Just posted a longish piece on Slog, about how our state’s Catholic run hospices, which are the sole hospice providers in many parts of the state, not only refuse to participate in our Death With Dignity Act, but refuse to even answer patients’ questions about it: “Don’t Tell When Asked”: How Catholic Hospices Are Denying Patients’ Rights to Death With Dignity.
In fact it’s part of a much larger, and very sensitive issue that has so far escaped much public scrutiny. For all the immense amount of good our state’s Catholic hospitals and health systems do by providing quality medical care, often in otherwise under-served regions, recent expansions, mergers and affiliations have given these systems virtual monopolies throughout much of the state. And due to their requirement that doctors, nurses, counselors and other care givers adhere to Catholic Ethical and Religious Directives, this expansion has also served to restrict access to many legal medical services, including abortion and birth control, as well as end of life directives.
Anyway, this post is a good start on a complicated issue that I hope to come back to in greater detail. Read the whole thing, and let me know what you think.