Who should be able to own a hospital? Jehovah's Witnesses? Christian Scientists?

Can a group of Christian Scientists buy a hospital, convert it to reading rooms, accept patients and operate as a licensed hospital? Okay, that’s ludicrous as well as being a simplistic stereotype of Christian Science, so let’s go with some slightly less ludicrous examples.

Can a group of Jehovah’s Witnesses operate a licensed hospital that refuses to give blood transfusions?

Can a group of Hindus operate a licensed hospital that refuses to use any animal derived medications or treatments? Can a Hindu pharmacist do the same? (I’m not positive that Hindus have such restrictions, so correct me if I’m wrong about that.)

I’m not posting this to be inflammatory. I think there’s an interesting and important question here regarding medical treatment and religious freedom and I think it could be helpful to discuss it without the emotional and political baggage attached to conception and pregnancy.

My initial thoughts: A hospital is a limited commodity. A given community can only support a limited number of hospitals. Groups that refuse to offer the full spectrum of available and medically approved treatments should not be able to control this commodity.

I don’t feel totally comfortable with that opinion, but I feel less comfortable with allowing hospitals to base care on anything other than currently accepted scientific medical thinking.

So you’d rather no care?

Them refusing to do their job because of their religious delusions is “no care”. It’s just more expensive than not going to a hospital at all. If hospitals aren’t going to do their job according to actual medical knowledge, then we are back to the bad old days where you might as well stay home and hope you get well on your own because the doctor is as likely to kill you as they are to help you.

I’d rather full sentences.

I think everybody would appreciate it if we could have a few pages of rational discussion before the thread descends into strawmanning and bashing of large segments of the population. So let’s see if we can keep the thread on track for a while and keep posts like the above to a minimum.

Words hard. Me no do.

A hospital should not be licensed that refuses to perform any necessary medical care. There could be little ins and outs. A staff doctor may not be allowed to perform some procedures if an independent doctor is available for instance. But the idea of refusing to provide blood transfusions is absurd. If a patient’s religion doesn’t allow for something, the patient can refuse it.

But that’s a false dichotomy isn’t it?

Someone could argue that there may be some truth to it regarding Catholic hospitals, but can that be proven? Are there really areas (I’m restricting my comments to the US) that would have no care if not for Catholic hospitals? I’m not convinced.

Still, it’s difficult to dismiss your point outright. Let’s think about the extremes. On one end you have giant Christian Science reading rooms. On the other, you have a modern hospital that offers the full spectrum of medical care with no religious restrictions.

No rational thinker is going to accept the reading room as a real alternative to having no care at all. So obviously there’s a line to be drawn somewhere along the spectrum.

Where do we draw that line? What amount of restrictions do we allow as an acceptable alternative to no care? It’s an interesting question.

Christian Scientists do, or at least did, have such places. One used to be located in the West Portal district of San Francisco. For all I know, it is still there.

Can they? Absolutely. Should they? I think not, but I also don’t think Catholics should be allowed to run hospitals which receive public funds (including Medicare) or receive tax breaks (unless they’re heretics and are willing to provide contraception, contraception education and abortions and transgender care and all those other sticky wickets).

At the very least, I REALLY don’t think hospitals with religious affiliations which restrict the type of care they offer should be able to hide behind vague names like Advocate or Loyola Medical Center. If you’re going to force your religion’s ideas on unsuspecting patients, at least have the decency to name yourself St. Joseph’s Resurrection on the Mount Health Center for Loaves and Fishes or something.
(I’m still bitter about not being allowed to ask 15 year old girl on her third delivery whether she’d like to learn about contraception during my OB Clinical, yes.)

I mildly curious how useful a limited hospital (assuming the label can still be applied) could be. I suppose if it was like a sport-injury clinic, treating sprains and such… but as soon as a seriously-wounded patient arrives, he’s better off somewhere else than a place that won’t do blood transfusions, possibly nowhere else if the hypothetical JW hospital will start treatments and be unable to continue them. I can picture them, say, cutting a patient open to treat a gunshot wound then having him die of shock, whereas if he’d waited an extra hour for transport to a conventional hospital with blood supplies on hand, he might live.

Anyway, this calls for a strict definition of the word “hospital” and what someone going to a hospital can reasonably expect a hospital to do. Let the JWs set up “healing centers” and whatnot.

Then they should be shut down and their patients can go elsewhere, yes?

In the future, I’ll try to

Are there any legal minimums when it comes to an organization calling itself a “hospital”?

Shut down, the people who ran it subjected to prosecution for medical malpractice, and a new hospital created to replace it; by direct government intervention if necessary.

Assuming, of course, there is someone around who wants to run and operate a hospital. Because if not, then you end up hurting more people than your purportedly want to help.

I snipped out the middle part because I don’t even support that kind of loophole, but the above seems cut and dry to me. Hospitals should not have anything to do with religion, particularly if they’re accepting gov’t money. (We do have a separation of church and state, even if it’s been eroded severely.) If a patient doesn’t want a particular medical procedure it is their right to refuse it. It is nobody’s right to refuse that same care to somebody else, whether or not the other patient shares their beliefs.

If there isn’t, then the government can just do it themselves. I’d prefer a government run publicly funded hospital over one that thinks bronze age mythology trumps medical science.

I laughed out loud at the idea of a government run hospital being a replacement for a privately run hospital. At any rate, again, this is assuming that the government has the funds to do so. Presumably, if the government could have done so to begin with, they would have and the religiously based hospital would not have moved into town, so to speak.

I’m pretty sure a string of wrongful death lawsuits would put them out of business.

You might as well ask, “Can a Kali worshiper go out and strangle people at night in glorification of his goddess?” Sure. And if he gets caught, he goes to jail.

[Devil’s Advocate] Would you assist in an elective infant circumcision? [/DA]

I’ve pondered that a lot, because it’s about the most against my morals and ethics procedure done in hospitals, and I really, really want to be a NICU nurse. I haven’t reconciled it in my head yet. But I grok that it’s about exactly how faithful Catholic nurses should feel about assisting during abortions. :frowning: