Catholic Bishops Play Doctor With Pregnant Woman With Brain Tumor

A pregnant woman about to give birth should be focused on holding her new baby in her arms, not fighting a Catholic hospital for the right to a common procedure that could help keep her around longer to raise her baby. 

We sent a demand letter to a Catholic hospital in Michigan on behalf of Jessica Mann, a pregnant woman with a life-threatening brain tumor who was denied a request to get her tubes tied at the time of her scheduled C-section next month.

Jessica Mann, who is 34 weeks pregnant, was denied the procedure by Genesys Hospital because of religiously based rules that dictate hospital policy. Jessica’s doctor highly recommends that she has no further children due to the strain the pregnancy will pose to her health because of her brain tumor. Although her doctor requested a medical exception to the general prohibition on sterilization procedures at Genesys a few months ago, Jessica was just informed that the request would not be granted. Having a tubal after Jessica recovers from the C-section in several weeks is also not recommended because that would also require another round of life-threatening full anesthesia and surgery. 

Genesys Hospital is part of Ascension Health, the largest Catholic healthcare system in the country.  The facility is governed by religious rules called the Ethical and Religious Directives, which are written by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and that classify common reproductive health procedures as "intrinsically evil.”

Tubal ligation, known familiarly as “getting one’s tubes tied,” is the contraception method of choice for more than 30 percent of U.S. married women of reproductive age. An estimated 600,000 women undergo this procedure each year. For women who want a tubal ligation, performing it at the time of a C-Section is recommended practice and is the standard of care.

Ten of the 25 largest hospital systems in the U.S. are Catholic-sponsored, and nearly one of nine hospital beds in the country is in a Catholic facility. 

Although everyone has a right to practice their religion as they see fit, religion cannot be used to harm others, which is what is happening here. Jessica Mann and every person who goes into the hospital seeking medical care should not have to worry that religious beliefs rather than medical judgment will dictate what care they receive.

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Adrianna

Is Genesys the only hospital in the area? Is it possible for Jessica took elsewhere for treatment?

Anonymous

Go to a different hospital.

Anonymous

Catholic Hospitals need to stop taking public money. The Catholic church needs to stop breaking the law by involving itself in political issues, and attempting to enforce religious laws that Catholics don't even follow themselves on the rest of the population. Better still, stop advocating for "public-private partnerships" in which you get taxpayer dollars to enforce your cherry-picked Christianity on others. As long as these hospital are getting tax dollars, they need to enforce the law. The reason that there are very few other options is that the religious hospital got the funding that should have gone to the secular ones.

Anonymous

There's no other hospital in the area? I'm confused why they went to this one of that was her birth plan. I'm not supporting the hospital at all. Just doesn't make sense to put yourself through that stress.

Anonymous

She is seeking another hospital. At 34 weeks pregnant she now has to find a new hospital and a new doctor, because the one she was planning to use just denied her the right to choose the best course of treatment for her health, for no medical reason whatsoever. How is that OK?

Anonymous

Maybe she should have chose a nonreligious hospital.

Anonymous

"Maybe she should have chose a non-religious hospital." - Maybe Catholics shouldn't run hospitals.

Anonymous

Could she go to a county hospital in Michigan or any other hospital that will accept her insurance,have a question will this catholic hospital also reject a men vasetomy
If so they have right as cathoic hospital to uphold their religious belief.

Cal HAYHOW

Many People are completely ignorant of the difference between catholic and secular hospitals. In some areas, Catholic hospitals are all there is.Does anything in the name Genysis connote a religious institution?

Anna

As a Women I feel it is my body let me make my own decision If it prolongs her life it is only the right thing to do. Give her more time to spend with her family. If it was me I would find a facility that would do what I want.gIve her a chance to enjoy what time she has left with husband and child.

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