Department of HealthRules Comment

Nov 5 2013 9:46AM Creating and implementing these rules and changed definitions about when a CoN is required is a waste of time and money. It does little to improve "transparency" or consumer access to information about what services are available at a given hospital. It seems mostly designed to provide a superficial political response to those who wish that the state government would require hospitals (religiously affiliated or not) to provide elective birth control, elective abortion, suicide, and euthenasia services. The rules are an unnecessary state over reach.
Nov 5 2013 1:12PM The crux of the problem addressed by the proposed rules is that religious directives may limit or deny the availability of some health care procedures at the beginning and end of life. Followers of the religion and others may choose to observe those directives, but they also affect those who are unaware of the limitations and/or unable to obtain the forbidden procedures from other providers. To avoid this result, the proposed rules would require public notice of the limitations and would expand the circumstances requiring a certificate of need, which might be denied if alternative sources of the forbidden procedures are not readily available. These are worthwhile measures, but their goal may be frustrated by the use of artful language claiming there are alternative provisions to supply the forbidden procedures. Unfortunately, the alternatives may not be equivalent to the health care provided by an institution that is unencumbered by religious constraints. To avoid this diminution of health care resources, the rules should be written and implemented with the goal of ensuring the accuracy of any claim of an equivalent alternative.
Nov 5 2013 3:52PM Rather than a list of services provided, I suggest a "scorecard" of the usual religious or moral issues. Examples: Is it this hospital's policy to value the life of the child over that of the mother? Yes or No? Is it this hospital's policy to respect no resuscitate detectives? Yes or No? Are all available options of birth control offered? Yes or No? As a consumer, just those 3 questions would provide a sufficient answer for me.
Nov 5 2013 8:59PM This effort by religiously affiliated health organizations is a subversive, stealthly planned move on their part to eliminate or curtail certain medical practices which they deem unfavorable to their religious beliefs. They have no concern for others' beliefs, and they are simply trying to back-door their religion's tenets on everyone else, even in cases where some of the hospitals they try to merge with receive taxpayer funding. For religious hospitals to respond to questions with "...developing a meaningful list of services would be too complex and potentially misleading" is utter nonsense. They are simply trying to avoid openly publicizing the fact that their intent is to stop certain services that they deem unacceptable to their religious beliefs. That in itself should disqualify their efforts in the numerous instances where they have tried to takeover public hospitals. They are fooling no one and the public will ultimately suffer as a consequence. This effort is unacceptable and the state insurance commissioner should reject all such efforts by these church affiliated groups to hijack public hospitals and turn them into little churches run by church hierarchies.
Nov 9 2013 3:13PM I absolutely concur with the inclusion of hospitals being required to specify their policies on end-of-life and reproductive health services. As a health care provider, I consider this information to be part of "informed consent". From what I could determine,none of the hospitals surveyed responded that they DO have policies in place; therefore, it's impossible for the consumer to obtain that information prior to making a decision as to whether or not they wish to seek care in these facilities. Why allow this secrecy to continue? I totally disagree with hospitals maintaining that developing a list of services would be too complex and potentially misleading. Defining specifics of services provided doesn't need to be complex or misleading unless they chose to present them in that way. I am part of an older women's conversation group and we have been discussing and mulling over these issues, especially end-of-life services. Since we have been unable to obtain information from our local hospitals or staff physicians as to policies regarding end of life services,we are developing a plan for getting discharged (against medical advice, if necessary) from hospitals to our homes in order to be able to implement end of life services, if we so desire. It's going to take considerable coordination with our POA's for health care matters to be able to implement our wishes if we are incapacitated and unable to make the decision. And, it shouldn't have to be this way since end of life assistance is legal in this state! Whether it be end-of-life services or reproductive health services, if hospitals or ambulatory care centers are accepting any federal, or state funding, they should be required to provide services deemed legal.
Nov 10 2013 2:22PM At the minimum, all public funded hospitals should be truly transparent about their health care policies and restrictions. These hospitals should be required to provide legal, medically appropriate services, particularly regarding reproductive health, end-of-life care and care for LGBT patients. I am not a Catholic and my life should not be controlled by Catholic doctrine. Thank you. Jenefer Hutchins
Nov 14 2013 8:29AM I applaud Governor Inslee for requesting this rule to increase transparency about trends that threaten to deny Washingtonians, particularly those in rural areas, access to legal health care services.
Nov 14 2013 9:54PM I support increased transparency about trends that threaten to deny Washingtonians, particularly those in rural areas, access to legal health care services. Informed consent is a cornerstone of good medical health. If you are employed within a medical institute and you refuse to DO YOUR JOB, you should not be there; please retire from medicine.
Nov 14 2013 10:17PM I do not want any hospital to be able to deny women access to all reproductive health care, including abortions and birth control. Just because a hospital is run by a religious organization, that doesn't mean that that hospital has the right to deny people health care because of the religious beliefs of the organization which runs the hospital. No hospital should be able to legally deny birth control or abortions or any medical services to patients simply because of the religious ideologies that the organizations which run the hospitals would like to impose upon everyone.
Nov 14 2013 11:19PM Religious groups that receive public money should not be able to practice medicine based on religious bias. If you take medicare, medicaid or any other tax funded monies hospitals and clinics should be required to offer the full spectrum of treatment modalities, including all reproductive health services.
Nov 14 2013 11:57PM Please don't let big organizations take away my right to make medical decisions for myself. Please do not let it become impossible to find out which hospitals rely on religious doctrine above science and medical advice.
Nov 15 2013 7:53AM I absolutely concur with the inclusion of hospitals being required to specify their policies on end-of-life and reproductive health services. This is a normal part of "informed consent" and should be a part of the patient's rights. I totally disagree with hospitals claiming that developing a list of services would be too complex and potentially misleading. It would be no more complex than any other list of procedures produced by any hospital department. As a former worker in an ER and now in health insurance, to prevent/curtail and intentionally obscure any access to healthcare due to a religious belief is to impose said belief on recipients of that healthcare. This violates not only our Constitutional Right to Privacy and Freedom of Religion, it violates EMTALA for emergency rooms.
Nov 15 2013 8:48AM Religious people may come door to door to push their religion, send missions to areas of distress etc. but they may not force their religion or withhold services they could provide (certainly a form of blackmail) on helpless people which we would call assault. Currently we have a Peace Health hospital on our Island, San Juan in San Juan County, WA that has caused a tornado of angst due to it's shell game commentaries and quasi commitments: promising full health care to residents, full women's health and end of life treatments but invoking at the same time the Bishop's Directive. There is no way that Doctors should be allowed to practice their religion to the detriment of a patient. If he/she can't provide a service for religious reasons she/he should stop practicing in that field. This is insane. It beggars belief that we subsidize religious organizations with billions of dollars of tax relief and then allow them to invoke their scruples against every needy person regardless of their personal religious preference or lack thereof. sincerly ... Thomas S. Odegard
Nov 15 2013 8:55AM YES, I DO concur with this directive but it does not even begin to address the existing loss of patients rights in our state. This directive is not going to protect the large population of our state's seniors who have no idea that they will be forced to endure unnecessary pain and forced to undergo procedures that they do not want. I am terrified of the situation involving my own mother, she does not understand the "Bishops Directive" and thinks she is in full control because she has believes she has power over the hospital. Furthermore, in my community, our clinic has been taken over by a Franciscan system and now all the young women using this clinic are being denied birth control and accurate information on reproductive health. I strongly oppose all the "religious" control and out right illegal denial of patients rights being perpetrated upon our hospital systems.
Nov 15 2013 4:06PM Leave religious beliefs out of the healthcare system!! Religion should not be the determining factor in whether or not a person can get access to healthcare!
Nov 15 2013 4:32PM Do not deny Washington state residents access to legal healthcare!! Keep religious beliefs in the churches and out of the hospitals! I highly applaud Governor Inslee for implementing a policy to increase the availability of healthcare services to the people of Washington state.
Nov 16 2013 9:38AM One small Inslee's child in the right direction. Now it needs to grow teeth. This proposal is a weak tool against the assaulting monstrosity of religious corporations eating away at equal access to healthcare. Please retool the policy to protect healthcare from organized religion. There is no place of religion in place of delivery of health care. Period. Any conversations about holistic healing and total human approach can and should stay within the frame of individual need based on personal preferences of the patient. Just as no patient within any health institution can be denied access to spiritual care of their preference, no preference of abstaining from accepting health care based on religious beliefs should be ignored. Therefore, no institution of health care can or should be able to discriminate on the basis of patient's affiliation. Devouring health care facilities one by one chips away at health care accessibility for those who are not affiliated with religion of any kind, or those whose religious beliefs defer from that of the institution. A doctor who in observation of personal beliefs cannot perform abortion, or dispense a birth control formulation, or administer a lethal dose of medication according to the wish and need of a patient, is just as professionally misplaced as a judge in the sky. Keep the organized religion from health care! No institutionalized religion in health care!
Nov 17 2013 2:56PM We do not go to hospitals for religious reasons, we go to them for treatment. If specific religious hospitals have rules they follow that are not compatible with legal treatments, then they should not take tax payer money. No medicare or medicaid. They should not be allowed to take over hospitals in remote areas where no other hospitals are available. Posting policies would help make hospital policies transparent.
Nov 18 2013 10:48AM Hospitals, religious or public, that accept taxpayer dollars, should provide all legal services, including reproductive services, to patients. This is especially true where there is limited access to hospitals in rural areas.
Nov 18 2013 8:04PM I am deeply concerned about healthcare being so heavily influenced by religion. Hospital policies for reproduction and end of life should not be dictated by any religious group. We keep religion out of schools and government. Religion should not be able to buy its way to dominance in health care.
Nov 19 2013 8:32AM Since WA State laws support women's' rights and end of life decisions all institutions (regardless of religious bias)should be required to provide appropriate care based on these laws. This violates our constitutional right. Religion should not play in role in how the healthcare system operates. Nobody should be denied access to healthcare based on religious beliefs. Keep the practice of religion in churches and out of the hospitals. Life and death matters need to be the focus of hospitals. Religious bias should play NO role in treatment for any individual regardless of what that treatment is. The delivery of medical care to patients has only two major concerned parties: the ill person and the attending physician. The doctor has taken an oath to do no harm and to treat to the best of his ability and knowledge of current practice. If he works for a Catholic hospital, this does NOT change the oath he has taken. Expressions of religion which affect any others besides the person expressing himself belong in a church, mosque or synagogue, not in any other venue. Religion should not be a part of how the heealthcare system works! Nobody should be denied access to healthcare based on religious beliefs.
Nov 20 2013 10:23AM I am glad that the governor has brought this important issue into the spotlight. I have watched with increasing alarm as many hospitals in our state have been taken over by religiously affiliated groups and the very real possibility that they will impose their religious beliefs on those seeking care at these hospitals. They are free to believe what they wish but should NOT be allowed to deny legal care on those who need to use their facilities. I agree with others that if a hospital or medical facility accepts any public funds (property tax, Medicaid, Medicare etc) that they should be barred from withholding end-of-life or reproductive services from any patient who requests them. If I have a properly executed Living Will and Health Care Directive that calls for withholding extra-ordinary procedures then that MUST be honored - period, end-of-story! I don't want some religious dogma imposed on me. It is not acceptable that hospitals and clinics simply publish their beliefs, they should be barred from imposing those on everyone. Pull their CON/license if they don't wish to comply!
Nov 20 2013 3:39PM Everyone has a right to know what hospitals will do what. I do not agree that the religious beliefs should be allowed to take precedence over the needs of care of a person. The right to decide what you will and won’t do to your body is a personal choice. Whether it be end of life, birth control or any other choice that is LEGAL in Washington State. If the hospital is accepting state medical, Medicare or Medicaid then they should be required to perform, and treat as per the needs or wants (within legal parameters) of the patient. And think about what effect it will have on the communities or young women.
Nov 21 2013 9:20AM I agree that the CON process needs to be evaluated. The CON process first has to put the interest of the community at the center of the evaluation. In order to do this they need to use a lens to evaluate the process that first seeks health in all policies, and equity. Some minimal suggestions: The CON process needs to be: -transparent and decipherable by the public -Evaluate a community as a whole and seek equity, and ask how are the most vulnerable population served? what are the options in this community? Does this community have the most basic healthcare needs available at a reasonable price ? what services does this community lack and who needs aren't met?? -If the CON can not provide continuous oversight there needs to be mechanism to oversee healthcare system delivery, outcomes and access -The CON has tremendous influence and needs to be able to set the stage for what is acceptable. Healthcare delivery needs to be based on a standard of care and people need to be able to access medical care that is based on best practices not moral ideology.
Nov 21 2013 2:18PM I concur with the Department of Health's proposed plan with the following amendments: All hospital and/or health systems that provide primary or ob-gyn care should have to disclose and post their reproductive health policies and provide a checklist of services indicating whether they provide, refer, or do not provide or refer for the 20 most common ob/gyn services. The goal should be making it possible for patients to exercise their rights consistent with informed consent laws. The list can be developed in consultation with the American Congress of Ob-Gyns, but should include: contraceptives, including long-acting reversible contraceptives (IUDs, etc.); vasectomies; tubal ligation; unrestricted legal abortion, and abortion with restrictions (specify what the restrictions are). Separately, the Constitution of WA State needs to be upheld. Since the reason these restrictions are in place is to advance a religious agenda, no state funds should support hospitals that impose religiously based restrictions on physicians and/or patients. Finally, since physicians and hospitals/health systems operate under license of the state and are subject to state regulations, no hospital or health system should be able to restrict a physician from providing, informing, and/or referring for services that are consistent with the standards and ethics of their profession and in the best interest of the patient. Since 95% of board-certified ob-gyns are members of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, this seems like the appropriate body to look to for guidance on these issues. Furthermore, if any physician has reason to believe he or she has not been able to provide care consistent with medical ethics and standards because of religious restrictions, that physician should be required to report the incident to the DOH within 30 days. If a patient is found to have been harmed because of religiously based restrictions, then the institution should be penalized, and penalized heavily. It is in the interest of the state to ensure that all medical services are provided with the goal of advancing the health of a patient or alleviating pain as appropriate. Licensed medical facilities should not be able to advance a religious agenda to the detriment of patients.
Nov 22 2013 4:15PM All patients should have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, best care medical services, and no patient should be refused access to services because of a health care organization's religious doctrines.
Nov 22 2013 4:16PM Hospitals need to serve the common good and must do so without any type of religious restrictions. All medical services need to be available without any restrictions except for those determined by legislation to be prohibited or curtailed. Religion has to be kept out of medicine.
Nov 22 2013 4:17PM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 22 2013 4:17PM All patients should have access to a full range of lawful, best care medical services, and no patient should be refused access to services because of. Healthcare organizations religious doctrines. I can't believe it is even necessary for me to send this comment.
Nov 22 2013 4:18PM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 22 2013 4:19PM I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 22 2013 4:19PM As more hospitals are bought up by religious organizations, the threat of a "back door" repeal of Roe vs. Wade looks increasingly real. If they want to be in the health and medicine business, they have to accept ALL the responsibilities of the job, regardless of what their religion asserts, because hospitals are not churches and patients are not converts.
Nov 22 2013 4:19PM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 22 2013 4:19PM
Nov 22 2013 4:20PM If my primary care doctor, if my local hospital, or if my health insurer changed their type or level of care they must be required to inform me of this change. I want to be able to trust my health and well-being to these individuals and organizations. Please protect me and my fellow Americans from unethical health care.
Nov 22 2013 4:21PM All patients should have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, best care medical services, and that no patient should be refused access to services because of a health care organization's religious doctrines. Anything else is not democratic or protects the rights of the individual for choice in their own health care.
Nov 22 2013 4:21PM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 22 2013 4:22PM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 22 2013 4:22PM I am concerned that religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at a fast pace. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Mary Lou Johnson, MSN, J.D.
Nov 22 2013 4:22PM Please respect the right of free individuals and organizations to adhere to moral codes of their choosing. There is no higher law than morality.
Nov 22 2013 4:23PM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 22 2013 4:23PM All patients must have complete freedom of choice. They must NOT be constrained by the doctrines believed by those who operate the facility. Thank you.
Nov 22 2013 4:23PM It is absolutely vital that all patients have access to the full range of medical choices so they can make wise decisions regarding their own health care, in consultation with their physician. It is completely unacceptable for patients to lose choices when a religiously-oriented hospital merges with a community or public hospital. If the religious hospital is unwilling to offer choices to patients, they should not merge or they should change their practices. It is a denial of my rights to prevent me from the best health alternatives because of hospital administrators' beliefs. Thank you for your consideration.
Nov 22 2013 4:24PM I feel strongly that religious ideology should not control the health care available to patients, especially when the patients may not be the same religion as those who run the hospital. Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ (my) access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. No patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need (CON) Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: SCOPE OF REVIEW: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. CLEAR STANDARDS: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. OVERSIGHT and ENFORCEMENT: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. TRANSPARENCY: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 22 2013 4:24PM All patients should have access to a full range of medical services regardless of religion, sexuality, or gender identity. It's insane that catholic doctrine can be imposed on healthcare in modern America.
Nov 22 2013 4:24PM The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility. In other words, these religious zealots HAVE NO PLACE forcing their religion down my throat. If you don't want to put them out of business then fine the hell out of them. The Catholic Church is taking over Spokane with their bigoted views. That is bullshit. As an Episcopialian I see things differently. Thank you, Wm McGunagle
Nov 22 2013 4:25PM I believe no one should be refused any medical procedure because of religion. Further, the hospital should state upon admitting the procedures they will not perform. It should also be displayed at the entrance. I do not believe that religion should be involved in medical decisions.
Nov 22 2013 4:25PM It is critical that mergers of secular hospitals with religion based do NOT create a situation where some religious creed or dogma prevents others (who may not share that dogma) from getting medical care. For example, abortion and birth control, or DNR's or other patient directives. Or, within state law, desire end of life care. Recently, in Everett, we had no choice; my non-religious mother was very uncomfortable with the religious rules. She did have good care, and nothing came of it. But. The hospital could have refused her medical requests, causing an inconvenient and even dangerous move to a distant secular hospital. Please block ANY merger that would leave communities without secular hospitals. Religion doesn't belong in monopoly public services any more than it does in government. Would a natural gas company be allowed to deny services based on the religion of the owner? I hope not.
Nov 22 2013 4:27PM The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 22 2013 4:27PM The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Women's health concerns should be kept front and center. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients, regardless of their religious or nonreligious beliefs. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 22 2013 4:28PM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 22 2013 4:30PM My Medicare Advantage plan insurer was bought out by CHS and no longer contracts with Multicare - my long term provider. They provided no explanation but with research I found they had by bought out by CHS which will not support DNR orders, abortion or birth control, all of which I assume Multicare and their hospitals honor. I WILL NOT CONTRACT WITH AN INSURANCE COMPANY THAT DOES THIS. This is unconscionable - religion HAS NO PLACE IN HEALTH CARE, except at the request of the patient.
Nov 22 2013 4:30PM Hello, As a life-long resident of Washington State, and a 3rd generation Washingtonian, I urge you to CONTINUE the Certificate of Need review that guarantees State oversight and permission before hospitals move from secular to religious oversight. Healthcare and quality of care, as well as the rights of the patient for unbiased and all-encompassing care should be a non-issue in this state (country). IF a hospital chooses to adopt a religious directive over a secular one, this should be publicly communicated so that the patient is aware of their rights at that hospital. No person should be refused service, no hospital in this state should be able to operate if they refuse service based upon moral judgement over ethics in relation to health and humanity. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility. Thank you for your consideration, Seema Ardakan-Allen
Nov 22 2013 4:32PM You must stop the Catholic hospitals from preventing people from receiving legal services such as Physician Assisted Suicide or whatever it's called, and medical marijuana and anything else they want to stand in the way of. We must preserve all the access to all the services (abortion included) that are legally allowed in this state. The Catholic or other religious institutions must NOT be allowed to choose on our behalf and prevent us for religious reasons from choosing antithetical medical practices to their religion.
Nov 22 2013 4:33PM The Certificate of Need and Hospital Licensing Regulations Governor's Directive must ensure that religious doctrine does not supersede state law when it comes to the provision of medical care. All patients in all facilities must have access at that facility to such medical procedures as abortion, including late-term abortion to protect the mother's life or health; Death With Dignity options; strict adherence to patients' Living Wills; contraception; organ transplant regardless of gender identity; HIV and AIDS treatment. No religious dicta should be permitted to refuse any of these or other life-sustaining, health sustaining, and/or dignified and desired end-of-life options. Too many of our state's hospital beds are now in control of Catholic and other religious organizations, including facilities funded almost entirely with taxpayer monies. As a patient with many needs, I am concerned that I will not be able to receive the care I need, I deserve, and that I am permitted according to the state of Washington's RCWs, including the option to end my life in a dignified manner at the time of my choosing, since I have a fatal condition, End Stage Renal Disease. I am concerned that mothers will be forced to carry dead babies inside their wombs and face the grave risk of sepsis at a threat to their lives because the religion of a hospital's controlling organization prohibits aborting even dead fetuses. I am gravely concerned that I will not be able to receive the full extent of care allowed to me by law in the area in which I live, where all hospitals are controlled by the Catholic Church. I urge the state to take my comment under consideration when revising these rules.
