university of lousiville

Leaders of the University of Louisville medical school gave a number of assurances but few answers about the future of reproductive health services at the school’s hospital.

U of L hospital is merging with Jewish Hospital and St. Mary’s Healthcare and a division of Catholic Health Initiatives. The merger has raised concerns that vasectomies, stem cell research and other procedures the Catholic Church does not approve of would no longer be available at U of L. School officials have long said those procedures are not part of the hospital and will not be governed by the new merged entity.

But women who have cesarean sections in merged hospital will not be able to have tubal ligations (often called tube tying) immediately afterward.

“We will provide that service,” says Medical school Dean Edward Halperin, who has studied mergers between secular and religious hospitals. “Now if, folks, I could tell you, ‘Here is exactly the room that I’m going to show you it’s going to be done’ today, I would do that. The message we wish to convey is we’re aware of this issue. We’ve been working on it.”

Halperin says he’s read reports that detail how tubal ligations were handled under similar mergers, but declined to give any examples.

“We’re not prepared to give you the precise answer at this point, because when we do give you exactly what the answer is, we want it to be the best answer,” says U of L’s Vice President of Health Affairs David Dunn.

Dunn says $15 million will be set aside in the merger and that money will go to either build or renovate facilities to provide potentially-banned services outside of the merged hospital. [click to continue…]

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