Friday, January 4, 2008

Should Saint Francis Medical Center Remain Catholic?

Should Saint Francis Medical Center (SFMC) remain Catholic? What distinguishes Saint Francis as a Catholic medical center?

I went to mass yesterday at the OSF chapel on Jan 1. I think the OSF chapel is one of the most beautiful churches in Peoria.

But is SFMC truly acting like a Catholic medical center? Is it following the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services?

OSF is not caring for Haitian Hearts patients and they are dying.

The Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services is the current official statement of ethical directives for the provision of health care in Catholic facilities in the United States.

The Directives were approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the USCCB recommended their implementation by diocesan bishops. The Directives were written with the collaboration among the U.S. Catholic bishops, Catholic health care leaders, theologians and ethicists, and the Holy See (the Pope).

The Directives are a set of principles that inform the provision of health services under Catholic sponsorship. They are conclusions drawn from a faith-inspired vision of the human person and the experience gained from providing holistic health care.

We need to remember that the goal of the Directives is to promote consistency between what is done under the auspices of Catholic sponsorship and church teaching on moral matters as these relate to the provision of health services.

Taking care of the poor is emphasized by the Directives. SFMC has rejected Haitian children and young adults that were operated at OSF in the past and now need repeat surgery.

It seems very clear what the Directives would say about caring for Haitian Hearts patients? Would the Directives advise Saint Francis Medical Center to remain a Catholic health care facility?

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