Nov 22 2013 4:34PM And hospitals must not impose their unwelcome religious values in a manner that trumps medicine. I specifically refer to the Catholic Church's dogmatic viewpoints regarding birth control and abortion. I remember many years ago you were hospitalized by your religious beliefs. I remember Catholic hospitals, Jewish Hospitals, Presbyterian hospitals, Lutheran Hospitals, Baptist hospitals as I remembered them in the early forties when a years worth of prenatal care, the delivery room and one day in the maternity ward was $32.00.
Nov 22 2013 4:35PM The above "Concur" option is ambiguous. I unequivocally favor free and unfettered access to the full spectrum of medical care for all patients. My reasons follow. Theologically guided medical care can and oftentimes does conflict with evidence-based medicine. Various rules and regulations can and are imposed on medical practitioners by faith-based medical facilities which can disadvantage both the physician and the patient. By failing to offer particular procedures and advice, even when such constitutes "best practice", outcomes may be adverse; patients may suffer and physicians are exposed to professional liability. Furthermore, access to facilities that provide a full-range of medical care for some patients can become impossible due to economic, health and social reasons. Finally, use of taxpayer funds to support religiously affiliated health care facilities appears to violate separation of church and state. For these and a plethora of other reasons (including cost control and de facto monopoly situations in some areas of the state), these facilities should be restricted or eliminated. Sincerely, Keith Allen Comess, MD, FACC, FASE
Nov 22 2013 4:36PM I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility. Religious ideology should not control a patient’s choice of health care services.
Nov 22 2013 4:36PM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility. Sincerely, Pam Goodman
Nov 22 2013 4:37PM As a health care professional living in a community with only one religiously-affiliated hospital, I am very concerned that women will not have access to reproductive health services and that terminally ill patients will not have access to Death with Dignity.
Nov 22 2013 4:37PM An underlying principle of healthcare around the world is that a person is treated in medical facilities regardless of their religious affiliation. Doctors Without Borders and its parallel organizations in other countries and the World Health Organization make that statement obvious. We cannot allow that tenet to be abridged in the United States as collateral damage of the merging of hospitals for economic reasons. Please, a little common sense!
Nov 22 2013 4:39PM Religion does not and should not play a part on a patient's choice of medical care or treatment.
Nov 22 2013 4:41PM
Nov 22 2013 4:41PM I urge DOH to ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, best care medical services, and that no patient should be refused access to services because of a health care organization's religious doctrines.
Nov 22 2013 4:41PM
Nov 22 2013 4:41PM Religious ideology should not control a patient's choice of health care services.
Nov 22 2013 4:41PM People should always come first !!!
Nov 22 2013 4:44PM No religious entity should be in the position of determining health care based on religious criteria. No patient should have an end of life or reproductive choice altered or otherwise impacted because of the dogma of a healthcare provider or owner. Keep medicine and medical choices between patients and doctors.
Nov 22 2013 4:45PM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility. I sincerely hope that as a transsexual, I will never have to seek care in a medical facility ruled by religious doctrines. Bridgid
Nov 22 2013 4:46PM Religion should have no place in medical decisions. I retired from a private, non-profit, non-religious affiliated Seattle area Medical Center. During my time there I provided IT support for various departments including Anesthesiology, Cardiology, Internal Medicine and other parts of the organization. At no time, that I observed, was there any evidence that anything other than the patient's welfare considered during treatment. This should be the foundation of any medical care, period!
Nov 22 2013 4:47PM No patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility.
Nov 22 2013 4:47PM To whom it may concern: Contraception and abortion are legal rights for women. With certain provisions, Washington State residents have a right to choose when they die when terminally ill. Religious based health care subvert these rights. It is not an accident. Since it goes against religious beliefs, religious based health care does an end run around our rights. I demand that my rights be provided despite religious institutions interference. Sincerely, Hope Rollis
Nov 22 2013 4:49PM I strongly support requirements that hospitals operated by religious groups offer the same care available from secular hospitals. Any limitation imposed by doctrine or religious principles should be grounds for denial of a certificate or cancellation of an existing one.
Nov 22 2013 4:50PM
Nov 22 2013 4:50PM We are constitutionally a secular nation(contrary to what the tea party and/or the fundamental christian sects believe).The separation of church and state is fundamental to a democracy.It is critical that all departments in government maintain this and that they stay out of a woman's decision about whether to have or not have children.Quite frankly it is none of government business.
Nov 22 2013 4:50PM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility. Thank you, Todd Tollefson
Nov 22 2013 4:51PM No patient should be refused care because of religion. All patients should have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, best care medical services, and no patient should be refused access to services because of a health care organization's religious doctrines. Freedom of religion does not mean that one party (in this case the health care provider) can control another (in this case the patient) because of that first party's religious beliefs.
Nov 22 2013 4:53PM As a health care provider, I am very concerned that everyone, no matter where they live, have access to necessary medical services such as birth control, therapeutic and elective abortion, and access to certain experimental therapies that have been cleared by the FDA. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide.
Nov 22 2013 4:53PM The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 22 2013 4:54PM Home COMMENTS TO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 22 2013 4:55PM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 22 2013 4:56PM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 22 2013 4:57PM Bellingham has only one hospital and it is owned and operated by a Catholic order. We also support death with dignity. We have prepared all of the documents to allow this to occur. Our concern is that the hospital may not allow them to be followed because of religious doctrine.. This is why this certification process is truly a life and death concern for us. There also has to be an enforcement process included. The large number of catholic hospitals in the state make this an issue of vital importance to many Washingtonians. We must have the assurance and comfort of knowing that our end of life wishes will be respected. Please take our concerns into considerations as you frame this certificate.
Nov 22 2013 4:58PM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 22 2013 5:04PM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility.
Nov 22 2013 5:04PM Thank you for taking on this issue. The decision of whether and when to bring a child into the world is a deeply personal and spiritual matter. It should not be influenced by care systems that attempt to manipulate a couple's decisions by denying care. Twenty years ago I terminated a much wanted but unhealthy pregnancy. The loss was a grief to me, but it would have violated my own moral standards and spiritual values to knowingly continue that pregnancy under the circumstances. I re-conceived two months later, before that first pregnancy could have come to term. My kind, curious daughter Brynn now exists only because I had the option to terminate that unhealthy pregnancy. She could not exist in the alternate universe desired by the Catholic care systems, one in which a mother like me is forced to carry to term whatever pregnancy she may conceive.
Nov 22 2013 5:05PM When I see a medical provider, I want to be assured that the provider is using their training and best scientific knowledge to make decisions. Their feelings about the morality of a procedure should not preclude them from my decision-making.
Nov 22 2013 5:06PM The faith or lack of faith in a particular religion has NOTHING to do with medical decisions made by patients or proper medical care administered by healthcare professionals. The personal beliefs of private organizations should not influence hospital/clinic rules or regulations. Much as we are supposed to have a separation if church and state, so should there exist a separation between health services and church dogma.
Nov 22 2013 5:06PM The faith or lack of faith in a particular religion has NOTHING to do with medical decisions made by patients or proper medical care administered by healthcare professionals. The personal beliefs of private organizations should not influence hospital/clinic rules or regulations. Much as we are supposed to have a separation if church and state, so should there exist a separation between health services and church dogma.
Nov 22 2013 5:07PM The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 22 2013 5:10PM My mother is a cancer patient in Bellingham. Peace Health bought out her oncologist's group practice, and this has had an adverse impact on the doctor-patient relationship: although she has terminal cancer, a frank discussion about end-of-life issues is no longer possible. There need to be clear standards in place to preserve access to care, and to ensure that doctors are not subject to religious doctrine. The care available to patients should not be decided by the church. Any change in hospital mission or control should trigger CON review.
Nov 22 2013 5:12PM When you join the health care profession, you commit to putting patient needs above all else. The patient's choice of or need for a medical procedure is their private right, and there no way that a provider's religious beliefs is at all relevant to the delivery of this procedure. If a health professional has religious objections to certain medical procedures, that person should make sure that another professional is available to do the procedure. Persons may in good conscience opt out of a particular procedure but an entire institution absolutely cannot, or the whole basis of health care is undermined. Freedom of religion is also freedom FROM religion, freedom from having someone else's particular set of beliefs imposed on one in ways that can seriously interfere with privacy and health itself.
Nov 22 2013 5:15PM I strongly feel that religious organizations that run health care facilities must openly post/announce the ways that care provided might be limited by or influenced by religious policy so that patients can choose not to go there or stay there if there are, for instance, end of life decisions to be made. Such facilities need to transfer/refer patients to other facilities if patients request that. Conversely, if a priest or clergy will be visiting or other pastoral care is provided, that should also be clear.
Nov 22 2013 5:16PM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 22 2013 5:17PM No religion should be able to deny care because of their beliefs . Keep religion out of healthcare .
Nov 22 2013 5:19PM Religion and religious people should NEVER have the power to DECIDE WHO IS eligible for medical/health care ! It is against human nature to deny anyone healthcare ! Don't these religious nuts understand they're going against their own book, their bible. It says to care for everyone just as their lord jesus did. Now they've decided that based upon how we are born, lesbians, gays, transgendered that we don't matter that we do not deserve just as good of healthcare as their religious friends and families ? This is unconstitutional and unlawful ! It is also INHUMANE ! And goes against their own bible ! But it looks like all they care about is their christians and non christians or gay christians don't count ?!!! This is obscene and should be stopped immediately ! We "all" need to fight for this so that these religious nuts are stopped once and for all ! You christians are all supposed to think WWJD (what would jesus do) remember ????? So back off ! And make sure that all people no matter their sexual orientation, and by the way we are all born different WE DO NOT CHOOSE OUR SEXUALITY ! We are born this way ! Whether it be straight, gay or otherwise ! If all people are not treated equally because of their sexual orientation not meeting "their" criteria then this is a hate crime ! And it's inhumane ! And it should STOP NOW !
Nov 22 2013 5:20PM The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 22 2013 5:20PM This form is asking me to concur or not. However, I can't tell from here what the proposed rule changes are. I've looked on the website for over 15 minutes. The form won't allow me to leave my comments without choosing, concur or do not concur. So I chose the one that said, read my comments. I'm just going to leave my comments and you'll have to figure out which category I fit in. Simply because secular health care companies do not do as good a job of taking care of the sick does not mean that religiously backed health care organizations should be made to relinquish the their consciences in areas that they feel their beliefs dictate their behavior. Government has no right to take away the rights of the religious care organization simply because they are abundant. Retain the health care organizations right to act according to their conscience.
Nov 22 2013 5:22PM No religious restrictions should stand between a patient and a Doctor. Too many hospitals have been taken over by church organizations and many people, women in particular, have died because of that religious organizations' beliefs.
Nov 22 2013 5:22PM No patient should ever have to worry about receiving care because of a hospitals religious affiliation. This is critical to patients well being and should be enacted into the law.
Nov 22 2013 5:22PM No person should be denied health care just because of their religion prefferance. If they are denied just because of that,then GET THE HELL OUT OF THE BUSINESS !!!!!!!!!!!! People like you SHOULD NOT be selling any insurance to anyone since they single out people due to their religion. I refuse to do business with any company that operates that way. I don't care if they are the only business in the area that sells what I am looking for I won't do business with them.
Nov 22 2013 5:27PM I'm old and I don't want to die hooked up to a bunch of technology. My healthcare choices are narrowing now, especially with the merger of UW Hospital with a Catholic organization. How can a state agency such as the hospital legally merge with a sectarian organization? I'm disappointed that our state taxpayer dollars are going to pay for this. I consider a breach of our constitutionally guaranteed right to the separation of church and state.
Nov 22 2013 5:29PM Shame on you. Health care should be available to everyone.
Nov 22 2013 5:30PM The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 22 2013 5:30PM Because Sisters of Providence health care refused to allow me to get a prescription for birth control in 1994 I now have a terrific, 19 year old son; however, the insurance paid $10k for his birth & delivery instead of $35 for birth control pills. Kaiser Permanente (Group Health in Washington) wisely always provided birth control as a cost savings measure. While I love my son and am delighted that I have him, I was FLABBERGASTED that when I changed insurance I could not even get a prescription for birth control. I would have been more than happy to pay the entire cost but was denied that option. Birth control and reproductive freedom MUST BE AVAILABLE to all women! Thank you, Leslie
Nov 22 2013 5:30PM As hospitals merge and options shrink, it is essential that religious and philosophical strictures do not interfere with patient rights to medical treatments within the law, and that hospital staffing is diverse enough to deliver it.
Nov 22 2013 5:31PM Washington State must protect All of its citizens no matter their status, beliefs or geography. Health care providers must be required to respect matters of personal choice. If they refuse to provide care equally to All people then they should not be granted licenses and merges should not be approved.
Nov 22 2013 5:31PM The needs of the majority must be met n' hospitals must not put undue hardship on patients just because they are not of the same religious belief at a practising hospital. Keep it open to the public. Thank you, BLW
Nov 22 2013 5:33PM "No patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility." That says it all!
Nov 22 2013 5:34PM As a resident of Washington State, I want the best care possible if I'm ever in the hospital. Hospitals should not get to force their religious beliefs on me or my family. All hospitals need to have the best medical standards in place. Not whatever their religion believes is right.
Nov 22 2013 5:35PM Religious considerations should play no role in patient care and distribution of pharmaceuticals. It should always be left to each patient to choose on their own what kind of care and treatments to use; nothing should EVER be imposed upon any patient as the result of someone else's religious concerns.
Nov 22 2013 5:38PM Hospitals as corporations that operate in the public sector should be reviewed for their willingness to provide needed healthcare services. The recent takeovers of secular health care systems by religious ones will impact the availability of needed reproductive and end of life services. This change should be reflected in evaluation of certificate of need certifications. Decreases in the availability of reproductive services including birth control and abortion will negatively impact Washington women and should be evaluated before such mergers are approved and the merger should be predicated on continuation of these services.
Nov 22 2013 5:41PM Without reading the entire article, when I see "religion" attached to health care...LEAVE IT OUT! Just like politics...religion has NO PLACE here! Church and state need to be separate!
Nov 22 2013 5:42PM CATHOLIC WATCH - http://catholicwatch.org/. It's time to stop tolerating discrimination against patients based on any or all religious belief. It's time to stop tolerating public dollars supporting these discriminating institutions. The bishops are free to say whatever they want to – however, they cannot IMPOSE their will on the health care system that we all support. By an overwhelming margin, Catholics don’t agree with the bishops when it comes to health care issues. Ninety-eight percent of Catholic women use birth control at some point in their lives and 74% of Catholics want abortion to stay legal. 1. It is a national scandal that Catholic hospitals discriminate on the basis of sex yet are allowed to rake in federal dollars and receive tax breaks. As noted in both the Merger Watch report and the Catholics For Choice memo, Catholic-affiliated hospitals enjoy non-profit tax breaks and accept public funds, especially from Medicare and Medicaid. Merger watch project: http://www.mergerwatch.org/v 2. Patients are at risk of being denied services at some religiously affiliated medical facilities in Washington. http://www.aclu-wa.org/myhealthcare 3. Catholic Hospital Refuses To Allow Woman To Visit Her Same-Sex Partner 11-17-13 http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/catholic-hospital-refuses-to-allow-woman-to-visit-her-same-sex-partner/news/2013/11/14/78679#.Uoe77ieAoW0 4. My health care: Protecting Patient choices from Religious Doctrine. http://aclu-wa.org/sites/default/files/attachments/ACLU%20Health%20Care%20Presentation_0_0.pdf 5. WA State AG Opinion: Public hospital districts funded by taxpayers can’t limit women’s reproductive services including abortions. http://o.seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2021661344_agopinionxml.html 8-21-13 6. Catholic Medical Center: “Pregnant Women, New Mothers Not Welcome Here” http://catholicwatch.org/sji-catholic-medical-center-pregnant-women-new-mothers-welcome/ 7. “Nobody has oversight of the HOSPITAL industry. Not at the federal level, not at the state level, not at the local level. And it’s a huge industry. http://www.aclu-wa.org/myhealthcare 8. Holy alliance: Catholics, Southern Baptists unite against Obamacare contraception mandate http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jun/21/catholics-southern-baptists-against-obamacare/ 9. Catholic Hospitals are turning away people from the ER, which is illegal. http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Patients%27+Rights 10. Why I refuse to be taken to a Catholic Hospital. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/03/26/1197184/-Why-I-Refuse-to-Be-Taken-to-a-Catholic-Hospital-And-Why-Other-Women-Should-Too 11. Abortion fight at Catholic Hospital Pushes ACLU to Seek Federal Help. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/22/AR2010122206219.html 12. New York tries to Stop Catholic Hospital Discrimination. Radical NY abortion bill could close Catholic hospitals, Church warns http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/radical-ny-abortion-bill-could-close-catholic-hospitals-church-warns/ 13. Washington State legislators tried to make Exchange cover abortion information and services, but Republicans negotiated it out of the budget. Reproductive Parity Act (making insurance companies that cover maternity care also cover abortion) . http://www.seattlemet.com/news-and-profiles/publicola/articles/hostage-crisis-june-2013 14. *50 Reasons to Boycott the Catholic Church The Church uses its resources to oppose social progress and positive change all over the world. http://www.alternet.org/belief/50-reasons-boycott-catholic-church?akid=9719.277680.mOzjlz&rd=1&src=newsletter749897&t=6&paging=off
Nov 22 2013 5:43PM All patients should have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, best care medical services, and that no patient should be refused access to services because of a health care organization's religious doctrines.
Nov 22 2013 5:44PM I am not a Catholic; my family is not Catholic; I do not want Catholic health care!!!!!!! I want modern, 21st century care, not what a group of men who still live in the 1300s thinks is health care. And since I am female and, alas, do not have a Y chromosome, I want to be treated as if I was worth saving, not as a throw-away person. If I had to go to a hospital I do not want a bishop of ANY stripe dictating what a physician does for me. I am very concerned about the rapid rate of hospital mergers in Washington State; since I will not be taken to a Catholic hospital if I have any say in the matter, where can I go to get away from religious healthcare? And the fact that some public monies go to these institutions and they are still allowed to force their religion on non-Catholics is not only not fair but probably not quite legal. STOP THEM. No MORE MERGERS. Save yourselves. Jane Bena, PhD, MD
Nov 22 2013 5:45PM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 22 2013 5:49PM In our community we have two hospitals, both religious based. There are no other hospitals nearby that can be reached quickly, especially in the winter. I don't think that a hospital should be allowed to impose their religious views in their services to patients. All hospitals should be required to provide the same services statewide. At the very least, the public should be informed as to what services will not be done because of the religion doctrine that the hospital is run under, especially in emergency circumstances.
Nov 22 2013 5:50PM I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 22 2013 5:51PM I am unwilling to allow religious hospitals to misuse freedom of religion to deny people their rights in a secular nation. That sort of tactic is demanding we exercise tolerance towards the intolerant. A classic example of two rights pitted against one another, that sort of situation demands that the government actually govern and enforce individual freedom to protect the American people from theocratic intolerance and religious totalitarianism. How would the Southern Baptists react if America's large Latino community decided to purport freedom of religion in order to build pyramids and conduct Aztec human sacrifices? How would the many Jews and Moslems feel if the Catholic Church decided to conduct another inquisition on American soil? What would it be like if a group of Protestant Christians decided to burn women at the stake or hang women because they "enchant men" and therefore must be witches? What if the fundamentalist "Christian Dominionists" decided to set-up private prisons to "cure" people of atheism? These are important questions we should ask ourselves. This country has always allowed religious freedom, which is a good thing, but even tradition has it that we as citizens practice our religon in private. Given the audacity of US Air Force commanders putting our airmen through discomfiting evangelical activity while on base, it's apparent to those of us with a stitch of common sense that religion does have its place in this country but should never be allowed to dictate what essentially private decisions citizens should be allowed or disallowed to make.
