants to restrict them.
Here is the link: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/
02/21/health/policy/growth-of- catholic-hospitals-may-limit- access-to-reproductive-care. html
It is a very interesting article and mentions OSF in Rockford. OSF Health Care System based out of Peoria is trying to buy a secular hospital in Rockford. OSF already owns OSF-St. Anthony's in Rockford.
People in Rockford are concerned that they might not have access to sterilizations at their secular hospital if OSF acquires it.
But I don't think the people of Rockford have anything to worry about regarding getting contraceptives from OSF physicians with the anticipated new hospital merger. And here is why.
For 15 years now The Catholic Diocese of Peoria and The Catholic Diocese of Rockford have worked with OSF to allow contraceptives to be prescribed by OSF physicians in Rockford and Peoria through the "limited private practice" provision designed in the mid-90's right here in Peoria. It is a loophole that was created to allow OSF to remain competitive in the medical market place. And I doubt most people would even know that this dismal policy even exists if the Peoria Journal Star did not publish the story in 1995.
The New York Times reports today:
"OSF says Rockford needs fewer hospitals and wants to expand its network to better serve the area. “It’s all about how to deliver care, coordinated and efficient care,” said Robert C. Sehring, an executive at OSF.
OSF has already developed an arrangement in which affiliated doctors can prescribe birth control pills through a separate practice."
The "affiliated doctors" mentioned by the Times are OSF physicians. Similar words, "affiliated physicians", were used in a Peoria Journal Star editorial last week that was describing the outcry created by the new Obama mandate and the Catholic bishops reaction. (See this post.)
So what is my point?
If OSF buys the secular hospital in Rockford, it should apply Catholic morals to this hospital. OSF should not give in and have an elevator to a "secular floor" (or any other provisions) where sterilizations can be performed.
And there should not be ANY policy to allow ANY Catholic teachings to be butchered inside an OSF facility. The limited private practice policy/loophole mentioned above DOES allow the Catholic bishops in Peoria and Rockford to cooperate with evil regarding contraceptives and should be stopped.
Peoria Bishops John J. Myers and Daniel Jenky, as well as the Sisters of the Third Order in Peoria and OSF Corporate Ethicist Joseph Piccione, should be hanging their heads right now. Their devious policy created 15 years ago is being scrutinized and should be abolished if the Catholic bishops of the United States really mean what they say about their disagreement with President Obama and religious conscience.