The University of Louisville Hospital and Louisville's Jewish Hospital want to merge with St. Joseph's Hospital and St. Mary's Hospital under an agreement that would result in placing them under the authority of a Catholic health care organization and the prospect has set off wailing and gnashing of teeth among Caring Liberals who fear it will interfere with their philanthropic plans to sterilize poor people and control their numbers through birth control.
These benevolent liberals are concerned about the fate of "reproductive services" (defined as services that prevent reproduction) that they fear poor people will lose access to under an agreement that would result in placing the two non-religious hospitals under Catholic strictures on abortion, sterilization, and birth control.
The Church, for its part, operates under the old-fashioned notion that poor people should be treated with dignity and respect, and that those goals properly excludes the attempt to decrease their numbers like they were a herd of elk.
What's nice to see is the new breed of Catholic hierarchy which are slowly replacing the liberal leaders of the past (who were the ones in charge, we might point out, during the mishandling of the priest abuse scandals), and who are, praise be, standing up for Catholic principles. Here's the account given of Archbishop Kurtz's take on the situation in USA Today:
Louisville Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz said Thursday he would only approve a merged hospital system under Roman Catholic ownership if all the participants, including University Hospital, agreed to follow the church's ethical rules for medical care.
In other words, the Archbishop is standing on the principles of the Church, and is apparently willing to let the deal go if those principles cannot be followed. Which leaves, of course, the other parties, who must either stand on their ethically questionable principles that violate the sanctity of human life, or on their concern for the financial bottom line.
This is one of the tragedies of modern health care: hospitals now are all about making money. In fact, one of the things the Catholic Church needs to do is to return the practice of medicine under their control into a charitable enterprise it once was.