Nov 22 2013 5:51PM I am very concerned about how medical services might be affected by the many religious organizations that are taking over secular hospitals. I am particularly concerned about the impact on sexual minorities. Medical services should not be provided based on religious views of the provider. We should be able to chose the service we need based on our personal beliefs and needs. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 22 2013 5:52PM Although individuals should be free to exercise their own consciences in matters of their own health, it is wrong to allow health care providers to impose their religious beliefs and preferences on others. Some faiths oppose blood transfusions, for example. Others would sacrifice a mother's life. Some would deny birth control to women. Strong religious conviction does not carry with it the right to interfere with the lives of others.
Nov 22 2013 6:02PM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 22 2013 6:04PM The separation of church and state is an absolute necessity when health care is considered. This decision should be up to the individual.
Nov 22 2013 6:05PM Although it's not clear what I might, or might not be concurring with,I'm most certainly concerned about the increasingly intrusive nature of religion, in this case Christianity,into the medical field. The charter documents of these United States clearly state that its citizens should enjoy both freedom of religion, and freedom from religion. Please insure that these rights are respected, especially for those of us who may have different views about religion from the militant bigoted Christian minority currently attempting to take over this country.
Nov 22 2013 6:08PM Each individual has the right to live by his own religious beliefs, as long as they don't abridge the rights of others. Therefore, I request that you require that religious organizations which provide medical care to the public ARE NOT ALLOWED to restrict patients' choices for legal treatment. Contraception and abortion are legal choices of a patient and should not be removed.
Nov 22 2013 6:09PM Unfortunately most hospitals in our area of King and Pierce Counties are run by religious organization. a. They tried to gerrymander taxes in an area they didn't even serve, while the Enumclaw Hospital could not be a taxing entity. b. Now that Enumclaw and others are under the same organization, the organization basically is "too big to fail" and is taking money out of the area in an exponential way, reducing much needed recirculation of local money. c. Now that such an organization is religious and has ties to Catholicism and objects to some of the services non Catholics and non-Christians seek, those services may no longer be available...even though they are legal. d. There should be no way a religious organization which holds such wealth and power in the healthcare business should be allowed to dictate what care one can or cannot receive, nor dictate what a patient's doctor can perform or not perform in one of these hospitals. e. In fact I can't quite get it in my head how these hospitals can in fact operate as they do as non-profit entities. They should be taxed like any other organization which operates for profit...which they do. f. I've tried to complain to medicare about over-billing and duplicate billing, yet it seems they are only allowed to investigate whether one gets the needed care or proper care, so fraud is not investigated at these establishments. That too should be part of law; open books and frequent audits. They are not private businesses serving the public.
Nov 22 2013 6:11PM I am concerned that the Certificate of Need include a guarantee that all residents of Washington are offered the full range of services when admitted to a hospital in Washington. My concern is that a religious organization is gaining control of many hospitals here and will not allow certain services because they may violate the religion's tenets. This is unacceptable. There must be transparency, oversight and enforcement, and clear standards to protect all Washingtonians. Thank you.
Nov 22 2013 6:11PM
Nov 22 2013 6:12PM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 22 2013 6:13PM I believe it is imperative that you strongly protect the rights of all patients to have access to all lawful & medically appropriate services. The religious doctrines of any organization that is providing healthcare in a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility should not permit them to discriminate or refuse access to any patient. Please update your Certificate of Need (CON) process to reflect these important considerations.
Nov 22 2013 6:15PM Religion has no business in this matter.
Nov 22 2013 6:15PM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 22 2013 6:15PM Patients' wishes and needs come first. Medical facilities affiliated with religious institutions should not be able to substitute their doctrines for the patient's wishes and needs. Therefore, all medical facilities should honor patients' rights (or their surrogates' through a health care directive where applicable) to determine 1) their own end-of-life care, including, but not limited to ending one's life, removal of apparatus that prolongs life, providing pain medications as needed by the patient even if these can end the patient's life (so long as the patient or surrogate understands and consents); 2) complying with patients' living wills; 3) their reproductive decisions (such as abortion, sterilization, transgender operations, etc.); 3) matters concerning their sexual orientation, including, but not limited to respecting same-sex marriage with spousal rights the same as for heterosexual couples. By the word "honored" above this means provide such services as the patient requests. Furthermore, such medical facilities should not be able deny privileges or to impose their doctrines on physicians and other medical staff do not share that doctrine. These are basic individual rights under Washington law, and religiously affiliated medical facilities should not be able to deny them based on their doctrine.
Nov 22 2013 6:16PM All patients should have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, best care medical services; no patient should be refused access to services because of a health care organization's religious doctrines.
Nov 22 2013 6:28PM I have very strong religious beliefs of my own. I do not believe I have the right as an American and as a human being to impose my beliefs on others. Neither do others, however strong their beliefs, have the right to impose those beliefs on me or anyone else. If I need medical care it is wrong, it is un-American and it ought to be illegal for me to be forced to live - and maybe die - by the religious beliefs of others. Keep religion out of our healthcare system, now and in the future.
Nov 22 2013 6:29PM Please help SAVE access to healthcare without affiliation to unscientific, religious organizations! Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 22 2013 6:30PM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 22 2013 6:30PM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 22 2013 6:31PM Though the Governor's Directive does not address the increasing role of Catholic healthcare facilities directly, my concerns are related to this ongoing development. My concerns are based on preservation or restoration of the following principles: 1. Freedom of personal religious belief: I have my own religion, which I believe I should reasonably expect to see respected when I enter any healthcare facility; medical care should follow medical ethics, not religious ones. If persons share the religious beliefs and strictures of an institution and wish to go there in order to follow them, that may work for them. That is not me however, and not most people in this state. 2. No government financial support for religion: Healthcare in this country is heavily regulated and subsidized by government at all levels, including the ubiquitous Medicare, Medicaid, and now the Affordable Care Act. Government funds should not be subsidizing institutions which discriminate on the basis of religion. 3. Freedom of choice: The dominance of Catholic sponsored healthcare facilities and networks in this state is making it less likely that one can reasonably simply choose to get services elsewhere. I live on an island with very limited services. The only reasonably full service clinic has now been taken over by the Franciscan group. Wonderful people, great mission to serve, but subject to a set of limitations on care that are counter to my own religious beliefs. My alternative is to go off island by ferry for all services. Many others have similar issues, for example in the San Juans and in the northwest counties of our state. In the eastern portion of the state, with populations more spread out, no doubt the problems are or will be similar. Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Governor's Directive.
Nov 22 2013 6:36PM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 22 2013 6:37PM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 22 2013 6:40PM This is a list of very basic healthcare expectations that are considered already unquestioned. The fact that they can be diminished or removed by acquisition through a corporate merger by any entity( religious or or not) needs to be protected. A patients healthcare expectations should never be diminished by any doctrine of faith or profit.
Nov 22 2013 6:44PM I strongly agree with the Washington ACLU suggestions for what should be included in the hospital licensing regulations. Based on the ACLU information, it seems that one of the main concerns is related to the acquisition of community hospitals by religious organizations, that may apply their religious beliefs to the procedures done at the hospital or the way they treat patients. I realize this may require an additional tax burden on the citizens of Washington, to pay for the added oversight. After reading the proposed regulations, I think they need to be more specific to include the following info: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 22 2013 6:48PM I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 22 2013 6:54PM Our community in Friday Harbor should have had specific information from Peace Health that they would not, because of religious beliefs, provide the full panoply of beginning of life and end of life services. We, on the island, are hoping that you can do something to make the requirement that public funds NOT be used to fund a hospital which is run by religious rules. This is our only hospital on the island and our primary access to physicians. It seems so simple. If an institution is going to receive public funds (about a million dollars a year) they cannot limit the services they provide based on religious beliefs. And…they should have made all of us aware of the fact that they were not going to provide beginning of life and end of life services before they signed a contract with our hospital commissioners.
Nov 22 2013 7:03PM Absolutely agree with the ACLU
Nov 22 2013 7:05PM As a supporter of ACLU of Washington State, I understand that it is important to state my support of these ideas: All patients should have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, best care medical services. No patient should be refused access to services because of a health care organization's religious doctrines.
Nov 22 2013 7:06PM As a parent of two young daughters in Seattle, who could be affected by Providence's policies over Swedish, I urge you to consider the following: Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility. Thank you.
Nov 22 2013 7:07PM All patients should have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, best care medical services, and that no patient should be refused access to services because of a health care organization's religious doctrines.
Nov 22 2013 7:08PM Religiously affiliated health systems are taking over secular ones at unprecedented rates. In some areas, such as Kitsap County/Kitsap Peninsula, religiously affiliated facilities have recently become the only choice. This threatens access to the best medical care, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. It threatens to undermine Washington's death with dignity law and impinge on patients' rights to decide the fate of their own bodies with various end-of-life documents. DOH must ensure, through the Certificate of Need process, that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, appropriate medical services. No patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services due to the religious doctrines and beliefs of the organizations controlling the hospital, clinic or other medical facility. Clear, enforceable standards must be developed and enforced to so ensure.
Nov 22 2013 7:08PM It is essential that patients' wishes be respected whether or not those wishes are consistent with the religious beliefs of medical care providers.
Nov 22 2013 7:20PM
Nov 22 2013 7:21PM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 22 2013 7:24PM If a patient and her health care provider deem a medical or therapeutic procedure appropriate treatment, then a hospital should respect that and provide the facilities and care required.
Nov 22 2013 7:25PM To Whom It May Concern, I am expecting you to ensure that the anti-discrimination standards that are upheld in each of our public agencies are upheld when it comes to healthcare here in the State of Washington. This includes when a religious institution such as let's say the Roman Catholic Church is the owner of a healthcare institution that the medical care that I would obtain in a publicly ownned healthcare institution would be available to me in those owned by a religious institution. If these institutions are to receive any funding from the goverment whether in grants, medicare, medicaid or other government funds, then the law of the land regarding anti discrimination MUST stand. Sincerely, Anne Hickey
Nov 22 2013 7:28PM I am an atheist. One of my daughters leans Wiccan, and my husband and elder daughter are both agnostic. All of us fear the day we might have to be treated in a religious hospital, and there are many around. According to the ACLU, "religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate." We want the best standard of care given for what we need, not what church doctrine dictates is appropriate. If one of my daughters needs an abortion, she should be able to get one. If she likes her doctor, from whom she obtains birth control, she should not be subject to the religious exemption that some church-affiliated hospitals and clinics claim. If anyone in Washington has a medical need that for whatever reason has not been approved by the church that is affiliated with whatever hospital or clinic we may have to go to, we must be able to do so without delay. No one in my family wishes to lie about our belief structure of lack thereof; however, we see discrimination against non-Christians all around us. Historically and at the present time, Christians seem to have a habit of discriminating against those who do not share their beliefs. This is especially disconcerting where women's health care is involved. I believe in the separation of church and state, and I believe that everyone has a First Amendment right to practice the religion of their choice, or to not practice at all. I also believe that freedom applies to health care and the choices we make for ourselves. Everyone should have equal access to the health care they need, regardless of religious affiliation. I urge you to update the CON process to ensure that at the very least, all Washingtonians are aware of which hospitals and clinics have a religious affiliation, and what that affiliation is.
Nov 22 2013 7:29PM Religion has no place in politics, my life, or health care. The business of hospitals is to provide health care to the living, research for what may be coming next, and to simply make lives better, what ever the need. Thank you, Michael Bucove
Nov 22 2013 7:35PM As more mergers involve non-secular institutions becoming part of a secular institution, access to some types of care is becoming restricted. For a secular hospital to say that they just refer out to another provider is insufficient. That imposes needless, and sometimes significant, hurdles to getting appropriate care. Secular mergers should be prohibited unless the new entity will provide all the options that each institution formerly provided. (Possibly only in the locations formerly provided.)
Nov 22 2013 7:38PM I live on San Juan Island in Washington State, now under Peace Health a catholic hospital. We are not receiving all the medical care we should be entitled to including maternity care, abortion as necessary, and/or end of life choices. As you know, in the State of Washington, it is illegal for any entity to withhold any services from the public that are legal in that area based on religious belief when that entity is receiving public funds, which Peace Health is. They are saying they are not failing to comply because those treatments were not offered when we had the Medical Center so that there is no change in the care we have always received. It has been documented however, that maternity care was given at the Medical Center. And besides if a service legally allowed is not being offered, now or in the past, on the basis of religion, that is illegal since in both cases the Medical Center and Peace Health Hospital receive and received public funds. The ACLU is actively involved in this case and their will likely be legal action taken to bring Peace Health into compliance. It is very disheartening to need to be going through all of this just to get our basic care needs met as allowed by law in this state. Thank you for your time and consideration, Sincerely, Andrea Simmons MA, LMFT 588 High Haro Dr. Friday Harbor WA 98250 360 378-9541
Nov 22 2013 7:45PM Recent mergers/affiliations of Catholic and secular healthcare systems and facilities in WA have led to a large percentage of hospital beds being subject to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Ethical and Religious Directives (ERDs). These ERDs prohibit some legal and medically appropriate services and procedures, especially those related to reproductive health and end-of-life care. Since these healthcare systems receive a great deal of funding from governmental sources, religious doctrine having any impact on medical services and procedures provided is a violation of the separation of church and state, and hence the U.S. and Washington state constitutions. The state Department of Health and county public hospital districts must ensure that, if a healthcare system chooses not to provide certain services directly, that that system finds another way for citizens to get those services and refers them to the appropriate place to receive them. Otherwise such mergers/affiliations should not be allowed.
Nov 22 2013 7:49PM Freedom of religion is great, and has a place in a person's personal life. But it should never get in the way of providing medical care to a patient.
Nov 22 2013 7:52PM I, as all Americans concerned with protection of our rights would be, am concerned with the way religious organizations are trying to impose their beliefs on everyone else in ways that are totally out of character with our constitutional rights in a free society. That religions can own businesses and avoid paying taxes is in itself an injustice to the rest of the tax paying community, but the prospect that they can further manipulate their advantage over for-profit business by restricting their care to only those areas that comply with their theological belief is an affornt to our society and our rights. Please work to correct this unfair practice and level the playing field for hospitals and all business. Tell the churches to keep their ideology in the church where it belongs and leave our personal freedoms and rights alone. Paul Smith
Nov 22 2013 7:56PM There are many among us who do not conform to the standard American brand of faith and do not wish to be subjected to it. I'm one of them. My faith is my business and definitely not the state's.
Nov 22 2013 7:57PM We need to keep religion out of health care.
Nov 22 2013 8:09PM This issue is a very good example of why one of the basic tenets of our country is the separation of church and state. Why add yet another hurdle to an already complicated health care system? Sincerely, Ken Yuhasz
Nov 22 2013 8:10PM All those providing health care to the public must not let their personal religious views influence the quality or kind of care that is given. Effective monitoring should be in place to ensure that this is always the case.
Nov 22 2013 8:18PM Religious ideology should not control a patient's choice of health care services. Please protect patient access to health care. Thank you.
Nov 22 2013 8:23PM I requested the Governor to oppose the proposed merger of Harrison and the Franciscian. The merger served no public need and instead supported a medical monopoly that had existed in Kitsap historically until the advent of St. Anthony hospital in Gig Harbor. He took no action and the merger went forward, Now citizens in this area are once again at the mercy of Harrison which is infamous for its high rate of infection and poor customer relations.
Nov 22 2013 8:24PM I am a Christian and as you might suspect not all of us agree on every issue known to man. I will say that I want my hospitals and doctors to give me the best medical advice and care and though I personally might not agree with some of their suggestions I certainly don't want them enforcing their religious restrictions on me or anyone else. There are few people who still think that sex is solely for procreation and we ought to be able to do our own family planning, deciding if and when we want children and how many. We should be able to even cut our hair if we've a mind to or go to church or not.
Nov 22 2013 8:37PM All patients should have access to the full range of legal healthcare services in their communities. No one should be denied care because of an institution's religious beliefs or be forced to travel extreme distances to obtain lawful care.
Nov 22 2013 8:39PM Home Comments to Department of Health Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 22 2013 8:43PM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 22 2013 8:44PM I am filled with all religions attempting to force their man made dogmas on everyone else. In our community we have no choice but religion owed hospitals. They should not be allowed to withhold any legal procedures or benefits based on their dogma. Religious belief should be very personal and not forced on others.
Nov 22 2013 8:45PM I concur with the CoN's requirements for transparency, but I would like it to take a stronger position on non-discrimination. I read where hospitals would be required to make public their policies on non-discrimination, but I did not see any requirements for the content of those policies. Inasmuch as patients have fewer choices among health care providers as hospitals come under the control of fewer health care organizations, it becomes a responsibility of state government to insure that all residents are treated fairly, equally and without discrimination on the basis of factors such as sexual orientation or expression by health care organizations with ties to religious organizations. While those organizations are entitled to their views on sexual orientation or expression, as providers of services to the public, they should not be allowed to discriminate among patients or to withhold or force treatment on the basis of their religious beliefs.
Nov 22 2013 8:46PM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: 1. Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. 2. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. 3. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. 4. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 22 2013 9:04PM Religious freedom is guaranteed by the constitution. Hospitals or other health care professionals do not have the right counter that constitutional freedom. Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts. This also is a constitutional right. Warmly, Mana Iluna
Nov 22 2013 9:05PM Any medical policy should ensure that any woman regardless of religious adherence should have free access to for an abortion from any medical facility regardless of the religious adherence of the ownership structure.
Nov 22 2013 9:06PM I recently discovered that my health insurance carrier has been taken over by a religiously affiliated health system. This concerns me as I believe that some medically appropriate services may be refused to patients. I should not have my end of life decisions determined by a religious organization; nor should a religious organization dictate the choices a young woman might face. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide.
Nov 22 2013 9:07PM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. Where do religious institutions get off forcing their religion on vulnerable patients anyway?
Nov 22 2013 9:12PM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 22 2013 9:15PM We all have a responsibility to our fellow Americans to assure equal rights to all!
Nov 22 2013 9:16PM No person regardless of religious affiliation should be refused health care at anytime or any place of care or by any one offering services of health care.
Nov 22 2013 9:17PM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 22 2013 9:19PM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 22 2013 9:19PM Treatment in hospitals must not be determined by the Catholic Bishops but by one's doctor.
Nov 22 2013 9:22PM It is inconceivable to me that we are having to address contraception and abortion at this late date... they are constitutional rights, after all. However, if a woman checks into a Catholic hospital, and has a baby via cesarean section, she can be denied the right to get a tubal ligation at the same time due to Catholic doctrine. This necessitates a second operation, a second time off work (as the second operation cannot be done right away), a second six-week recovery, a second set of major costs (whereas getting the tubal during the cesarean is relatively inexpensive)... all because the Catholic Church doesn't "believe" in contraception. It doesn't matter to the Catholic church what the reason is that someone wants it... even if a further pregnancy will endanger their life, or their health, or their financial situation. This is unconscionable. These hospitals take public money via government sources and via insurance payments (collected from people from all walks of life and all belief systems), and yet they want to dictate medical care according to their "belief" system, not sound science, need, or even to protect the health or life of the individual. Their pharmacies do not want to stock or distribute birth control devices or medications... never mind abortion medications. Birth control devices and medications are... medicines. They treat many different diseases and conditions; and even if a woman is using them to prevent pregnancy, it should not be lost on this committee that pregnancy is neither a risk-free nor health neutral condition; every pregnancy exposes a woman to health risks. In my case, pregnancy would probably be fatal. From prolapsed uterus' and bladders, to strokes and heart attack, to diabetes, to all kinds of other health issues (incontinence, weight gain, etc.), pregnancy should be the choice of the woman involved, not dictated by an entity who is making it their business to interfere with her constitutional right to privacy regarding her decisions in this arena. The same "beliefs" apply to "end of life" decisions, leaving patients with limited choices on how to handle their end of life decisions. The Catholic church has made no secret of the fact that they view their purchase of hospitals/clinics/related facilities to be an "outreach" of their church. Nor do they try to hide the fact that the local bishop - not a trained medical professional - will have the final on medical decisions in these facilities, leaving patients at the mercy of the beliefs of a single person, who may or may not choose to stick by church doctrine. This is not how medical care should be run. Medical care should be decided by medical professionals, and the patients involved. Nobody else. As long as the procedures/medications/treatments requested are legal, they should be made available to ALL patients at ALL medical facilities that accept government or insurance monies for payment, grants, etc. Thank you Denise Foster
Nov 22 2013 9:29PM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility.
Nov 22 2013 9:38PM If doctors, pharmacists, or anyone else in the medicine field refuses to issue services or medication to anyone for religious reasons, they're in the wrong business. Let us uphold the separation of church and medicine.
Nov 22 2013 9:42PM In this modern age I feel we are beyond the point where religious organizations in charge of hospitals offering services to the public should be able to impose their religious beliefs on patients or in the determination of what services to provide. I expect the state to hold hospitals to a standard of care that is not discriminatory or based on religious beliefs, but rather based on currently expected standards of care expected of all medical providers.
