Find out more →

Get unlimited access. Become a digital member!

Monday, October 22, 2012

What will the pope say? Hospitals and Catholic leadership

Posted By on Mon, Oct 22, 2012 at 8:31 AM

CHURCH AND HEALTH: Catholic authorities express interest in services at blended hospitals in Hot Springs. What about Little Rock, where St. Vincent (pictured) hopes to combine with UAMS?
  • CHURCH AND HEALTH: Catholic authorities express interest in services at blended hospitals in Hot Springs. What about Little Rock, where St. Vincent (pictured) hopes to combine with UAMS?

The story is about the combination of two hospitals in Hot Springs. One of them, Mercy Health, is a Catholic hospital.

Some critics — including Little Rock Bishop Anthony Taylor — call Mercy’s decision to sell its 309-bed hospital in Hot Springs an abandonment of the ministry by the nation’s sixth largest Catholic health system.

Taylor, who leads all of Arkansas’ 137,000 Catholics, will make his case in Rome to Vatican officials against the sale on Tuesday. Mercy’s chief executive, Lynn Britton, has lobbied the Vatican in favor of the sale.

Taylor worries that the hospital buyer’s promise not to provide abortion or sterilization procedures for five years after the sale will be tossed aside in year six, and that the sale will derail the hospital’s commitment to his diocese’s poor.

“Mercy wants to move out of less lucrative markets and into more lucrative markets like the suburbs of St. Louis,” Taylor said in an interview. “The mission of Catholic healthcare is that we ought to seek to be in those less lucrative markets. In a nutshell, that’s the problem with Mercy Health. It has become a business that’s leaving the poor behind.”

The story is interesting in its own right for what the future of health care might be in Hot Springs.

But it is also relevant to those considering the effort by a Catholic hospital in Little Rock, St. Vincent, to join forces with UAMS, a public hospital. Will the Catholic Church really allow a shared partnership and public investment from an institution that has a much broader view of both health care and employee rights than the Pope? Will Bishop Taylor argue for the UAMS/St. Vincent combination if shared employees have union rights, protection from discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, birth control coverage in their health care, access to morning-after pills in case of rape or other unplanned intercourse, tubal ligations, vasectomies, stem cell research, in vitro fertilization programs?

Tags: , ,

Speaking of...

Comments (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Most Shared

  • The TC Edwards memorial roundup

    TC Edwards had hundreds of friends. If you were among them or even somewhere on the periphery, your Facebook feed has been dominated this week by tributes and photos and news of benefit concerts. Here's an attempt at a roundup of everything that's out there, with a focus on all the things you can do or attend.
  • Arkansas Baptist College receives $30 million federal loan; expected to ease cash crunch

    Arkansas Baptist College officials say they have received news of approval of a federal loan that is expected to stabilize the college's finances after a period of struggle.
  • Psych of the South: The Mercenaries' 'Things Found Here'

    Recently, a trove of band business cards from the golden era of Arkansas garage bands was discovered and put on eBay. I was able to purchase some of them, including one by a little known 1960s garage band from Little Rock named The Mercenaries. Their record, on the cult favorite MY records label based in Little Rock, was released in early 1967. Their songs, including the atmospheric and heavy “Things Found Here” along with the psychedelic tinged “Take It All” are obscure even by garage rock standards. They were not featured on the 1999 Butler Center MY records compilation and their story has not been told before
  • Alderman says he'll try again for Fayetteville civil rights ordinance

    Fayetteville Alderman Matt Petty says he'll try again to pass a city civil rights ordinance that extends some protections to LGBT people.
  • The Koch Party: Inside the oligarchs' political machine

    Politico delves deeply into the political machine begin built with the Koch brothers' fortune — a data-driven colossus for voter identification and turnout that has eclipsed Republican Party machinery to the extent that people like Tom Cotton used it over party tools.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2014 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation