Hospital Merger Talks Continue, Ethics Among Issues To Be Resolved

by Gabe Bullard on November 29, 2010

Reproductive health issues are among the many topics that will likely be discussed over the next year as three area healthcare providers prepare to merge.

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The University of Louisville is in talks to create a statewide medical network with Jewish Hospital and St. Mary’s Healthcare and Catholic Health Initiatives. Groups such as Planned Parenthood have protested similar mergers between secular and religious institutions, saying Catholic doctrines can threaten contraceptive counseling, vasectomies, in vitro fertilization or other reproductive issues.

U of L School of Medicine Dean Dr. Edward Halperin is confident any conflicts can be resolved.

“These mergers have had to deal with providing comprehensive services to patients along with the ethical and religious directors of the Catholic Church,” he says. “I believe these issues are eminently solvable and that an appropriate accommodation will be reached in Louisville.”

Dr. Halperin says, as a public institution, U of L has certain obligations to the public it must maintain. The merger is still in the early stages and will likely take more than a year for an agreement to be drafted and approved by state and federal regulators

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