Nov 22 2013 9:44PM I went to several meetings regarding hospital mergers. I saw no way that a bigger healthcare monopoly would serve me better, especially one aligned with the Catholic Church. I had prostate cancer treated at Peace Health in Bellingham. I no longer trust Peace Health for care or for billing. If my cancer recurs, I will die to avoid going back in their clutches. especially since they probably would not let me die until my estate was in their name due to "religious ideals". Their religious ideals are forced upon their patients in some overt, but many subtle ways. The bottom line is that they do not provide good care and their prices are outrageous. Keep religion and monopolies out of healthcare!
Nov 22 2013 9:52PM Any institution that accepts government funding directly or indirectly via government insured patients should be positively precluded, by law, from using religion or religious values as a basis for chosing care to provide or not. If the catholic church wants to be in hospital mgt for patients of any or no relugious beliefs then they give up the right to impose tjose beluefs on anyone.
Nov 22 2013 10:00PM I am alarmed by the recent merger of Skagit Valley Hospital with a religious institution. As a public hospital, they and all public hospitals in Washington must disclose and offer all legal procedures regardless of providers' personal belief system. Please strengthen regulations to ensure that patient safeguards are in place and the public is educated about their rights before seeking services at these hospitals. We must know before we get to the examination or emergency rooms what services we might be denied on the basis of providers religion. Posting such information on a hospital's website should be required. Thank you for your consideration.
Nov 22 2013 10:09PM Hello, It's my opinion that hospitals should be allowed to abide by their own policies, whether they be based religiously or not. No doctor should be forced to provide procedures that contradict their morality. No establishment should be compelled to go against their convictions. I think the burden of publicly presenting policies that may or may not evolve over time is something that will detract from the truly relevant medical qualifications - such as a highly advanced cardiology department or neonatal intensive care unit (as two specific examples). In the case where someone is seeking services they later discover aren't provided, they can transfer. Thank you for allowing me to comment. -Liz Goldsberry
Nov 22 2013 10:30PM I am very concerned that having so many Washington hospitals come under the Catholic bishops' control means the end of many choices for patients who are not Catholic.. I am in my 70s. Will my Living Will be respected if I am gravely ill in one of these hospitals? Or will Catholic views on life condemn me to being kept alive artificially? The UW hospital is the only one in Seattle not Catholic controlled. We can't all be treated there!
Nov 22 2013 10:38PM The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide, clearly. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility. If legal public access to full reproductive care is in danger of becoming restricted in a religious-owned medical facility set to replace a public health facility, then it is clear the rights of state residents must be protected. Church policy cannot be allowed to supercede state public health policy developed from many hours of hearings, letters, emails and discussion throughout our state representing all areas and points of view, not just one religion's.
Nov 22 2013 10:42PM Very well done! I'm impressed... We need a "strong" section on "Oversight and Enforcement" as ensuring compliance may be a serious challenge. The public does not know which services a particular hospital provides. We need the "Transparency" section, with the hospitals updated offerings, and ALSO how they will respond in certain emergencies. In 1972 I had a discussion about childbirth emergency situations with my OB-GYN in Olympia prior to having a baby at St. Peters Hospital. He assured me that the typical Catholic hospital response regarding which life to save, if necessary, would not happen this time. (This DID happen to our next door neighbor who was expecting a baby when my mother was expecting my brother.) My husband was in the delivery room with me, and I must say that while I trusted my OB-GYN, I was really glad when that baby arrived and we were both in good shape! People need to know what to expect in an emergency, not just the regular procedures the hospital follows.
Nov 22 2013 10:55PM Keep religion in Churches Mosques, Temples and in homes. KEEP IT OUT OF OUR HEALTHCARE, GOVT.and PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Nov 22 2013 11:04PM The takeover of our medical systems by religious organizations is very concerning. It is the responsibility of the DOH to protect us from religious organizations taking over medical facilities and controlling access to care. This, to me, falls under the same category as pharmacies refusing to provide legally approved medications such as Plan B to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Let's be realistic. It is currently impossible for heath care consumers to make informed decisions on where to get care, based on cost and doctor referrals and an insurance system that hides the true costs of care. You're sick and go to where your doctor sends you and ask questions later when you are healthy and can cope with the system. I believe religiously affiliated health systems should put a very clear warning—similar to those on cigarette cartons—on all of their printed and electronic materials that the organization's religious policies may block you, the patient, from getting the health care you need and have a right to reasonably access. If they avoid taxes under the "non-profit" umbrella, they should not be allowed to control people's lives and deny services. I also believe a review process for patient grievances should be clearly defined by the DOH and posted on each health care organizations' website. The policy should include mandatory review of patient complaints by the Department of Health and a defined response period and the ability of patients to appeal decisions.
Nov 22 2013 11:09PM health care is for all. obamacare is the golden goose of health insurance
Nov 22 2013 11:12PM My opinion is certainly based on limited information. However, I think the more transparent we require the corrupt world of health care to be, the better. I can imagine, however, that this would be met with much resistance from a hospital. If they are forced to make their policies available, then they will be held accountable to them. There are lots of good reasons to be concern with the dogmatic theologies of organized religions, and these ideas often spill over into medicine when a healthcare organization is run by a religion. Is the intent to further their theology or to ensure that a patient's rights are paramount? It is maddening to me that a hospital demands so much power over a patient's life in the name of its religion. What's even more maddening is when its conviction actually boils down to the bottom line, and not to the glory of its god. To put it on a different level, if a hospital doesn't offer appendage reattachment, I would like to know that before I pull up to an emergency room with my severed pinky finger. If I know I can drive 20 miles down the road to have my finger reattached, I sure would. That's fair play. However, if a hospital doesn't want to admit that they won't attach my pinky because they don't to "lose my business", then that's dirty.
Nov 22 2013 11:13PM I do not believe religious institutions should be allowed to decide how or what type of medical care I receive.
Nov 22 2013 11:15PM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians' access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. No patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility. Thank you for considering my comments.
Nov 22 2013 11:34PM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 22 2013 11:40PM All people should be able to work with their provider to determine the care best for them. If a facility withholds medical procedures or medicines or products based on religion, they should NOT BE ACCREDITED. If they are a religious hospital, they must advertise that they discriminate based on their own religious beliefs and will not provide care you may need (so don't come here). If they receive any funds or in any other way benefit from ANY public system they MAY NOT WITH HOLD ANY MEDICAL procedure, product or medicine ever. If within the religious facility, some of their providers do not observe religious prejudices, the facility must tell those providers that they may take care of patients as they see fit and will not be held to religious prejudices, but there must be non religious affected personnel in every department that will provide full care, in order for the facility to be mainstream. All employees must have full healthcare provided without religious prejudice imposed, leaving it up to the individual to choose what religious restrictions they choose to observe. We must respect all religions in the community, by like with the separation of church and state, there is a scientific need to have separation of church and medicine. It is not fair to people to have a medical facility in a community that may only be able to have one for the size the community and have it be religious and therefore not really practice medicine for the entire community. No emergency first responders can ever take their patients to a religious facility that discriminates care based on religion, and must take the patient to a full practice facility.
Nov 22 2013 11:46PM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 23 2013 12:17AM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 23 2013 12:20AM Please do not allow anyone or organization or religion the right to refuse health care to others because of their beliefs or convictions.
Nov 23 2013 12:20AM I should be able to get the healthcare my doctor and I deem necessary or make my own end-of-life or reproductive decisions and know that they will be handled as I indicate, not at the hospital's religious preference.
Nov 23 2013 12:35AM While I want and appreciate ethical and moral fiber in the practitioners I choose, I do not give anyone the right to decide for me what care I will or will not receive based on the practitioner's own religiosity. I go for medical care to medical professionals, and I attend church to satisfy my own spiritual needs. I do NOT want to combine church and state. I want to know before any treatment takes place that I am being told exactly what I can expect, verbaLLY AND IN WRITING, from treatment from an individual medical provider or an institution.
Nov 23 2013 12:47AM Any religiously affiliated healthcare providers must not be empowered, allowed or able to apply tax supplied funds to espousing or applying -- some would say inflicting -- affiliated religious rules, dogma, customs or myths on patients cared for through the tax funds. If this cannot be mandated, at the very least: The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: 1. Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. 2. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. 3. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. 4. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 23 2013 1:28AM I am a Christian and have strong moral beliefs. However, I have had the ability to choose for myself my moral standards and beliefs. I believe that others should also be able to choose their religion and morals. We cannot and should not legislate morals to people. Just as I have the right to choose, so should others. We cannot have healthcare determined by anyones values or beliefs or we might not have the right to have our own anymore!
Nov 23 2013 1:30AM More and more health organizations are coming under management of church organizations of one form or another. I worry that our publicly funded new Obama Care and the services these health providers administer will not cover services which they deem inappropriate or in some way conflicting with the religious beliefs of the directing organization(s). I would like to voice my opinion on this matter as being opposed to any health care organization being able to dictate the types of care they will provide based on religious or ideological reasoning if they are receiving payments from the public health systems. If they are not they accepting public health dollars they could accept private pay should they choose to deviate from the public health directives that are in effect across the country. There has to be some mechanism in place to maintain the separation of church and state in health care. Sincerely, Darrin Sligar
Nov 23 2013 4:39AM The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility.
Nov 23 2013 5:05AM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 23 2013 5:44AM The lack of desire to honor my living will or not to provide reproductive services is tantamount to killing me as I will not let the bishops into my medical care. Yet, the way it is now, I will be unable to use a hospital. Thank you, one and all, for taking my life.
Nov 23 2013 5:49AM A persons religious or sexual affiliation should have no bearing on his/her ability to get care at any hospital in the United States. All hospitals should be required to admit any person who presents themselves for admission.
Nov 23 2013 5:57AM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 23 2013 6:00AM
Nov 23 2013 6:03AM Forcing religious beliefs on others is antithetical to the principles on which our country was founded and must not be allowed.
Nov 23 2013 6:11AM Hospitals must not be allowed to withhold any services, ie birth control or refuse any service based on religious, sexual, etc. orientation or beliefs.this is a huge threat to our rights.
Nov 23 2013 7:27AM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 23 2013 7:36AM My concern is with Catholic hospitals and clinics that would refuse to provide abortions and birth control pills and devices to women in our community. Although born a Catholic, I chose not to follow that faith as an adult, and I do not want their religious beliefs dictating what care either I or another woman can receive. In areas such as Seattle, this may be less of an issue because there are many choices of health care providers. People in more rural areas, however, may be limited in their choices and end up having to travel long distances to receive services. That is not the way things are to work in a secular society such as ours. All of these hospitals receive significant federal and state funding via Medicare, Medicaid, Labor & Industries, and Crime Victims coverage. Consequently, the State of Washington must take this action to safeguard the civil rights and well-being of the women of our state.
Nov 23 2013 7:37AM To whom it may concern: Until the ACA is fully implemented, our current health care system allows hospitals to refuse care for any of a variety of reasons; i.e. inability to pay, religious doctrine, and even sexual orientation. Health care is a basic human right. We have the right to make the decisions about our own bodies' health, to accept or refuse care according to OUR beliefs, not to have those decisions made for us. Particularly in rural areas, where there might be only one health care facility, it would be disastrous for them to refuse care to anyone based on any reason other than medical need. I believe that the logical solution to make our healthcare system equitable for all Americans is to move to a single payer system.
Nov 23 2013 7:38AM The Constitution and Amendments of the United States of America specifically state all people are to be treated equally and fairly, without the yoke of religion. Discrimination in any form should never be tolerated.
Nov 23 2013 7:51AM No religious organization should be allowed to deny legal medical treatment to patients in public medical facilities.
Nov 23 2013 7:51AM Please do not restrict religious organizations efforts to provide medical treatment for those who share their same beliefs.
Nov 23 2013 8:09AM
Nov 23 2013 8:11AM For stone age superstitions, called "religion", to enter into our decisions is disgraceful to our intelligence and to our democracy.
Nov 23 2013 8:21AM I am concerned about maintaining the separation of church and state particularly as it pertains to healthcare access. There must be strict oversight to insure freedom of choice and access to service without theological judgment and controls.
Nov 23 2013 8:26AM Hospitals should not attach religious rules that impede the doctor patient relationship. They should advise the public as to their differences to laws that conflict with religion and its views. The taking over by religious institutions of secular hospitals, puts at risk the relationship of patients and their doctors.
Nov 23 2013 8:29AM I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 23 2013 8:31AM Hospitals should not attach religious rules that impede the doctor patient relationship. They should advise the public as to their differences to laws that conflict with religion and its views. The taking over by religious institutions of secular hospitals, puts at risk the relationship of patients and their doctors.
Nov 23 2013 8:39AM
Nov 23 2013 8:59AM The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control MUST be subject to CON review. This includes any change in hospital mission from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Standards MUST include public statements that the medical facility does not discriminate in any category, including: sex, age, race, sexual affection or orientation, spoken language, class background, political views, religious views. Standards MUST also include that the medical facility, and practitioners, do not proselytize, or promote one religious view over another. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms MUST exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital provides. Hospitals MUST be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do, or do not, provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility. Thank you. Demian
Nov 23 2013 9:05AM what do you call a hospital that won't accept patients?: bad names
Nov 23 2013 9:06AM Many non-Catholics are concerned about the implications of Catholic owned hospitals merging with secular hospitals. It should not be necessary for a patient to travel miles out of his or her own town or area in order to insure that hospital policies are in agreement with their own religious or non-religious point of view. This is particularly important in cases of emergency, often occurring when the individual may need to be taken to the nearest hospital for life-saving care.
Nov 23 2013 9:17AM Hospitals and clinics controlled by religious institutions must be required by law to provide all legal services. They must not be allowed to restrict services based on religious doctrine. This principle should be inscribed in law, and not simply a matter of good-faith agreement, subject to abrogation on whim.
Nov 23 2013 9:32AM The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 23 2013 9:34AM In the United States, we pride ourselves on freedom. That freedom includes the freedom to choose hospitals that will provide legal services that we require. This can only be achieved through transparency. There are people of many faiths (and no faith) in this country. There are and will always be LGBT people. All people in this country should be able to access legal services and be able to know how to obtain such services without discrimination.
Nov 23 2013 9:42AM Employers only rent the behavior of their workers. They do not own them, their bodies, or their minds. If employers cannot demand that their employees agree with their religious beliefs, why would they have the right to make their employees follow their religious tenets? To suggest that is outrageous.
Nov 23 2013 9:44AM
Nov 23 2013 9:47AM The State of Washington must keep health systems free of restrictions like religious doctrine. Patients should be given every useful treatment available regardless of religious affiliation. Hospitals, clinics, and urgent care facilities must be free to deliver every treatment available to aid the health and welfare of any patient.
Nov 23 2013 9:55AM I strongly agree with the ACLU that the Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility
Nov 23 2013 9:57AM While revising the Certificate of Need process please keep "individual rights and justice for all" as the focus of this process. It is wrong for others to dictate my freedoms because of their religious beliefs. Our lives and choices are between ourselves and or own conscience. Thank you, Pam Madison
Nov 23 2013 9:59AM The best standards of medical care and respect for each patient's spiritual views must determine treatment in medical facilities that serve all of our citizens. The religious doctrine on which some facilities are founded cannot interfere with the individual needs and philosophies of its patients, especially women, if that facility is authorized by DOH.
Nov 23 2013 10:01AM Heath must be free of religious bias. Freedom from religion!
Nov 23 2013 10:11AM Medical decisions should be based on medical need, not religious dogma. Please reject the take over of hospitals by religiously affiliated organizations
Nov 23 2013 10:28AM Health providers that accept public money for services should not be permitted to determine based on religious theology what services are requested or required for the patient. It's unconstitutional and discriminatory.
Nov 23 2013 10:32AM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 23 2013 10:40AM I strongly believe that health care providers, especially if they receive any government funding, need to offer what the law says, and not just want their religious doctrines dictate. Thank you!
Nov 23 2013 10:41AM I strongly believe that health care providers, especially if they receive any government funding, need to offer what the law says, and not just want their religious doctrines dictate. Thank you!
Nov 23 2013 10:44AM Comments to Department of Health Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 23 2013 10:50AM All patients should have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, best care medical services, and no patient should be refused access to services because of a health care organization's religious doctrines.
Nov 23 2013 10:53AM I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 23 2013 10:56AM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility. So proud of the State of Washington for being proactive in this matter!
Nov 23 2013 10:59AM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 23 2013 11:03AM Patients NEED to know (and have the assurance) that their particular wishes will be observed and honored by hospitals, regardless of the hospital's or their own presences!
Nov 23 2013 11:11AM I am a student in public health at the University of Washington. I am writing to express my opposition to the Catholic-Secular hospital mergers that have been taking place with great frequency in Washington State and to urge the DOH to address this issue through the Certificate of Need process. These mergers will have long-lasting repercussions for LGBT access to care, end-of-life care, and women's reproductive health and family planning options (beyond just abortion access: e.g. refusal to prescribe birth control to patients; refusal to provide hospital employees insurance coverage for birth control; refusal to terminate an ectopic pregnancy if there is a fetal heartbeat -- even if the mother's life is in danger). This may not seem like a big deal in Seattle because we have a lot of choice when it comes to healthcare, but in rural areas of Washington where a Catholic hospital may be the only available option, this could limit access in a huge way. As non-profits, catholic healthcare institutions get public subsidies through tax breaks. And just this summer our publicly funded UW Medical Center formed an "alliance" with the Catholic Peace Health. This could have serious ramifications for the type of end-of-life and abortion training that our medical residents are able to get. As a taxpayer, I find this not only offensive, but an inappropriate use of public resources. As a woman, I want my tax dollars to fund resources that allow me and my sisters, friends, aunts access to comprehensive healthcare, including a full range of access to birth control, abortion, rape management, miscarriage management, well woman care, and insurance coverage that is equitable to that of for-profit institutions. As a daughter with aging parents, I want my parents to have a full range of end-of-life options that suit them and their individual needs. And as a friend of the LGBT community, I want LGBT individuals to have the right to choose who accompanies them in their healthcare, who they engage in their care plan, and who they give healthcare proxy privileges to during their course of care, regardless of sexual orientation. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility. Thank you, Elisabeth Vodicka, MHA
Nov 23 2013 11:12AM Hospitals are to provide help and healthy outcomes, never based on the religious doctrine of the hospital organization involved.
Nov 23 2013 11:12AM I found the language rather confusing to me a non-attorney. It seems to me what needs to be made explicit is the following. 1. No citizen should be denied the medical treatment they want or don't want. And no doctor should be ordered by Hospital officials to do or not do what the doctor's conscience demands. 2. Every hospital must submit to the Licensing office any medical treatment they deny or enforce with patients and doctors and nurses. 3. If all hospitals within a range of 100 miles demand the enforcement of their religious doctrines upon on patients and medical staff; then the State must establish a hospital within 100 miles that respects the conscience of a patient and have physicians who will honor the conscience of the patient. A footnote - For 25 years I was a Catholic priest and as pastor of my parish, we inaugurated a process where after each sermon we broke into groups of 10 to discuss what they liked, disliked and any new thoughts they had. This was based on one of the outcomes of the Vatican Council started by Pope John the XXIII in the early 60s. One of the most significant things that emerged from this Council was that God lives in all the people, not just the Pope or clergy or theologians. It was upon that thought that we wanted every one in the parish to have a voice. Soon after we started this, one morning a woman in an apologetical voice said that she uses contraceptives (something condemned by the Church). At which point other women confessed that they too use contraceptives. The result was, that an overwhelming majority of women said the same thing. Now if God lives in all the people, ought we not to listen to them? I am getting the impression that the new Pope Francis may think the same way - we must listen to the voices of the people.
Nov 23 2013 11:17AM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 23 2013 11:36AM My comments come from WA state ACLU website. Please accept these comments as my own. All patients should have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, best care medical services, and no patient should be refused access to services because of a health care organization's religious doctrines. Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 23 2013 11:56AM Health care is a human right, not to be dictated on the basis of so-called religions, or treated as a commodity to be traded on the markets. Using religion in deciding who gets medical care is a mockery of human rights!!
Nov 23 2013 12:03PM For too long certain religions have taken away our rights to control decisions about our own bodies. Washington had been a leader in returning those rights to us,eg: abortions rights, right to die, and the recent right to use marijuana. The CON plan falls into this category. Go for it!
Nov 23 2013 12:14PM UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE.
