Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Should Saint Francis Medical Center Remain Catholic? Part V

The Bishop's Synod of 1971 summed up the reason for the church's intense concern for matters of social justice:

"Action on behalf of justice and participation in the transformation of the world fully appear to be a constitutive dimension of the preaching of the Gospel, or, in other words, of the church's mission for the redemption of the human race, and its liberation from every oppressive situation."

The Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (Directives) place great emphasis on social justice. The Directives have set forth several principles:

1. Sacredness of Life: Catholic health care is dedicated to promoting human dignity and the sacredness of life, from the moment of conception until death. Derived from this principle is the right to life and the right to protect it through adequate health care. In the bishops' view, this first principle is not a religious principle; that is, it is not derived primarily and fundamentally from the teaching of Christ, though it is certainly in accord with that teaching. The principle is based on human experience and human reason.

2. The Option for the Poor: The second principle, to have "an option for the poor", is derived primarily from the teaching and tradition of the church. Indeed the Directives refer to caring for the poor as "a biblical mandate".

How is OSF-SFMC following the Directives when they:

1. Refuse to accept Haitian Hearts patients that were operated at OSF in the past and need repeat surgery, even when full funding or partial funding is offered for their care? Where is responsible stewardship exercised while Haitian children are dying during OSF's 500 million dollar campus renovation in Peoria?

2. Delayed surgery of at least one Haitian child that was in Peoria awaiting surgery?

3. Attempted to divert funds dedicated for Haitian children to OSF-Children's Hospital of Illinois?

Where is "social justice" here?

Where is the Catholic Diocese of Peoria? When Monsignor Rohlfs was notified that I felt Haitian surgery was delayed on a Haitian baby that suffered a cardiac arrest with his host family in the Peoria area, Monsignor Rohlfs looked unconcerned and asked me to "let me know if it happens again..."

Should Saint Francis Medical Center remain Catholic?

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