Caritas Christi Health Care, the financially challenged Catholic hospital system founded by the Archdiocese of Boston, is abruptly ending its joint venture with a Missouri-based health insurer at the insistence of Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, who has decided that the relationship represented too much of an entanglement between Catholic hospitals and abortion providers.
The dramatic development, just days before the joint venture was scheduled to start providing care to low-income residents as part of the state’s efforts to establish near universal health coverage here, is a vindication of sorts for a variety of very conservative Catholic critics of the cardinal, who have been arguing angrily and loudly that it would be “evil” for Caritas to partner with a health provider that covers abortion services.
The newspaper had to get that bit in and blame critics who were quite upset with a cooperation with evil that I would certainly would not class as only remote material cooperation. I am quite thankful for those critics who held the Archdiocese’s feet to the fire and that Cardinal O’Malley did the right thing.
In keeping with the ethical directives that bind Catholic hospitals, Caritas hospitals will not provide abortion or sterilizations. Caritas already refers privately-insured patients who seek such services to their insurance providers, and will do the same with state-insured patients. (Caritas spelled out its practices for handling Catholic ethical teachings in a statement June 11.)
The previous statement contains this:
Dr. Ralphe de la Torre, President of Caritas Christ, stated that “when a a patient seeks such a procedure, Caritas health care professionals will be clear that (a) the hospital does not perform them and (b) the patient must turn to his or her insurer for further guidance. …”
Such an approach seems odd to me. “Hey we don’t abort or sterilize, buy hey talk to your insurer.” Yes the paramount of moral guidance the insurer. Though if only they would not shell out for such evil. They should really be on our side just to save some money. Maybe I am naive, but can’t a Catholic hospital give some moral guidance on this instead of shoving them off to the insurers? Or is this protection to keep from getting sued?
Regardless Cardinal O’Malley did what needed to be done.