Canadian hospital under fire for sticking to Catholic ethics

.- A family physician in Humboldt, Saskatchewan, has launched a petition to overturn the decision of a Catholic-run hospital to no longer offer tubal ligations after a patient was refused the procedure.

The board of St. Elizabeth's Hospital decided to ban the sterilization procedure in June.

Levick-Brown told CBC News that she was told the ban was imposed because the hospital board felt it needed to follow the Catholic health ethics guide more closely. The Catholic Church is opposed to sterilizations, which it sees as an act removing the natural possibility of procreation from human sexuality.

Another Catholic-run hospital in the province, St. Paul’s, said it supports the decision of the board of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.

Saskatchewan Health Minister Len Taylor told CBC he was gathering more information about the situation and may have more to say later this week about whether hospitals that receive public money can pick and choose which procedures they do.

Brenda Fitzgerald, executive director of St. Paul’s, said she is not surprised by the decision. As a Catholic hospital, required to follow the Catholic Ethics Guide, St. Paul’s would be in a similar situation if it provided full obstetric and gynecological services, Fitzgerald said. However, in the mid-1990s, the Saskatoon Health District decided to consolidate OB-GYN services in two other area hospitals.

Bishop Albert LeGatt and St. Elizabeth’s Hospital board chair Jerome Strasser were not immediately available for comment.

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