Nov 23 2013 12:17PM I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility
Nov 23 2013 12:20PM I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility. I strongly feel that we need to apply strong litmus tests to how we evaluate a religious mission and its ability to influence the type of care that results from that. For example, would it be ok for a Scientologist-own hospital (hypothetical) has the right to not offer anti-depressants to patients admitted? Could a Christian Scientist-owned hospital (unlikely) not offer or even subtly discourage antibiotic use? We must look at every conceivable edge example when evaluating the logic even mainstream religious organizations use to justify their missions. We are a nation that allows total freedom of religion but the price we pay to ensure this is a separation of church and state. For hospitals, that operate many times in the private sphere but offer what we consider public services, there should be no reason that standards of health care that are based on science not theology shouldn't apply universally.
Nov 23 2013 12:26PM Comments to Department of Health Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 23 2013 12:29PM
Nov 23 2013 12:59PM I fully support the comments below, borrowed from the ACLU website. As a disabled person with several progressive health issues, I am very concerned with having my right to make health-care and end-of-life choices protected. As a woman and mother of two daughters, I am also very concerned that women's reproductive choices be protected. As a gay individual, I certainly do not wish to be subjected to discriminatory treatment at the hands of the very people I am relying on to provide me with essential medical care. My values and wishes should be the deciding factors in any medical decisions, not those of the institution who happens to own the hospital I am utilizing. And like the majority of patients, I have no other reasonable choice but to receive care at a hospital owned by a faith-based institution, even for a scheduled procedure -- let alone an emergency room visit. Thank you for your time and attention to this comment. "Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility."
Nov 23 2013 1:10PM I am quite anxious as I see so many hospital mergers. As a woman, it concerns me that religiously based hospitals have been merging with normal hospitals. If I end up in one such merger, I'm worried that some medical procedure that I want/need to have done may be denied if it is against the beliefs the church. This would be unacceptable.
Nov 23 2013 1:22PM Please do not allow religion to be what determines the kind and quality of the care people can receive from hospitals in Washington. All patients should have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, best care medical services, and that no patient should be refused access to services because of a health care organization's religious doctrines.
Nov 23 2013 1:32PM Both church leaders and their community members have the right to walk away from each other without negatively impacting one or the other. However, when it comes to healthcare and circumstances surrounding abortion, LGBT, or reproductive rights, it becomes an issue of survival, which in some cases, can be life threatening. When doctors enter into the medical field they make a commitment to help their patients including those patients with whom they disagree with. I do not feel the church should be excluded from these oaths. A patient cannot simply walk away. He or she has healthcare issues and concerns that must be addressed. The church does not have the right to dictate healthcare for those who come to them for assistance (Jesus did not turn people away and neither should the church). And if they have a problem with that, then they should not enter into this field - period. No one should be denied healthcare based upon any religious criteria - period, the end. (And I am religious.)
Nov 23 2013 1:41PM Medical treatment must be available which is based on medical science and practice, and constitutional rights.
Nov 23 2013 1:50PM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 23 2013 2:02PM No one should ever ever be denied any kind of health service no matter what.
Nov 23 2013 2:09PM All patients should have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, best care medical services, and that no patient should be refused access to services because of a health care organization's religious doctrines
Nov 23 2013 2:12PM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 23 2013 2:12PM What happened to, "separation of church and state." People ought not be discriminated against medically, or otherwise due to religion, faith, theology, or lack thereof. Doctors who are willing to accommodate diverse choices ought to be accepted into practice. Denying someone the promises set forth in HIPPA or taking advantage of someone's vulnerable state, or condition, in order to force a certain belief system is dehumanizing. Please reconsider this type of injustice to avoid a retrograde state of mind and condition.
Nov 23 2013 2:14PM Religious view of the hospital operator should not be allowed affect the care provided. Secular hospital should be illegal. Religious organizations should be encouraged to continue providing care, but should be barred from using their religious views in determining who gets care and to what degree.
Nov 23 2013 2:22PM The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 23 2013 2:53PM Hi, I do not think a person religious, race, gender, age, income level, social status, etc.., should determine whether or not they receive necessary and fully needed health care. We as a people in the United States should not be discriminatory towards each other in any way, shape, or form. Sincerely, Joyce O'Malley
Nov 23 2013 2:54PM Protect patient access to healthcare!
Nov 23 2013 3:19PM Don't let religious ideology control patient healthcare.
Nov 23 2013 3:54PM No person should be denied medical care by a provider on account of a difference in religious beliefs. If a medical provider cannot prioritize the interests of a patient, they have no right to be in business. At the least, they have no right to be an "EMERGENCY CARE" provider: when emergencies happen, we cannot choose who we go to. We cannot plan who we go to. No health care provider should have the right to be an emergency care provider if they cannot put their personal religious beliefs aside.
Nov 23 2013 4:00PM All hospitals which receive any taxpayer funding MUST ethically provide all the services which are legally permissible, and needed or wanted by persons with illness. This include medically appropriate options for persons with dangerous or unwanted pregnancies, persons who want to prevent pregnancy while enjoying their sexuality, persons in non religiously-sanction relationships, and for terminally ill persons to know about and pursue their right in Washington to obtain medications through the state's death with dignity law. Opinions by local or distant religious leaders MUST ethically have NO bearing on a person's medical care, which should be decided between the patient and his/her doctors.
Nov 23 2013 4:23PM How can we prevent allowing all local hospitals to be religious managed?
Nov 23 2013 4:54PM All patients must have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, best care medical services. No patient should be refused access to services because of a health care organization's religious doctrines. Using an organization's religious doctrines to determine patient eligibility is unconstitutional and, should the matter lack clarity, it should be made clear to institutions and to patients.
Nov 23 2013 4:55PM November 23rd 2013 Gentlemen: We fought the cold war against the USSR. One of the many controversies was the freedom of religion. I, as you are, an American and we are guaranteed by our Constitution and our Bill of Rights separation of Church From State. Therefor I do not believe that we the people can legislate any matters concerning Spiritual Beliefs (Freedom of Religion) To do so would violate our basic humanitarian rights, guaranteeing that every man in America is born with equal rights. Highest regards, Mr. Paul Sanders>
Nov 23 2013 5:00PM Government owned hospitals should not be limited by the religious beliefs of it's administrators or partners.
Nov 23 2013 5:32PM Thank you for finally proposing a policy that will help to maintain access to all healthcare services for all people, regardless of the religious beliefs of the institutions providing the service. I am appalled by the degree of control that Catholic and other Christian institutions have acquired over healthcare choices in Washington. Even in Seattle, where I have healthcare choices, I was forced to stop going to Swedish Medical Center when it merged with Providence, because my needs would not be met there. I was fortunate to have a choice, because I live in Seattle and have access to a car. Other women (and men) in other parts of the state or who don't have access to cars or mass transit, don't have that choice.
Nov 23 2013 5:39PM Section 11 of the Washington State Constitution reads: " No public money or property shall be appropriated for or applied to any religious worship, exercise or instruction, or the support of any religious establishment." Accordingly, why does our tax money go to religious hospitals? Specifically, Catholic hospitals make it explicitly clear that they hew to the Ethical and Religious Directives on Healthcare put forth by the Bishops which inform decision making at Catholic hospitals. This affects ALL of us, not just those who may require reproductive health services. The ERDs clearly state that providers are under no obligation to follow an individual's advance directive should it conflict with Catholic doctrine. I do not want decisions on my care based on someone else's belief system, one which- incidentally- I don't share and one which has been shown in many cases to conflict with what patients want and with what is in their best interest (Examples abound, but think of the case of Savita Halappanavar in Ireland one year ago this month). The unprecedented rate at which religious institutions (and this really means Catholic) are taking over health care in the state of WA should alarm us all. We should not be complacent and say " Well, I like my doctor and this is a good hospital and that doesn't affect me." Maybe for a given individual it, in fact, won't. However, that is not the measure of what is in the best interests of the population. What is in the interest of the people of WA state is access to quality, secular health care. If someone wants birth control so that they have control over family planning, they have a right to that. If someone needs or wants to terminate a pregnancy, that option since it is legal exists and should not be fettered with restrictions, the need for transfer to another institution, etc. If one is comatose and has expressed to loved ones that s/he does not want to go on living in that circumstance with artificial support, then those wishes should be honored without undue emotional trauma to an already grieving family. I urge you: PLEASE do not further diminish the opportunity to choose secular health care in our state, a state that has a strong tradition of respect for personal liberties and freedoms.
Nov 23 2013 5:58PM I am totally outraged that religious doctrine is determining medical decisions in ever-increasing numbers of medical facilities in this state! No patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address AT LEAST these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 23 2013 6:27PM The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. No patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 23 2013 7:21PM It\s unclear what Yes or No says that I agree to or not. I don\t want some religious group making rules for my medical decisions, especially when they don\t tell me what they base their recommendations on. Say I want a circumcision, and they refuse because in the 1432 or so, the church said that was forbidden!
Nov 23 2013 7:35PM A hospital is NOT a church, it is an organization the whole population uses, and should not make restrictions on services provided. Separation of church and State should apply to all facilities used by the general public.
Nov 23 2013 7:39PM All decisions regarding a patient in ANY hospital should and must be made by just the patient and their physician. No religious ideology or policy should be permitted to influence or prohibit said decision.
Nov 23 2013 9:07PM It's important to preserve the progress toward gender equality and the rights of women and LGBT folks, and not let unconstitutional forces determine the scope of medical care in Washington.
Nov 23 2013 9:39PM Our U.S. constitution is based on the concept of separation of church and state. I feel very strongly that no one has the right to tell me what I may or maynot do with my person; nor should any institution receiving government funds be allowed to limit or impose an institutional bias/belief on my options. Below are the first 3 articles of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. United Nations - Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article I All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. Article 2 Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty. Article 3 Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
Nov 23 2013 9:59PM I stand with the ACLU. I want care for my physical health without religious dogma. I want to make my own end of life decisions.
Nov 23 2013 10:23PM The DOH must ensure that all citizens have clear access and equal rights to health care please take actions that uphold those rights for everyone equally without discrimination. please take the following into account before passing rules or legislation on this matter. Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility. Regards, Ron Rees
Nov 23 2013 10:40PM Religion and Medicine. No church, should deny access to medical care. In a time of crisis, if the person is not catholic, don't tell me a hospital would refuse service? Just because I am not catholic? I was born at a Catholic hospital, but I am not catholic. But this was in 1965, don't tell me the church has gone nazi, since then? Medicine, is for healing, and so is Jesus. If the church worked as it should, there wouldn't be any need for doctors, because when Jesus healed he healed with touch, he healed with his spit even. Jesus, raised Lazureth from the grave. There is no healer like that walking on this planet. That is why we human's need Jesus to come. If the catholic church, wont let me in, I am sure I can find one that will, if I don't die first of course.
Nov 23 2013 10:40PM Franciscan Health System has recently taken over Harrison Medical Center in Bremerton, and Highline Medical Center in Burien, moving the state closer to an all-Catholic hospital system. Franciscan's parent corporation, CHI (Catholic Health Initiatives) is in the process of outsourcing most IT support to offshore employers such as WIPRO of Bangalore, India. When care providers encounter computer problems, they will now contact a call center in India to report the issue, instead of the existing in-house IT Help Desk staff who can provide immediate response. Those workers will be laid off. Accounting, purchasing, medical records and HR jobs will also be lost, as CHI outsources all non-clinical services. That's not what we expect of a community hospital. With the CHI takeover accelerating, it is time for state government to act to protect citizen's access to all healthcare, unless we want to become like Texas, where a woman has to travel hundreds of miles for gynecologic services. My main concern is the CHI policy of refusing to provide specific services that Washington State residents are legally entitled to have. These include contraceptive care, sterilization, termination of pregnancy, and physician-assisted death with dignity. In some cases, CHI policy even denies end-of-life palliative care under their doctrine of "redemptive suffering." Since a hospital's primary source of revenue is Medicare and Medicaid, it is publicly funded, and must be held accountable not to impose religious dogma on the community it serves.
Nov 23 2013 11:08PM The idea of the Catholic church trying to control MY medical care is and abomination.
Nov 24 2013 12:39AM I believe real harm will be done if hospitals are not required to state their rules of preference regarding beginning of life and end of life care. Patients should be fully informed, lest they be deprived of their rights to informed consent. A list of which hospitals' rules by hospital should be made available to every patient and family. One should be able to easily look up a chart comparing provider preferences with regard to these important and personal decisions. Should this not occur, I fear it would be possible for medical organizations that only offer services in keeping with their own personal philosophies to word that information in such a manner that many patients may easily miss the purpose or misunderstand the language, thereby being deprived of informed consent. Respectfully, Susan McKinney
Nov 24 2013 6:42AM Allowing hospitals and other healthcare providers to decline medications or procedures that conflict with the religious beliefs of directors or owners is a bad idea. First, it allows that director or owner to impose those beliefs on others who need healthcare. This is the kind of religious tyranny that led many of our ancestors to flee Europe and Great Britain, and is the same principle as a Muslim country imposing Sharia law. Second, their taxes already support some of those things to which they object, as do their own health insurance premiums. Citing their need not to be "forced" to do something against their beliefs is disingenuous and patently false. Please act to protect the rights of individuals who need healthcare services from our Washington hospitals--a much larger group of citizens.
Nov 24 2013 6:46AM I live in Clark county. As such, I seen Portland news a lot. I have seen several times over the years where, because of religious reasons people and children have died. A lot of times religion is used to deny health care. I firmly believe that no politician, insurance company, or religious affiliation should come between a patient and their doctor. When you have a hospital that is owned by a religious affiliation, the natural tendency for them is to impose their religious views upon people. Sometimes that can result in death and substandard care for the patient and cause people to be demoted who want the best care for their patients. http://thehumanist.org/march-april-2011/medical-emergency-catholic-hospitals-usurp-patients-rights/ http://www.nbcnews.com/id/37171656/#.UpIQ7MSsjZk Until such times as religious hospitals can put aside church doctrine and directives, they should not be allowed to run any hospital.
Nov 24 2013 6:55AM The proposed rule does not require hospitals to provide services that are legal if their policies indicate those services are not offered. Specifically, hospitals are not required to provide legal reproductive and end of life health care services if the religious affiliation of those hospitals determines it is not their policy to do so. Denial of legal services based on religious grounds is discriminatory, and the rules need to be changed so that all legal services should be provided, regardless of religious or any other affiliation. To deny services based the religious affiliation of a hospital, or the religious beliefs on the part of the party which owns the hospital, violates individuals civil rights. Hospitals, whether or not they have a religious affiliation or are owned by a religious organization, are providing a public service. Based on the fact that they are the providers of necessary public services, rules must prohibit hospitals from making any service policies based on religious grounds. All patients at a hospital must be given all legal services. Sincerely, Walter Lewis
Nov 24 2013 6:58AM I emphatically urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 24 2013 7:00AM I will not choose and will resist care, if I am able, from a Catholic hospital system that does not offer legal reproductive health services which may include but not be limited to birth control, emergency contraception, and abortion. Women’s reproductive rights need to be protected under the law in a public hospital district. If the catholic hospital system wants to go private and not accept public money fine. Take a tax dollar? They should disclose and be forced to offer all reproductive services as approved by federal and state law. The catholic hospital system has no right to tell the public at large what they may or may not do regarding their health care needs and rights. The end of life process must be protected and the individual and their family should make that decision, not an institution that historically and currently shows that it is hypocritical and not in favor of the individual's choice and rights. Thank you Governor for giving us the opportunity to speak out and let the facts be known--this isn't a cardinal's private conclave.
Nov 24 2013 7:13AM Public funds should not be available for any medical practices based on religious bias. The full treatment of all medical services must be required including reproductive and end of life decisions made by individuals or their legal designee.
Nov 24 2013 7:16AM Come on - USE COMMEN sense. Religion has Nothing to do with Health. Please keep them separate. If a person (themselves) somehow wants to merge his religion with his health care, then he will. But quit forcing your opinions and requirements on us. Keep things like this separate. Vic
Nov 24 2013 7:17AM There is no way that the state hospital mergers and affiliations that result in religious organizations denying legal reproductive and end of life health care services, and the public's not being informed, should be allowed. This is nothing more than a underhanded way to evade the law of the land.
Nov 24 2013 7:22AM I want to exercise my rights for medical care and make my own informed decisions without any influence of religious beliefs of the Medical Establishment. Medical care and information about it have to be RELIGION FREE! Me and my family vote NO to religious affiliation of our hospitals, pharmacies and all healthcare services.
Nov 24 2013 7:30AM While transparency is a step, I would prefer a law that blocks hospitals from placing their religious views ahead of the rights and directions of the person.
Nov 24 2013 7:30AM I stand in full support of Governor Inslee's Directive that hospitals must make transparent to consumers, and make sure they have access to clear information about the policies of any licensed hospital in Washington State regarding end-of-life and reproductive health services. I further wish to state that calling a for-profit corporation a "person" is an anti-democratic device engineered by the Far Right Supreme Court, and one that will be called up in Congress as a Constitutional Amendment, if true democracy is restored to this corporate-controlled Republic.
Nov 24 2013 7:34AM The rule doesn't go far enough. Religious organizations are deliberately purchasing hospitals to deny coverage of legal procedures with out ANY Medical basis for their actions. Their actions are being governed by a "religious" obligation where they are being told by their religious organization to deny the procedures because the organization has an agenda against the laws of our state and country. No procedure should ever be denied under any grounds but sound, medically and scientifically approved grounds. It's one thing to say no pills made from pumpkin seeds and castor oil will not cure cancer as every research test shows it won't. It's another to say we don't believe abortion and Living Wills are ethical so we won't perform the procedure or honor the medical directive to end life support. That is not only forcing a religious belief on another person that they may not share, but violates state law, given the procedures and directives are legal and governed by state law. What would happen if say a sect of Christian Scientists bought a hospital and fired all the doctors and refused to give any care except prayer, and this was the only hospital the patient could get to? For this reason a section needs to explicitly clarify that NO legally allowed procedure such as abortion or the withholding of life support when the patient has an ADVANCED MEDICAL DIRECTIVE shall be withheld or the hospital will face a $ 1,000,000 fine per violation (and that amount is to make it too costly for them), and that any doctor refusing such on any grounds besides a sound scientifically proven basis shall face jail time of no less than 15 years with a permanent loss of license and forfeiture of all funds and property directly related to their practice of medicine. Thank you
Nov 24 2013 7:41AM I truly thought it was illegal for a public entity to refuse service to the public. Peace Health has cornered the market and now can do whatever they want including forcing their religious beliefs on to their patients? This is becoming a very divisive issue in our communities, especially as options not only with hospitals but doctors are so limited.
Nov 24 2013 7:42AM I see this issue as just another one to limit the choices of the poor and struggling families.
Nov 24 2013 7:50AM Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 24 2013 7:54AM Religion has no place in medical care, unless they contribute to the best interests of caring for the sick and needy with money and service. No to any hospitals obstructing the patients wishes and beliefs.
Nov 24 2013 7:56AM Limitation by hospitals of medical services relating to reproductive health, when those services are accepted nationally as part of our health care system, is not only destructive to women's health but is an incursion of religious, political or other non-medical standards into hospital care. The increasing dominance of Catholic ownership (and doctrine) in Washington State hospitals is frightening. History tells us of practices in place during the Roman Catholic Inquisition of the 12th to 14th Century Europe, when the innocent non-believers were 'put to the question' through torture and death. This just in from Pope Innocent VIII : "It has recently come to our ears, not without great pain to us, that in some parts of upper Germany, [...] Mainz, Koin, Trier, Salzburg, and Bremen, many persons of both sexes, heedless of their own salvation and forsaking the catholic faith, give themselves over to devils male and female, and by their incantations, charms, and conjurings, and by other abominable superstitions and sortileges, offences, crimes, and misdeeds, ruin and cause to perish the offspring of women, the foal of animals, the products of the earth, the grapes of vines, and the fruits of trees, as well as men and women, cattle and flocks and herds and animals of every kind, vineyards also and orchards, meadows, pastures, harvests, grains and other fruits of the earth; that they afflict and torture with dire pains and anguish, both internal and external, these men, women, cattle, flocks, herds, and animals, and hinder men from begetting ... (Summis desiderantes, by Pope Innocent VIII.) It is not necessary to update this opinion with more recent activities of the Church to conceal and protect the activities of its clergy with regard to their behavior with young members of the congregation.
Nov 24 2013 8:00AM I am deeply disturbed about the trend religious controlled hospitals in our great state. While, at the moment, I live in a metropolitan area with non-religious choices, Seattle, this might not be the case for me as I plan to move further from the metropolitan center and for my fellow Washingtonians who don't live near a metropolitan area. As I and my fellow Washingtonians age, we get more and more concerned with our health care. While I don't begrudge anyone's particular religious belief system, I do become concerned when they have the potential to impose their beliefs on me: that's just plain un-Washingtonian and un-American. It is imperative that Washington State impose new regulations against medical care providers so that all belief systems are preserved. This situation is especially important in cases of end of life and women's health issues. While there may be a belief that something is wrong that is not the medical provider's decision: it is mine or my fellow Washingtonian. I implore, even demand, as representatives who work for ALL the citizens of Washington to create, implement, monitor, control, and regulate ALL the belief systems that thrive in our great state. To no do so is un-Washingtonian and un-American and a failure of our elected government to serve the needs of ALL Washington Citizens, not just those that have a specific and narrow belief system in which they operate. Thank you for carefully and mindfully considering this important and sensitive issue, and making the choice for ALL Washington citizens, not just a few.
