We say “NO” (AGAIN!) to discrimination in UC health care, and “YES” to the high-quality, evidence-based care that all patients expect and deserve.
A mechanical voice but a good, short overview.
A little more than a year ago, we asked people to email the University of California Board of Regents, as they were planning to partner up the UC San Francisco Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading teaching hospitals, with Dignity Health, a Catholic hospital chain that uses religious directives to openly discriminate against women, disproportionately affecting women of color, LGBTQ patients, and those seeking end-of-life care, in order to help resolve a bedspace problem. We, the people who demand the separation of church and state in our health care, said “NO!,” and the Board backed off, then. But since then, the ACLU has discovered that every single UC Health center has contracts that impose harmful non-medical restrictions on care.
On Wednesday, the regents are going to vote on a policy which would allow UC Health, the university division that oversees six health centers 20 health professional schools, and the medical education more than fifty percent of our state’s doctors, to normalize the process of affiliating with Catholic or other entities with discriminatory religious restrictions, despite the fact that contracting with such organizations is in clear violation of CA’s constitution and state laws.
The Regent’s draft policy being voted on has guidelines that would prevent these affiliate hospitals from actually gagging UC professionals’ from counseling their patients and prescribing treatments they feel are in the patients’ best interest, at least for now… However, they are absolutely unable to ensure that those professionals can actually perform those treatments at these facilities, as hard experience shows that the Conference of Catholic Bishops will place their Ethical and Reigious Directives (ERDs) over doctor/patient decisions, even at the cost of human life.
Reading between the lines of Point #3 of the draft policy, the authors anticipate the bewilderment, humiliation and possible endangerment that people will face upon being denied legal health care on the grounds that what they need is considered “intrinsically evil.” This includes women seeking abortions, miscarriage treatment, contraception or sterilization, LGBTQ+ patients seeking gender-affirming surgeries and the terminally ill seeking euthanasia (legal since 2016).
Each University location contracting with healthcare organizations that have adopted policy-based restrictions on care must develop and implement a process to inform UC patients, faculty, staff, and trainees: (i) about such restrictions at sites to which they may be referred or assigned; (ii) that such referrals or assignments are voluntary; and (iii) and that information about alternative sites for care, practice, and training will be provided upon request.
The paragraph ends on how to relocate people who need such “restricted services,” resulting in a “stigma inconsistent with the history and dynamics of civil rights laws that ensure equal access to goods, services, and public accommodations.”
Each location must also develop a process to transfer patients who need restricted services to a UC or other location where the services can be provided.
It’s also a dry reminder of how dangerous their religious strictures are, as these facilities have to “relocate” women suffering from miscarriage emergencies, because the best practices to save their lives would be construed as an abortion by their ERD rules. The is modern “separate, but definitely not equal accommodation,” and we don’t accept it.
Action #1 – EMAIL the UC Board of Regents to oppose any UC-system health care affiliation with any religious, anti-choice, anti-LGBTQ hospital.
Write them an email to tell them that this discussion of whether or not to allow this trojan horse of discrimination into our health system should be an easy “NO”. Use whatever of the attached sample script makes sense to you. Make it as personal as you can, by adding any stories how this type of discrimination could have or did affect you, family member or an acquaintance.
Sample email script:
(Put in “Subject” line): DRAFT Regents Policy on Affiliations with Healthcare Organizations that Have Adopted Policy-Based Restrictions on CareContinue reading “The UC Board of Regents is once again voting on the very bad idea of UC Health contracting with discriminatory religious hospitals. Urgent email! They vote on Wednesday!”