I Did My Time

Mar 07 2012 Published by under [Etc]

My first job out of training occurred at a Jesuit University medical center. Shortly after my hiring, I received a guidebook to the Roman Catholic practice of medicine. We were to treat all human beings with dignity and respect life.

This rule book did little to the day-to-day practice of medicine in the children's hospital and its clinics. Our adolescent medicine specialists prescribed birth control of all sorts for their patients. The institutions involved built a prenatal genetics service, never admitting to themselves that such testing would often lead to abortion. No, they felt these services allowed better planning for the care of the child after birth.

Life in this place was not significantly different from life in a state medical center, at least until I went back on oral contraceptives. I still remember standing in the drugstore wondering why my copay was so high, then having the face-palm moment when the pharmacist reminded me who my employer was. I was lucky; I had the income to pay out-of-pocket for my pills, even though they were as much for menorrhagia as for contraception. Had I been a student with no income, affording pills would have been more difficult. If Catholic universities and hospitals want students and faculty of other faiths (and I do not believe they can survive without them), then they should offer an option for contraception paid for from the employee/student portion of the premiums. You know, the compromise of the Obama administration.

If they can turn a blind eye to patient care within their walls, they can do the same for the behavior of others when they are off duty.


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