Nov 24 2013 8:09AM The Bishops Directive is very clear about what moral tenants are to be employed in a Catholic church affiliated hospital. There is no room for negotiation. I strongly believe that the women's rights and end of life rights, which ARE legal, should not be denied by any institution that receives ANY Public funds. When considering affiliation, my local hospital attempted to get around this issue by saying that tax dollars only pay for Capital improvements. Even if this simplistic view were correct, why should I be denied services in the house that I helped build? Especially services that I fought for!
Nov 24 2013 8:11AM Dear Sirs: Please do not allow lawful medical choices to be limited by special interest groups. America was founded on freedom of choice to escape "religious" tyranny of the times. Let us move forward rather than backward. My personal religious convictions should not be forced upon others any more than their's should be forced upon me. Please implement those measures that will protect and monitor patient rights to all lawful medical care. Thank you, Paula Fallon
Nov 24 2013 8:13AM Religion has no place in health care.
Nov 24 2013 8:24AM Not only should institutions, including hospitals, which receive public funds such as Medicare and Medicaid be required to offer the full spectrum of legal reproductive services (i.e. birth control and abortion), but they must be required to be completely transparent about how they address situations about end of life care, willingness to follow living will directives, and cases of mothers versus fetal life.
Nov 24 2013 8:31AM Hello. I am 71. One of these days, probably sooner rather than later, I am going to become sick and I am going to die. Please, please, please don't make me die the long, agonizing death my mother died by requiring that I abide by Catholic religious values and that I be kept alive by artificial means until medical science can't keep me alive anymore and decides it's time to let nature take its course.
Nov 24 2013 8:32AM It would appear this directive is to insulate religious hospitals and opt out of any procedure they find offensive to their religious believe...whether that of the doctor or patient. Given the hospitals in Western Washington seem to be a religious Monopoly (a very wealthy one, and non-profit with tax incentives) this is a very dangerous road to go down. Like the electric monopoly which is required to wire every home, a hospital monopoly should be required by law to serve all it's people in whatever manner requested which is lawful. There should be no directive or law which says otherwise for monopolies.
Nov 24 2013 8:43AM Why is any 'health' organization allowed to circumvent laws regarding women's reproductive rights, end-of-life treatment, or anything in between? Transparency is good, but it isn't enough. Some communities have no choice - only one facility is available. Some senior citizens are seeing their choices reduced because the low-cost options for Medicare supplements have been replaced by religious-based organizations who will not pay attention to patients' long-standing legally prepared wishes regarding the end of their life. I applaud Gov. Inslee's efforts toward transparency; but options for all legal treatment need to be available to all, too.
Nov 24 2013 8:47AM Hospitals should not be religious institutions. Mergers and affiliations that result in religious organizations denying legal reproductive and end of life health care services, and the public's not being informed are unacceptable.
Nov 24 2013 8:52AM When a church purchases or goes into business in the public sector, they need to leave their views in the church. If this is a free country, ALL public businesses should be required to follow the public law and norms. If this is not acceptable to the church then they have the choice to not be involved in public business. The business of the church, which is protected by the law of the land, is their right to assemble and teach their beliefs in their structures where people voluntarily participate. Nowhere in public law is there the right for the church to "require" people who choose not to be members of the church, to practice the church's beliefs. This is what is happening, in effect, when a church owns a business, such as a hospital, and choose to practice only procedures that the church believes in. This practice is in conflict with the law of the land and violated the conflicting beliefs of the patient.
Nov 24 2013 9:12AM Having read through the majority of these comments, there is little left to be said, other than to vehemently concur with the sentiment of indignation and outrage felt by so many that religion should be allowed such power over our health care. If any comment of value might be added, it pertains to the destructive force of religion itself. "Give it an inch and it will take a mile", is more than a gentle observation, but in the case of religion, a dire warning that religion run amok, trampling over civil law, will spell the end of civility in our country. There is truly no intelligent room for compromise on this issue. The separation of church and state must be upheld, and publicly funded, religiously owned or managed institutions, with practice informed by their religious beliefs, must not be permitted. To do so is tantamount to "Christian Sharia law", that is, the acceptance that religious doctrine is superior to civil law. I strongly urge the governor to put in place a strong law that ensures that no health care institution can deny legally available treatment or end-of-life directives on any grounds. P. Shelton
Nov 24 2013 9:15AM We do need to make sure that hospitals or any health provider will not impose their religious beliefs on any one. Even though they may claim to be "private" organizations they do have obligations under their license to serve all patients without prejudice.
Nov 24 2013 9:17AM Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 24 2013 9:24AM The language is opaque but I believe the intent is to preserve reproductive rights of women. It would be ludicrous, for example, now that IUDs are becoming a preferred method of contraception in the medical community to find that most women having completed a delivery would not be offered that as a choice because of the religious beliefs of the hospital's board.
Nov 24 2013 9:24AM The state should make sure that mergers and acquisitions do not result in a situation in which patients lose access to reproductive and end-of-life services. Religious institutions should not be allowed to impose their views on others.
Nov 24 2013 9:26AM All hospitals that are licensed by the State should provide the full range of services they are capable of, not restricted by religious limits. If a hospital wants to get out of the business of providing medical care approved by the national medical establishment because it's "immoral", it should stop offering related services.
Nov 24 2013 9:26AM Patients' rights must be respected in all instances where a non-religious health institution affiliates with one governed by religious dictates. In no instance should any patient's health be compromised by someone else's religious beliefs. Women's rights to abortion services, especially where the patient's survival is at risk, should take precedence over religious restrictions, and birth control medications and devices should be available at the patient's request.
Nov 24 2013 9:32AM While hospitals may be owned or operated by religious institutions, they primarily function as public, secular institutions. The public depends on them for vital services, regardless of religious affiliation. Similarly, health care and pharmaceutical products and services offered to the public are vital and MUST be available, regardless of the provider's personal beliefs or creeds. If a religious institution chooses to sponsor or operate a vital public institution such as a hospital or clinic they must recognize the need to make such an establishment open and available to all people in need of medical services, regardless of religious beliefs, etc. Imposing service restrictions based on the religious beliefs of the provider could cause many people inconvenience or risk of actual physical harm. Washington State is not Texas or similar states, where medical services are being denied to women, in particular, or made so onerous to obtain that non-safe alternatives will again become a problem or people will be forced to make unhealthy or unwanted choices.
Nov 24 2013 9:37AM Transparency is one side of it. If a hospital submits a Health Care Policy that declares it will not be providing legal, medically approved reproductive health care procedures, i.e. abortions, then transparency isn't enough. If a business has a license that declares it will be providing health care, then it must provide health care. Pharmacies must provide birth control medications to all who request them with proper support from their doctor. I believe that a person who doesn't believe that abortions are proper, shouldn't have to have one. But if they're in the business of providing reproductive health services, and abortions are a legal, medically acceptable service in that regard, they must live up to their commitment to provide that service to those requiring it. If a hospital is owned by a church, or other organization that has ethical concerns as to any of the services provided by hospitals, they need to remove themselves from the business. The state, in its proper roll of protecting its citizens, should require all medical providers to commit to providing all medical services for which they are or should be reasonably expected to be equipped, and in the interest of transparency, provide a list of services that they are not equipped to cover and the reasons for that lack. i.e. funding, staffing, space, local market etc. I mean not every hospital or community can support an MRI. If I had wanted to live in a state like Texas, I would have moved there.
Nov 24 2013 9:40AM It is imperative that any healthcare facility which serves the public provide ALL necessary healthcare services within their industry scope. Restricting some services because of religious beliefs does not serve the entire public, and, as such, should be prohibited. Some people believe in freedom of religion, some believe in freedom from religion; any individual's personal beliefs cannot be imposed on others who don't share those beliefs, and that includes healthcare services. Birth control and abortion are the two obvious services that could be affected by having a religious entity controlling our medical facilities. Both of these services must be provided to allow women to make appropriate choices, and to prevent people from seeking illegal and dangerous services from unqualified providers. In summary, if our hospitals and clinics are to be owned by religious institutions, it is in the best interest of the people of the State of Washington to disallow restrictions on healthcare services that are not sanctioned by the religious institutions.
Nov 24 2013 9:42AM Any health facility denying ANY health care services due to religious beliefs should not receive city, county, state or federal funds in any way, shape or form. The religious right is buying up hospitals and clinics left and right for the pure and simple reason of forcing their beliefs onto anyone who doesn't agree with them. As this happens, government is changed by those who have the power and religion and it's hypocritical zealots has all the money imaginable to twist this country into the restrictive fantasy world they insist every human being live in. Case in point is the more than 1,000 pieces of legislation attempted and many achieved in 2012 alone, to curtail and deny American women their lawful right under the Constitution of the United States to abortion. There needs to be complete transparency from the religion based providers and no person shall be denied ANY health care on the basis of which facility is treating them under that facilities secret rules of operation. Keep religion completely out of government. Our founding fathers were adamant regarding that separation. We must have separation of church and state and by allowing religious beliefs to affect patient care in any way in facilities receiving any funding from any government source is dangerous to every Americans liberty and freedom. There is a large, extremely wealthy and deadly revolution in this country that is gaining huge ground backed by the corporate giants of religious zealotry. Thank you.
Nov 24 2013 9:44AM ..."developing a meaningful list of services would be too complex and potentially misleading" - as for being 'too complex', I would add that a hospital administrator operating under religious guidelines would need to incorporate a hidden level of oversight to ensure that their own employees do not inadvertently release information concerning religious doctrines that may give fuel to public opposition to any religious takeover of free access to all healthcare options. So this 'hidden oversight' would make compliance too complex. And as for being 'misleading', seeing as the task of a religious organization is to 'lead' people away from secularism and into their own particular brand of mind control, then yes this act will serve to 'mislead' the public by showing additional choices available at facilities not fully under religious control. These additional choices will serve to 'lead' the public away from religious control and towards secularism. Yes, to a person with a hidden religious agenda this act is 'misleading' indeed!
Nov 24 2013 9:52AM Dear Sirs or Madams, I see health care as a right and not a privilege, one that should be universal among citizens, and hospitals are essential to facilitate that right, which is a function of the state. If a monolithic group gains control over most hospitals (in this case religious), a group that also would deny legal services based upon its anti-democratic dogma, It is tantamount to a grave breach of church and state. Cordially, Steve Veatch
Nov 24 2013 9:56AM Please allow Washington state residents access to legal healthcare. Religious views should not be used to limit healthcare options. Thank you Governor Inslee for increasing the availability of healthcare services to the people of Washington state.
Nov 24 2013 10:00AM Religion should not be a tool in the way we are treated at a hospital. Please dont violate our rights by denying people beds and treatment based on religious ideas. Its not right. Please help protect us
Nov 24 2013 10:00AM The public has a right to know. I am shocked to learn that religious hospitals are gaining control over our hospital beds. Gratefully I am no longer of child bearing age. I would hate to be young & be fearful that the decisions I might make regarding my body could be disrespected by a religious hospital. As an older person I am concerned that in the end of my life, if I choose Death w/ Dignity I could be denied a compassionate end of life situation. I would not want to suffer & waste away for days on end in an expensive religious bed. It is every individuals prerogative to receive the health care the individual chooses. The directive of health care providers should be to provide the service & assistance needed based upon the desires of the individual that they serve. The public has the right to receive the health care each individual deserves, not be forced to succumb to the religious organizations narrow boundaries.
Nov 24 2013 10:21AM Please do not allow religious hospitals or care center to dictate services based on their beliefs. Medical centers need to provide legal treatment to patients, not religious-based care. Thank you.
Nov 24 2013 10:36AM Religiously affiliated hospitals are increasing in Washington. However, some of them tailor their care based on religious beliefs, which has it's biggest impact on family planning, pregnancy, and women's health. Some hospitals do not even allow discussion of all options of treatment and/or referral to an out of religious network provider, without risking your job. It's unethical to force religious beliefs on others, even more so in the setting of health care. It's wrong to let which hospital you go to dictate what care a patient will be offered or at least at the minimum what care options patients get presented.
Nov 24 2013 10:39AM I was told that the recent merger and takeover of my local hospital by a catholic organization would mean I would have to pay the full cost of a voluntary tubal ligation. In addition, because my primary doctor's office is also under this same organization I would have to pay even to consult my dr. on birth control options. I'm not talking about abortion either. I wanted to know about a tubal ligation to PREVENT pregnancy in the first place. I think this goes against the law of the land and because of my beliefs I think I am entitled, as an adult, to make these decisions for myself and not based on one religious organization's beliefs. It's not their call. I hope this directive changes the current status at my hospital and others in Wa state.
Nov 24 2013 10:41AM I believe we should prevent hospital mergers and affiliations that result in religious organizations denying legal reproductive and end of life health care services, and the public's not being informed.
Nov 24 2013 10:52AM "...I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm." Hippocratic Oath I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 24 2013 10:58AM Hospital mergers and affiliations should not be allowed if they result in denial of legal reproductive and end of life health care services, particularly without information available to the public on such a change.
Nov 24 2013 11:00AM This rule is a good first step to ensure that Washington state residents are not denied their guaranteed right to access a full range of health services - which are legally available and in many cases supported by a statewide majority vote - regardless of the religious affiliation of the hospital at which the services are provided. Catholic and other religiously affiliated health providers must not be allowed to deny legal care to patients, simply by hiding behind a religious objection. I - and many others like me - have no religious affiliation, and I refuse to be ruled by Church doctrine in matters of health care. When there are *no* other health care providers in a large geographic area, Washington residents are unfairly, and I believe unconstitutionally, denied care which is their right. We need the protection of this law, and of stronger oversight on religiously affiliated hospitals generally.
Nov 24 2013 11:05AM 1) Religion should be personal not part of government, business, or health care. There are very good reasons for keeping religion out of government and other organizations: the English civil war and the Spanish Inquisition are only two examples. 2) Medical care in and out of hospital should be determined by the physician and patient-not by people with NO medical training, and not by religious beliefs of other people. 3) Hospital patients need to be secure in the knowledge that THEIR medical best interests are being met. And pandoring to some minister, priest, or bishop's tender beliefs does not meet the patient's best interest. 4) Also, by pandoring to someone else's religious beliefs, you violate the patient's religious beliefs. 5) Allowing a religiously affiliated hospital to deny a few medical procedures due to their beliefs opens to door to an inevitable creep of denying more and more mainstream procedures, as tender institutional religious sensibilities get ever more tender. Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus or any prophet say the religious beliefs should be part of any medical decision. Keep Religion-and Politics- our of our medical care!
Nov 24 2013 11:08AM I am deeply disgusted that the Catholic Church is increasingly being given control over people's reproductive and end of life decisions and health care in Washington state. This is wrong no matter what side of the aisle you're on politically. Health care organizations do not belong in politics and should be made to provide every type of legal health care option regardless of their religious affiliation... after all they are not churches they are HOSPITALS!!!!!! They need to be held to a standard of information transparency at the very least, which is why I support Jay Inslee in this. If the Catholic Church cannot accept that sex, sex organs, and reproductive parts are a beautiful facet of human biology and instead chooses to make people's lives shorter, more miserable, and less healthy through its shaming, backward, morally indefensible attitude toward sexuality and family planning, than it doesn't belong in the health care business. Period. And for those of you who are trying to make the ridiculous claim that this motion by Jay Inslee is pointless or in any way unnecessary, maybe you need to know what it's like to be a person who desperately needs reproductive or end of life care and can't get it because some morally arrogant, self-righteous Catholic health care denier is perfectly happy to leave you desperate just so they can uphold some irrelevant, baseless pretense of not offending Jesus or their church. This is rampant social injustice, it's mean-spirited, and it's pathetic.
Nov 24 2013 11:19AM Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 24 2013 11:20AM I have belonged to Group Health of Puget Sound since it was new. Now I find the clinic here in Federal Way must use Franciscan here for emergency and specialty doctors they don't have in house. I resent contributing to the bottom line of an institution which refuses full health coverage to women, i.e., birth control and abortion. Neither government or religious dogma should control woman's choice. It is a matter of civil rights. The current outrage perpetrated on a 16 year old foster girl by the Nebraska courts forcing her to carry a pregnancy to term for lack of parental consent is barbaric and unforgivable. Maybe they will force her to nurse it and mother it for a year and then take it from her and put it up for adoption as the Catholic church used to do in Ireland. I shall work to unseat any official and against any candidate who does not fully understand that civil rights are women's rights, too. Patricia A. Artz
Nov 24 2013 11:29AM health care for all, not some based on beliefs. it's called democracy.
Nov 24 2013 11:33AM I'm against public hospitals merging with religious run hospitals. It seems that when this happens, the religious sector gets to rule what treatments a patient gets or not depending on the religious view of the provider. KEEP CATHOLIC HOSPITALS OUT OF PUBLIC HOSPITALS!
Nov 24 2013 11:43AM Health care providers must comply with the laws of Washington and the Affordable Care Act!
Nov 24 2013 11:43AM Health care providers must comply with the laws of Washington and the Affordable Care Act!
Nov 24 2013 11:43AM I am acutely concerned about the mixing of church and state in Washington's health care. Catholic organizations, if the proposed mergers of hospitals in the state go through, could be in control of up to 50% of all hospital beds. The Catholic Health Care Directives would prohibit formerly secular hospitals from providing contraceptive care, severely restrict end-of-life options, and eliminate the possibility of abortion except in the most extreme case of losing a mother's life. The following notes are taken directly from the Catholic document. Be sure to read Sections 67-71, regarding "The Ultimate Arbiter." (Source: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/health-care/upload/Ethical-Religious-Directives-Catholic-Health-Care-Services-fifth-edition-2009.pdf) PART 1 - Social Responsibility Page 11: Fifth, within a pluralistic society, Catholic health care services will encounter requests for medical procedures contrary to the moral teachings of the Church. Catholic health care does not offend the rights of individual conscience by refusing to provide or permit medical procedures that are judged morally wrong by the teaching authority of the Church. PART 3 - Professional-Patient Relationship Page 19, regarding Living Wills (Health Care Directives, aka Advanced Directives): 24. In compliance with federal law, a Catholic health care institution will make available to patients information about their rights, under the laws of their state, to make an advance directive for their medical treatment. The institution, however, will not honor an advance directive that is contrary to Catholic teaching. If the advance directive conflicts with Catholic teaching, an explanation should be provided as to why the directive cannot be honored. Pages 21-22 , regarding Sexual Assault: 36. Compassionate and understanding care should be given to a person who is the victim of sexual assault. Health care providers should cooperate with law enforcement officials and offer the person psychological and spiritual support as well as accurate medical information. A female who has been raped should be able to defend herself against a potential conception from the sexual assault. If, after appropriate testing, there is no evidence that conception has occurred already, she may be treated with medications that would prevent ovulation, sperm capacitation, or fertilization. It is not permissible, however, to initiate or to recommend treatments that have as their purpose or direct effect the removal, destruction, or interference with the implantation of a fertilized ovum. * * It is recommended that a sexually assaulted woman be advised of the ethical restrictions that prevent Catholic hospitals from using abortifacient procedures; cf. Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, “Guidelines for Catholic Hospitals Treating Victims of Sexual Assault,” Origins 22 (1993): 810. PART 4 - Beginning of Life Issues Page 24, regarding Contraception and in vitro fertilization: The Church cannot approve contraceptive interventions that “either in anticipation of the marital act, or in its accomplishment or in the development of its natural consequences, have the purpose, whether as an end or a means, to render procreation impossible.” Such interventions violate “the inseparable connection, willed by God . . . between the two meanings of the conjugal act: the unitive and procreative meaning.” Reproductive technologies that substitute for the marriage act are not consistent with human dignity. Just as the marriage act is joined naturally to procreation, so procreation is joined naturally to the marriage act. Page 26, regarding Abortion: 45. Abortion (that is, the directly intended termination of pregnancy before viability or the directly intended destruction of a viable fetus) is never permitted. Every procedure whose sole immediate effect is the termination of pregnancy before viability is an abortion, which, in its moral context, includes the interval between conception and implantation of the embryo. Catholic health care institutions are not to provide abortion services, even based upon the principle of material cooperation. PART 5 - The Seriously Ill and Dying Page 32, regarding Death with Dignity (law in WA state): 60. Euthanasia is an action or omission that of itself or by intention causes death in order to alleviate suffering. Catholic health care institutions may never condone or participate in euthanasia or assisted suicide in any way. Dying patients who request euthanasia should receive loving care, psychological and spiritual support, and appropriate remedies for pain and other symptoms so that they can live with dignity until the time of natural death. Page 33, regarding Stem Cell Research: 66. Catholic health care institutions should not make use of human tissue obtained by direct abortions even for research and therapeutic purposes. PART 6 - New Partnerships with Health Care Organizations and Providers Pages 34-35, regarding Benefits and Disadvantages: On the one hand, new partnerships can be viewed as opportunities for Catholic health care institutions and services to witness to their religious and ethical commitments and so influence the healing profession. For example, new partnerships can help to implement the Church’s social teaching…. On the other hand, new partnerships can pose serious challenges to the viability of the identity of Catholic health care institutions and services, and their ability to implement these Directives in a consistent way, especially when partnerships are formed with those who do not share Catholic moral principles. The risk of scandal cannot be underestimated when partnerships are not built upon common values and moral principles. Page 36-37, regarding the Ultimate Arbiter: 67. Decisions that may lead to serious consequences for the identity or reputation of Catholic health care services, or entail the high risk of scandal, should be made in consultation with the diocesan bishop or his health care liaison. 70. Catholic health care organizations are not permitted to engage in immediate material cooperation in actions that are intrinsically immoral, such as abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, and direct sterilization. * * While there are many acts of varying moral gravity that can be identified as intrinsically evil, in the context of contemporary health care the most pressing concerns are currently abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, and direct sterilization. 71. The possibility of scandal must be considered when applying the principles governing cooperation.* Cooperation, which in all other respects is morally licit, may need to be refused because of the scandal that might be caused. Scandal can sometimes be avoided by an appropriate explanation of what is in fact being done at the health care facility under Catholic auspices. The diocesan bishop has final responsibility for assessing and addressing issues of scandal, considering not only the circumstances in his local diocese but also the regional and national implications of his decision. * See Catechism of the Catholic Church: “Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil” (no. 2284); “Anyone who uses the power at his disposal in such a way that it leads others to do wrong becomes guilty of scandal and responsible for the evil that he has directly or indirectly encouraged” (no. 2287).
