Wednesday, June 12, 2024
HomePolicyUCalifornia Adopts New Religious Hospital Affiliations Policies

UCalifornia Adopts New Religious Hospital Affiliations Policies

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The University of California (UC) Board of Regents has voted nearly unanimously to adopt new policies that would impact affiliations with religious hospitals that impose certain health care restrictions.

The board’s move follows backlash the university has received for working with hospitals that do not allow procedures under the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (ERDs), including abortions, assisted suicide, sterilization, and transgender surgeries, according to NBC Bay Area.

“We know that transfers are not always in the patient’s interest,” said Regent Chair John Pérez.

“We should have greater ability to serve more patients, but in a way that is in compliance with the policy we adopt today. We’re against discrimination,” he added.

New Set of Rules

Among the new adjustments that UC can expect is the permission to pursue new contracts with health care providers that willingly offer all services to all patients without discrimination. 

The policy also states that university physicians practicing at sectarian hospitals must not be barred from conducting such treatments to patients that cannot be safely transferred to another hospital. All health care providers affiliated with UC must adhere to these rules on or before December 31, 2023 to avoid having their agreement with the school terminated.

“It has the potential to significantly expand access to reproductive and gender-affirming care and to ensure UC physicians can exercise their own professional judgment in providing care,” Senator Scott Wiener said in a statement.

The previous limitations on medical services drew the ire of some in the UC community, noting that the way things were done before did not match the university’s commitment to providing non-discriminatory treatment.

During his address to the board, UC President Michael V. Drake expressed that their “past affiliation contracts did not reflect UC values.”

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