Nov 24 2013 11:50AM The need for un-prejudiced hospital use by the public is a huge necessity. Religion has no place in the requirements to be checked into a hospital either by emergency or choice. To narrow choices for the public by saying you can't have reproductive or end of life health care services because it is, i.e., a Catholic hospital, is/should be illegal. And could mean death to patients in rural or extreme emergencies. Profiling needs to be eliminated from hospital entrance forms. Vital information also needs to be public, not a well kept secret or surprise to patients. The need for regulation of religious control of hospitals is sorely needed in Washington and the Governor is to be commended for recognizing this.
Nov 24 2013 11:52AM I am very concerned about the upsurge in religious-affiliated health systems taking over secular ones. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. Specifically, the Department of Health must ensure the following: 1) Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. 2) Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. 3) Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. 4) Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 24 2013 11:53AM No Washington resident should be refused any Constitutionally protected health procedure by any health care provider in the state.
Nov 24 2013 11:54AM The rules do not go far enough. Any change in hospital mission including ownership or change from secular to religious should trigger a review. The state needs to ensure that people have affordable access to the care they want as long as it is legal including reproductive and end of life care. An individual's choice should not be overruled by leaders of a religion they do not ascribe to. Medical treatment should be determined by the best standards of scientific medical care. Hospitals should also be required to visibly and often post what care they do and do not provide. The rules should also have strong oversight and enforcement to ensure compliance.
Nov 24 2013 12:13PM I am quite concerned now that the hospital I am nearest, with which my physician William N. Hobbs is affiliated and am most likely to need for services has recently partnered with Swedish hospital of Seattle which has a Catholic association. Must I find some other hospital when/if needing reproductive services or treatment or end of life assistance; this would surely be more costly for me. Our local OMC (Olympic Medical Center), as an adjunct to Swedish should be required to provide services even though I am not Catholic.
Nov 24 2013 12:16PM Hospitals should provide the best available health services and not impose religious doctrine on people or bar access to legally authorized care. The type and extent of care should be between individual and their doctor not the moral ethics of the hospital.
Nov 24 2013 12:22PM no one should be left without medical help
Nov 24 2013 12:31PM I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility
Nov 24 2013 12:35PM I believe that all hospitals in our state should be required to provide medically accepted treatments in reproductive care and end of life care. The religious beliefs of executives, doctors, and nurses are immaterial. Let them find different employment. I don't believe in war. I don't seek employment at the Pentagon. The proposal of transparency--that these religious entities must clearly state which medical treatments they refuse to perform--will do little to help the patient in a rural setting. Even in Seattle, it looks as if we will be left with Virginia Mason as the only non-religious provider. Separation of church and state. Refusal of care on the basis of religion is unacceptable.
Nov 24 2013 12:36PM It is clear from the proposed regulation and even from the public comments, that 1) hospitals and health care providers must provide a clear statement for patients to understand whether that institution will provide or withhold medical care relating to certain and specific circumstances where religious creed and objections are a factor, and 2) the statement must be in plain English as well as offered in a "plain speak" format in any other appropriate languages.
Nov 24 2013 12:37PM I'm concerned about the attempts of people of a particular religious slant to achieve through funding what they can't achieve through the courts or the ballot box. A medical facility should be a place where people can go to receive balanced medical counseling, recommendations, and services. A medical facility has nothing to do with religious convictions. People need to know that if they have reproductive rights issues, end of life issues, or any other controversial issues that those issues will be addressed without influence of religious beliefs. It is a short step from religious influence of services to religious intolerance. Other questions apply as well. If the services offered are influenced by religious belief rather than intelligent application of medical principles, and the facility is partially funded by the government through the Affordable Care Act or Medicare, then do we really have a separation of church and state. If affect, what we have is state sanction for services dictated by religious belief. I don't care if a religious organization runs a facility. In my opinion that is fine; however, I should not be able to tell that it is a religious organization running the facility based on the services offered.
Nov 24 2013 12:37PM I don't believe that the CON regulations that are being proposed are comprehensive enough to protect the rights of all Washingtonians regarding access to healthcare. All patients should have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, best care medical services, and no patient should be refused access to services because of a health care organization's religious doctrines. If a health care organization accepts public funds, in any way, it should be required to provide the full range of lawful and best care medical services or it should be denied access to public funds.
Nov 24 2013 12:38PM I am very concerned about the apparent proliferation of hospitals with religious affiliation. If religions were merely particular ways of worshiping I would see no connection to or problem with a hospital sponsorship. However it is not that way. Certain religions specify particular medical attitudes that are not those of choice for non-believers or non-members. They limit our ability to get the kinds of medical care we would choose to get. I cannot believe they are being permitted to operate as the sole medical choice in hard to reach places like the San Juan Islands. Is my only choice to be airlifted off if I have an emergency need for a particular medical procedure? I'm scared to death of flying - I have NO choice!!! Please do not permit these kinds of hospitals to monopolize our health care!!!!!
Nov 24 2013 12:42PM Thank you Governor Inslee for this beginning step.My fear is it comes Too late as SO many health care organizations have been taken over by religion based organizations. Where is the seperation of Church and state, or at least laws to protect citizenry from having the what and how of services availible determined by those with differing ethics? What is provided (and NOT) should be plain for all to see!However, this will not help smaller communities where there is NO alternative to religion based care. I do not beleive these organizations should be allowed to receive federal funds without providing an alternate to receive the services they see as "unethical " (as in reproductive rights and end of life choices)! Please help us to keep (or return) the healthcare that refects what the voters have mandated time and again! I work in healthcare, and am VERY concerned!
Nov 24 2013 12:50PM No one should be denied the medical attention for any reason; religious or otherwise. This must not be allowed to stand; the consequences could be deadly.
Nov 24 2013 12:59PM Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility. All patients should have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, best care medical services, and no patient should be refused access to services because of a health care organization's religious doctrines.
Nov 24 2013 1:01PM I live in the north end of Kitsap County. There is really only one hospital option "in town". I really dislike the fact that there is likely to be a patina of religious beliefs thrown into the decisions made regarding the health care I might [ or might not ] receive.
Nov 24 2013 1:02PM Do not let hospital mergers and affiliations allow religious organizations to deny legal reproductive and end of life health care services to all.
Nov 24 2013 1:11PM I feel that we need concise, clear rules around mergers/acquisitions of non-secular hospitals by religious ones. My community went through this in the past year. The new owners (Francisians) were neither clear nor honest about women's health, or end of life care. You need to assure those who need either of these that it will be available to them if they request such. As for myself, I transferred my long standing care (about 20 years) to another doctor that has her practice on the island, and is not associated with the Francisians. I am very grateful that I was able to have a choice. I'm sure that there are other communities, for instance, other islands, that aren't so lucky. These new facilities have to be monitored. Women and seniors need to be protected from organizations that withhold care based on their dogmas, not on the law. I find this frightening and unbelievable. Many others in my community came away from a community meeting with the new owners of our health clinic feeling as I did. And many changed their health care provider becauses of this. These new facilities are being disruptive to our communities, and to our care. Respectively, Ivy Sacks
Nov 24 2013 1:14PM ALL hospitals in the state of Washington should be required to offer ALL legal medical services and procedures to the communities that they serve. The religious affiliation or philosophy of the group owning the hospital should not determine what services are available to the community. This includes reproductive and end of life medical procedures. In a state as large as Washington, it is important that all hospitals are required to provide all legal medical services and procedures since the distance to the next hospital may prohibit citizens from access to legal medical procedures that they prefer and require.
Nov 24 2013 1:21PM I will not be able to attend the hearing on Tuesday, 11/26/13, so I am writing to express my deep concerns. I implore the health department to revise the rules governing the merger of secular and religious hospitals to assure that there will not be a loss of access to reproductive and end-of-life health care services, and that the full rights of and respect for LGBT patients will be maintained. Please deny applications for mergers unless these rights are guaranteed for health care facilities using public funds.
Nov 24 2013 1:34PM Washington State apparently has more religiously-affiliated hospitals than any other state -- 45 %. This is outrageous. No citizens of any state should have their health care determined by the religious policies of any denomination -- Christian, Islamic or Muslim. Washingtonians have been asleep at the wheel here. This attempt by the Catholic Church to impose its values on the population at large is against every principle of freedom of religion in the United States, and cannot be allowed to prevail.
Nov 24 2013 1:34PM Washington State apparently has more religiously-affiliated hospitals than any other state -- 45 %. This is outrageous. No citizens of any state should have their health care determined by the religious policies of any denomination -- Christian, Islamic or Muslim. Washingtonians have been asleep at the wheel here. This attempt by the Catholic Church to impose its values on the population at large is against every principle of freedom of religion in the United States, and cannot be allowed to prevail.
Nov 24 2013 1:34PM Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 24 2013 1:48PM No hospital, medical center , physician or health care provider should deny or insist on any medical care based on their religious practices and/or beliefs. Period! Transparency - Yes! Clear statements about the providers beliefs and practices -Yes! The ability to receive state and/ or federal dollars if religious practices are part of the way medical care is administered -NO! If previous ownership did not include religious practice and new entity wants to take over and impose religion, all patients who have used the facility in the last 20 years should be notified and allowed a voice, at purchasing entities expense, as part of approval process.
Nov 24 2013 1:51PM I had a personal experience which encourages me to express a strong reaction to this issue. When I was a 32 year old divorced woman with two healthy children, I consulted with my OB/Gyn Physician, and I made the decision to have a tubal ligation. St Peter's Hospital in Olympia, WA required that I have a consultation with a hospital employee to get permission to have this procedure. It should have been solely my decision. Licensed Hospitals should not be able to deny women access to any reproductive health care, including abortions and birth control. A hospital operated by a religious organization should not have the right to deny anyone health care because of the religious beliefs of the organization. No hospital should be allowed to legally deny birth control or abortions or any medical services to patients simply because of the religious ideologies that the organizations which run the hospitals would like to impose upon everyone. They are a public facility and are supported in many ways by public infrastructure. They cannot be allowed to decide any hospital policy based on their religious rules.
Nov 24 2013 1:53PM It is NOT good for any community for hospital care to be controlled by authorities who subject patient choices to religious doctrinal scrutiny. I am in charge of my body, & i alone should determine my medical care, in consultation with my physician.
Nov 24 2013 2:03PM Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 24 2013 2:09PM Prejudice has no place in health care. What happened to "first do no harm"? Governor Inslee has the good of all Washingtonians in mind and we are behind him 100 percent.
Nov 24 2013 2:22PM I am Catholic, living on San Juan Island. I have chosen my Primary Care Provider on neighboring Orcas Island--two hours away by ferry and vehicle--out of fear our new tax-supported Peace Island Hospital, operated by Catholic PeaceHealth, will refuse to provide me legal services, based on religious strictures. The theme for evaluating this and other public policy proposals is simple enough: Are religious organizations, businesses, affiliates and individuals absolutely restrained in advance from denying legal health care services based on their religious ideologies? However, I fear religious authorities will continue to find or create or invent technicalities to sidestep compliance, and in a face-off simply issue the "then sue us" challenge when they are out of compliance. That is what it looks like we are facing here on San Juan Island. Given recent history and current status, the onus must be shifted squarely and inescapably onto providers to demonstrate compliance. Patients and citizens must not be required to litigate proof of non-compliance. I support these proposed Rules to the extent they contribute to accomplishing this public health policy as reality, not merely an ideal, a direction, a goal or a toothless legal concept gumming up legal health care delivery now. I urge additional criminal and financial sanctions adequate to guarantee compliance up front, not just at the end of drawn-out lawsuits.
Nov 24 2013 2:28PM All public funded hospitals should be transparent about their health care policies and restrictions. These hospitals should be required to provide legal, medically appropriate services, particularly regarding reproductive health, end-of-life care and care for LGBT patients. My life should not be controlled by any religion's doctrine.
Nov 24 2013 2:39PM I will not be able to attend the hearing on Tuesday, 11/26/13, so I am writing to express my deep concerns. I implore the health department to revise the rules governing the merger of secular and religious hospitals to assure that there will not be a loss of access to reproductive and end-of-life health care services, and that the full rights of and respect for LGBT patients will be maintained. Please deny applications for mergers unless these rights are guaranteed for health care facilities using public funds. Anne de Vore
Nov 24 2013 2:54PM As a Christian but not Catholic I have some concrete concerns that could impact me and perhaps many others who hold views of the more moderate type on reproductive medicine and "death with dignity" issues. The above concerns are valid, legal and hard won one's. I would sincerely like to be assured that ALL patients in Washington state hospitals have the right to requests the services they need and want without the interference of leaders of a different religion than mine, or perhaps of my physician. Thank you for the opportunity to make this comment. Cordially, janet sundquist
Nov 24 2013 3:15PM Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 24 2013 3:16PM The Department of Health should adopt a rule wherein the substance of the transaction is looked at rather than the form so as to protect the legal and constitutional rights of all Washingtonians.
Nov 24 2013 3:19PM The Department of Health should adopt a rule wherein the substance of the transaction is looked at rather than the form so as to protect the legal and constitutional rights of all Washingtonians.
Nov 24 2013 3:32PM I concur that we need more transparency on exactly which procedures hospitals will perform. But I also feel that no religious entity should be able to dictate what legal and medically appropriate procedures can or cannot be performed in any Washington State Hospital. Abortion has been legal in Washington State for over 40 years, and two years ago our citizens approved the so-called "Right-to-Die" law. Nothing should infringe on the rights of women to terminate pregnancies, to have IVF procedures, sterilization procedures, or other legal gynecological procedures agreed to between a woman and her physician. Similarly, there should be no restrictions in Washington State hospitals as to the use of DNR requests. In Seattle, Swedish Hospital has merged with Providence Health Services, and although Swedish maintains that it is a secular entity, it has removed all abortion procedures from its physical space. In an email exchange with the Chief Strategist of Swedish I asked if they had a legal and binding document stating that they remained a secular institution; she responded that Swedish did have such a document, but that it was 'confidential'. There is no transparency to that kind of obstruction of the public as to their true nature. And no state or federal money should be paid for services to any hospital in the state which limits its services on the basis of religious doctrine.
Nov 24 2013 3:42PM Please protect me more completely from religion controlling any element of my health care.
Nov 24 2013 3:43PM Con must take into consideration the protection of every patient's rights to all medical care permitted by law - especially a woman's right to control her own body.
Nov 24 2013 3:45PM I resent that the Catholic Church has intruded on my and others medical decisions. Now that Highline Medical Center has been taken over by the Franciscans, my options in the south end of Seattle have disappeared except for Group Health. Stop this interference from happening.
Nov 24 2013 3:47PM The Catholic Church prohibits contraceptive counseling and contraceptive methods including condoms, birth control pills, IUDs, vasectomies, and tubal ligations. Catholicism also prohibits fertility assistance, abortion, and end-of-life "death with dignity." All of these practices and procedures are legal in Washington. No health care provider in Washington should have the right to block or limit any of these legal services. The patient's rights must come first for all residents of our state. Non-Catholics and Catholics alike increasingly find themselves in situations in which the only health care available is subject to these restrictions dictated by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. It's time to say, "Stop!"
Nov 24 2013 3:49PM No healthcare facility should be permitted to restrict or deny legally permitted healthcare services based on any agenda whether religious or financial. While the most obvious issues may be reproductive health, end-of-life care, and LGBT issues with Catholic providers, less obvious is denial of palliative care (or even life-saving treatment such as transfusions or antibiotics) based on a perverse belief that relief of suffering is "against God's will" (issues where certain protestant sects have proven even more repressive elsewhere in the US). As someone with chronic back issues, I have a poor choice in my community between a for-profit secular health-care system (Multicare) that has a policy against pain management/palliative care for "Welfare Patients" (e.g. retirees on Social Security/Medicare), or a Catholic health-care system (Franciscan) that provides inadequate palliative care only because I'm 'grandfathered in' as my former physician transferred from private practice to Franciscan before retiring from practice.
Nov 24 2013 3:56PM It is very troubling to learn of the growing number of hospital mergers and affiliations which will result in the denial of women's health care rights. This trend needs to be stopped.
Nov 24 2013 4:18PM I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 24 2013 4:22PM Our health care system in WA is rapidly being changed in covert ways by Catholic affiliations. Soon one-half of the hospitals in WA will have such affiliation, and large areas of our State will offer its residents no convenient access to non-Catholic health care. As the affiliations occur, employed physicians and other health professional are forbidden from participating in reproductive and end-of-life services that are legal in WA. These hospitals and clinics should be forbidden from receiving tax dollars from our State. Better, they should be forbidden from denying legal health care due to religious dictates.
Nov 24 2013 4:33PM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Department of Health has recently put forth Proposed Rules concerning Certificate of Need and Hospital Licensing and is seeking comments. The Proposed Rules are insufficient. Tell the Department of Heath that the Proposed Rules should be updated to address these specific concerns. Below you will find text you can use to serve as your comment to address the concerns in the proposed rules. Post your comment HERE. Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 24 2013 4:33PM Spokane has an increasing number of hospital beds and physician services coming under the control of the Roman Catholic-controllled Providence Health Care System. They currently do not offer the full range of reproductive health care procedures for both men and women. In fact, when they purchased a medical building, they required urologists with offices in the building to stop offering vasectomies. Their purchase of PAML medical lab several years ago meant that the lab would no longer provide lab services for follow-ups to vasectomies, amniocentosis analysis and other pregnancy tests. As they continue to increase their presence in the Inland Northwest, access to these services goes down. Providence Health Systems is no longer the hospital on the frontier, with most nurses being nuns in quaint habits and priests at the head of the hospital. Today they are big business, accepting patients of all backgrounds and money from different sectors of the government, from insurance companies and any other source available. They are, in essence, a secular organization, operating under the same fiscal, regulatory, tax, health, etc., rules as any other medical institution. If they are to continue to operate under these rules, it stands to reson that they should be required to provide access to all services that are medically indicated by their partients' physicians and legally available to all hospital consumers. If they wish to limit both their patients and their income to religiously compatible sources, then they need to advertise their business as such and initiate measures to ensure that those wishes are followed. Thank you.
Nov 24 2013 4:34PM get your nose out of MY body and business
Nov 24 2013 4:59PM I am opposed to the many affiliations or associations of Catholic hospital systems with here-to-for independent hospitals and the changes to the scope of health services such as access to birth control, access to abortions, death with dignity services. These affiliations are significantly eroding patient's access to legal and entitled services in this state.
Nov 24 2013 4:59PM If government is to be free of Religion, as according to The Bill of Rights, Amendment I, and the new Health Care System is Government controlled/regulated, then there is no place for religion to dictate said regulations that are representative of the Government. However,this Amendment to the Bill of Rights, does suggest, that, a health care plan or group should be able to offer services, that either include or exclude medical practices that would violate the first Amendment in the Bill of Rights. The solution to this problem, simply stated, would be a Health Care Plan/group/company MUST STATE CLEARLY what products and services are included/excluded. A person can be any religion, a corporation can be of any religion, a GOVERNOR CAN BE OF ANY RELIGION, but a law can not be religious in technical form or context, without violating the first Amendment, making said Law in question void. Someone should be able to buy a health care plan that includes or excludes religious context. Neither are right or wrong. A choice must be given' at some point, is the point. To say all health care needs to be this way, or that way, is not and has never been the point. The point is the ability to make choices. There has to be health care plans that cater to both religious and non- religious parties. To solve this, the minimum standard must be placed. So where is the minimum/ maximum health care plan that a non religious person(since religious parties tend to be more restrictive, we must by standards already in place use the non religious parties market) standard to be place? Easy, With the plan that offers every known medical procedure known to man. This includes procedures that are considered "wrong" or "immoral" but not illegal, to offering plans that restrict offered procedures for those who choose to live their religion as though it was law(even though we all know it's not, they too have the right to express religion through any and all parts, except for government, in their lives.) So if there are no plans that are totally free of religion, then one needs to be made available to the people of whatever city,county, or state. If there are no plans that strictly and openly abide by religious context of services, then one needs to be made available for the people of said city, county, or state. If a system runs an entire hospital, then NO, It needs more then one company/health care system/insurance company running said Facility. They must have a doctor that is religious for every one they have that is not religious. Limiting Procedures is counter productive to everything and everyone except for a religious sectors goals. So then denying health care services of any and all types is not only morally wrong, but against the Above mentioned Amendment. VR Christopher D. Juberg
Nov 24 2013 5:01PM I am concerned about hospital mergers and affiliations that result in religious organizations denying legal reproductive and end of life health care services.
Nov 24 2013 5:19PM Hospitals and clinics that receive public funding a payment from insurance carriers must provide the full spectrum of medical care. It is unethical for them to deny clients access to all methods of birth control, hospice care (Including following medical directives and end of life care) and termination of pregnancy.
Nov 24 2013 5:30PM The policy must insure that patients have access to legal reproductive and end of life health care services at all these medical facilities.
Nov 24 2013 6:05PM It is frightening that Catholic ethics and directives could dictate my most personal decisions. A vast majority of people in WA approve of the right to have an abortion. A large majority of people in WA want the right to die on their own terms. Neither of these rights is available in a large part of our state due to Catholic health organizations taking over secular hospitals and imposing their directives. This is a travesty in a democracy!
Nov 24 2013 6:23PM As more political organizations have influence from Citizens United, we do not always consider are churches. With the same funding strategies and tax exempt statuses, church or religious organizations have great power. On something such as the now federally mandated health care economic stimulus policy, a funding issue will arise based on freedom of speech of the health care provider. However, as a insurance services are required now, patients should be free from religious tyranny. Many hospitals are church affiliated. To let those with religious funding then dictate the care provided/allowed when health insurance is mandated is wrong. While certain insurances do not allow freedom in picking providers, there is then no freedom of the consumer regarding what providers and what health care they can use. This will become worse. Although most churches would and supposedly operate on choice, they would remove choice from the patient and only provide certain "approved" services. And although services should not discriminate based on race, creed or religious affiliation, some insurance providers that the employer goes through could be of religious funding, perhaps only approve religious providers. Not all employees may follow the same religious beliefs and this would be illegal to force views of the employer onto the employee by means of required insurance and limited providers of medical services. Separating church and state is not just an educational issue. Let the standards of health care and insurance providers be clear for the public so that there is no room for discrimination.
Nov 24 2013 6:49PM My understanding of this proposal is that it will permit more religious-non religious hospital mergers; and if so, that there is a danger that the then resulting religiously oriented hospitals may choose to deny healthcare according to their religious belief; most notably in the area of reproductive rights and especially in contraceptives, "morning after" solutions, and abortions. If this is the case per information from one of my activist groups, I would strongly encourage you to minimize the number of religiously owned-controlled medical facilities which may choose to practice medicine subject to their interpretation of their religious beliefs. Washington already has too many religiously affiliated medical centers as it is. While I respect their right to practice medicine, I think that public regulatory entities need to keep the best interest of all potential patients paramount in your considerations. Thank you for this opportunity to comment.
Nov 24 2013 6:57PM I am in favor of strengthening the proposed rule beyond the issue of transparency. Legal reproductive and end of life services must be widely available to patients in communities and at all income levels across Washington state. To help ensure this, I propose strengthening the proposed rule. Requirement: Add to the proposed rule, that any merger or acquisition must not result in a reduction of patient care and services for reproductive and end of life care. Review of Comprehensive Regional Impacts: Add to the proposed rule, that a review must be completed of comprehensive regional impacts of all such mergers and acquisitions of hospitals and clinics on the availability of patient care and services for reproductive and end of life care. Authority: Add to the proposed rule, the authority for DOH to deny any merger and acquisition of hospitals and clinics that results in reducing legal reproductive and end of life care services. Such a review should include impacts on services to those with low incomes. Washington state has the highest percentage of religiously affiliated hospitals and clinics in the country, 45%. This is an end run around the civil laws of the state, resulting in imposing religious beliefs and denying legal medical patient care. Thank you.
Nov 24 2013 7:01PM It is not fair that Washingtonians who are not of the religion of those controlling a medical facility be denied care on the basis of religious beliefs they do not share. This must not be allowed to happen. Thanks.
Nov 24 2013 7:15PM I support increased transparency and decreased religion in our hospitals.
Nov 24 2013 7:16PM I support this change to the CoN because it will serve to keep the public better informed regarding hospital administration changes and will preserve public options for end-of-life and reproductive health care. Thank you. Rich Tamler Freeland, WA
Nov 24 2013 7:22PM I am concerned about the current wave of consolidations between local hospitals and Catholic organizations. I am opposed to any provisions that could deny or restrict the access to reproductive or end-of life services. These are essential health and life qualities, should be available to all and, most of all, not subject to religious restrictions.
Nov 24 2013 7:28PM No government monies should go to any institution that puts religious doctrine before the public rights to legal science based medicine. Catholic hospitals are part of their religious mission to spread their doctrine. Separation of church and state says no money for Catholic hospitals. If that basic principal is not observed, at least transparency demands the there be full disclosure of any information or services that these dogmatic institutions refuse to allow to be provided, and any employees they refuse to hire because of their religious proscriptions. These disclosures must be provided before any merger proposal goes forward, and must be provided for each and every patient subjected to such religious limitations of service.
Nov 24 2013 8:09PM Religious organizations should not have the right to interfere in my or any other American's health affairs due to our rights stated in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. The fact that religious organizations can interfere in my right of free speech regarding health choices or public comments is illegal and should reflect my right to free speech. Hospitals should not be able to deny any legal service for reproduction or end of life health choices based on their own political views, especially if they still want the tax breaks and government funding due to the separation of church and state clause of the U.S Constitution.
Nov 24 2013 8:28PM I believe that patients should have access to all legal forms of treatment and be informed to all options. There have been incidents where pregnant women have died because religious hospitals refused to terminate pregnancy in order to save a life. Science and technology and caring staff are what a patient comes to a hospital for. If I want to receive prayers and doctrine, I go to church.
Nov 24 2013 8:39PM Hello, I have become very concerned about the secular-religious hospital mergers/affiliations that are happening in our state. I have been actively working on this issue with other concerned citizens and organizations. The Proposed Rules are insufficient to protect patients and their medical rights. Please change the Proposed Rules to include the following: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility. Thank you, Melody Robidoux
Nov 24 2013 9:58PM Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 24 2013 10:01PM If a religious organization takes over any part of any public health care center or system, then that religious organization must provide access to legal health options, at that facility, without any additional requirements or paperwork.
Nov 24 2013 10:13PM I expect the Department Of Health to ensure the best standard of medical care. Religious doctrine has no place in determining the treatment a patient receives in a health facility. The Proposed Rules are insufficient for preventing medical providers from withholding or forcing medical practices prescribed by a religion. DOH must protect the public from this sort of cruel and dangerous discrimination.
Nov 24 2013 10:16PM More transparency in healthcare is always a good thing. People need to know what hospitals' policies are about things like reproductive healthcare and end of life care. Really, religion should be individual and unrelated to healthcare facilities and options within them. If a religious organization owns and runs a hospital, they must provide the same healthcare options as every other hospital, whether the group agrees with the options religiously or not; it is not their place to deny basic expected options. Thank you for the opportunity to voice my views.
Nov 25 2013 12:29AM The Department of Health has recently put forth Proposed Rules concerning Certificate of Need and Hospital Licensing and is seeking comments. The Proposed Rules are insufficient. The Proposed Rules should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 25 2013 4:09AM no matter a person religious views there should still be the upmost care. if they don't want to do something because of there religion than it must be known to all. so a person can make a informed choice for themselves. this is a truly a matter of life and death. not to do a procedure due to views of faith puts a person life at risk.
Nov 25 2013 7:27AM All patients should have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, best care medical services, and that no patient should be refused access to services because of a health care organization's religious doctrines.
Nov 25 2013 7:57AM I applaud Governor Inslee for requesting this rule to increase transparency about trends that threaten to deny Washingtonians, particularly those in rural areas, access to legal health care services. Informed consent is a cornerstone of good medical health. At a minimum, all publicly funded hospitals should be truly transparent about their health care policies and restrictions. Religious groups that receive public money should not be able to practice medicine based on religious bias. These hospitals should be required to provide legal, medically appropriate services, particularly regarding reproductive health, end-of-life care and care for LGBT patients.
Nov 25 2013 8:45AM Do not let hospitals affiliated with religious organizations have the ability to deny reproductive and/or end of life health care services!!!!!
Nov 25 2013 8:46AM I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 25 2013 8:58AM I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers especially from Washington’s religious-affiliated hospitals.
Nov 25 2013 8:58AM As long as religious organizations, operating in conjunction with publically funded hospitals, can deny legal medical procedures and care based on their religious beliefs and prejudices; public funds should not be used in furtherance of these co-operating agreements.
Nov 25 2013 8:59AM In the world of corporate mergers, the culture, indeed the entire direction, of an organization can be substantially changed. The organization with resources and power subsumes the weaker. This, however, should not be the case in mergers that affect the basic healthcare of a community. Corporate organizations understand the inevitability of change. That's the goal; to make monolithic organizations. Religiously based healthcare organizations should not be allowed to surreptitiously impress their values onto others who are not of the same faith. Healthcare is healthcare regardless of one's religious outlook. If they are to be allowed to practice their own medicine, the public should be able to figure that out as they go in the door or soon after.
Nov 25 2013 9:00AM “I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.”
Nov 25 2013 9:00AM “I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.”
Nov 25 2013 9:00AM I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.
Nov 25 2013 9:00AM “I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.”
Nov 25 2013 9:05AM “I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.”
Nov 25 2013 9:15AM HI Guys, I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals. Lawrence Schuchart schuchart@q.com
Nov 25 2013 9:15AM “I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.”
Nov 25 2013 9:17AM No hospital should be able to dictate what reproductive procedures or medicines are used at their hospital because of their religious affiliation. Please make sure that women who live in WA state can get all the reproductive choices that they deserve and need.
Nov 25 2013 9:17AM I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals. I live in a community where both hospitals are Catholic affiliated and so my health care options are severely limited. I don't feel that they should be able to inflict their decisions on my health options.
Nov 25 2013 9:18AM
Nov 25 2013 9:18AM The Department of Health should require hospitals' policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.
Nov 25 2013 9:20AM All reproductive health care options must be made available to women making decisions about their reproductive health. Birth control and abortion options included.
Nov 25 2013 9:25AM I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients, in clear and plain language, about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals. It is horrifying to me that my last wishes & end of life directive would not be honored due to the religious affiliation of a hospital I might end up at, that does not match my own religious belief. I feel very strongly about this.
Nov 25 2013 9:27AM I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.
Nov 25 2013 9:28AM Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 25 2013 9:30AM I would NEVER go to a Catholic-run hospital, or ANY other hospital that would decide to FORCE ON ME or WITHHOLD FROM ME legal medical services based on their religious doctrines, which I do not share. It is unconscionable that the State of Washington is approving hospital mergers that have the effect of making a church or other organization the final arbiter of the care available in a community. In many areas of our State, religious teachings will be FORCED on people, because all their local hospitals will have been hijacked by a particular church and follow that church's religious doctrine--in most cases, Catholic doctrines. What happened to the guarantee of separation of Church and State in this country? What woman would want the hospital to let her die in childbirth only because that is Catholic doctrine and practice (should their be a choice between her life and the life of the baby) if she does not share that belief. What woman would want to be denied LEGAL means of contreception, including legal abortion, only because a church doesn't like the law. What terminally ill patient would want to have a death-with-dignity law disregarded, because some religious group, which he or she may NOT like, doesn't happen to "approve." The answer is: ONLY THOSE FOLKS WHO DO NOT HAVE THE OPTION OF PICKING ANOTHER HOSPITAL THAT FOLLOWS THE LAWS OF WASHINGTON STATE, and not a doctrine promulgated by a religious body that may "rule" on another continent. DO YOUR JOB FOR ALL THE CITIZENS OF WASHINGTON STATE: APPLY THE LAWS OF WASHINGTON STATE TO ALL MEDICAL FACILITIES. It looks like a no-brainer to me.
Nov 25 2013 9:32AM “I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.”
Nov 25 2013 9:35AM As a social worker in the field of public child welfare and in hospice, I strongly believe in the rights of all to know of all services offered. I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. I would like to see the Department of Health require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.
Nov 25 2013 9:37AM I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies.  However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.
Nov 25 2013 9:39AM Dear WA DOH, I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals. Sincerely, Amanda Grondin
Nov 25 2013 9:48AM I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.
Nov 25 2013 9:51AM Catholic Hospitals should not be allowed to apply Catholic doctrine to non-Catholics. Catholic doctrine should be restricted to Catholic churches, not public hospitals. Alternatively, a sign should be posted above all entrance doors stating "This Catholic hospital practises Catholic doctrine." “I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.”
Nov 25 2013 9:52AM I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.
Nov 25 2013 9:56AM I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.
Nov 25 2013 9:57AM Religious group takeovers of otherwise public or private hospitals should not allow them to place their own restrictions on types of care or procedures, forcing some patients to travel considerable extra distances for their care. Women and homosexuals are suffering due to this nasty practice.
Nov 25 2013 9:57AM “I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.”
Nov 25 2013 10:00AM “I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.” However,the hospitals in the Vancouver area are both religiously affiliated to Catholic organizations. If they both choose to follow the Catholic doctrine, neither one will serve women who desire reproductive assistance that violates their doctrine. Most hospitals in Portland are also religiously affiliated. Please make sure that the hospitals here do not force their religious beliefs on women!
Nov 25 2013 10:00AM “I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.”
Nov 25 2013 10:02AM “I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.”
Nov 25 2013 10:06AM The oath of a doctor is "to do no harm." Hospitals, as medical institutions have that same responsibility. No hospital, regardless of religious affiliation, should deny patients the rights they have in any other medical institution, especially if the patient due to location has no other choice of institution. I support Jay Inslee's efforts to force these hospitals to be upfront about what they are doing. I would go further to say that I would support legislation that would bring a halt to any mergers that would force a religious stance on any patient brought to that institution. This is a patients' rights issue, not a hospital rights issue. They are either in the business to provide total care for a patient, or they're not. Simple as that. Leave your religious proclamations and conjectures outside the door of the medical facility.
Nov 25 2013 10:16AM When a hospital merger results in denial of any legally permitted health care option (including end-of-life or women's reproductive health), it must be denied. Washington State is fast becoming a no-person's-land, where the populace passes rules permitting, for example, the right to die, or the right to a safe abortion. Yet these services, approved by a majority of voters, become moot, become invalid, in a Catholic hospital. These hospitals must be held to the community's standard of care, not the church's. Tax exemptions on the basis of a hospital's religious affiliation must end. Please require a strict Certificate of Need for all hospitals in Washington, and make sure they will give all mandated care. Naida Grunden
Nov 25 2013 10:19AM I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.
Nov 25 2013 10:25AM The separation of church and state makes this takeover of health care by Roman Catholic hospitals simply outrageous. The secrecy is prove enough that it is WRONG. Alene Moris
Nov 25 2013 10:32AM “I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.”
Nov 25 2013 10:40AM In my opinion hospitals should not be allowed to withhold appropriate medical treatment simply because of their beliefs. What about the patients' beliefs? I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. At the very least women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.
Nov 25 2013 10:46AM NO religious interference in medical services!!!
Nov 25 2013 10:59AM Church dogma belongs in the church, not in the operating room.
Nov 25 2013 11:04AM I am concerned about ensuring access to health care for all people, regardless of religious affiliation, and particularly concerning access to contraception and end of life care. Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 25 2013 11:09AM Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 25 2013 11:16AM The woman (or representative), not the doctor, should get to choose reproductive and end of life care. There should be doctors on staff who are not catholic or other restrictive religion who would provide sound medical care independent of religious doctrine. “I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.”
Nov 25 2013 11:19AM I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully and clearly inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Patients deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary barriers from Washington’s hospitals.
Nov 25 2013 11:21AM
Nov 25 2013 11:24AM The practice of religion should be separate from government. Any institution receiving public funding should be prohibited from imposing religious restraints on any medically approved procedure. Mergers between private and public hospitals, clinics or practice groups should require that no religious restrictions or limitations be allowed.
Nov 25 2013 11:33AM I can't believe that Catholic-owned hospitals can foist the beliefs of their owners on patients. Every hospital should provide all care, but if you are going to allow them to not do that, they need to direct people to where they can get the care they need, not just say they don't provide it. Or worse, not even mention alternatives to having a child one can't care for or living through a pain-filled (hospital enrichened) end of life. People who are in crisis can't think straight. They need very clear and directed information at that time. It's unthinkable to me that the hospitals can be owned by people who use their religious beliefs as policy. Why is this allowed? Would you allow a Christian Scientist Hospital? The Catholic mafia is getting to own most hospitals, which makes me wonder. And yes, I am Catholic. Please hold them to a very high standard. They don't get to put prayers over the loudspeaker (yes, they did, when my brother was in Providence) or ----well, you understand what I'm saying.
Nov 25 2013 11:41AM
Nov 25 2013 11:59AM I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals. It is deeply disturbing to me, as a woman in her late twenties, and as a perinatal social worker for over six years, that women's healthcare is so jeopardized in our state. I would urge that as gatekeepers and decision makers you consider the implications that this could have for women in emergent perinatal situations, and not make our healthcare dependent on religious preference.
Nov 25 2013 12:00PM Your "god" would be disappointed in this religious society that has caused chaos around the world for someone that is fiction. You deny services to the people is undermines the "god" belief. You should be ashamed if there is or isnt a god.
Nov 25 2013 12:07PM “I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.”
Nov 25 2013 12:08PM I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.
Nov 25 2013 12:21PM “I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.”
Nov 25 2013 12:24PM I am strongly in favor of hospitals having to provide legal health services, including honoring end of life directives and providing all legal reproductive health services to all patients. I do not want any religion to be in charge of health care and I am very concerned with the state of health care with all the Catholic "mergers" with community hospitals. If only Catholic run hospital beds are available then some patients will receive sub-standard care (tubal ligations denied during scheduled C-section necessitating a second surgery, women with ectopic pregnancies being denied definitive care and so risking their lives, terminal patients being forced to live longer than they would choose, etc.). If a full range of legal services is not available at a particular hospital, then consumers should have that information easily available in time to make alternate choices if possible. Thank you, Marianne Twyman MD
Nov 25 2013 12:54PM I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals
Nov 25 2013 1:03PM Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 25 2013 1:16PM I don't think it goes quite far enough to protect patient rights. We don't have options in Friday Harbor for most of our health care needs because of location. We worked hard to get a hospital here and now our care in being undermined. Many elderly and poor people don't have options to travel to other communities seeking healthcare options either. Religion should not have ANY say in hospital care especially when there aren't other feasible options for the patients being served. Especially if those health care facilities are receiving ANY public funds, tax relief or governmental financial support. If they can't follow the law then they should remain absolutely and strictly private and receive no support. The status of a facility should go through the transparency guidelines being introduced here so things can't change mid-stream. We have a right to all forms of reproductive health that are legal. We also have the right to end of life care that is legal. If we make allowances for one religion then we would feasibly have to make allowances for other religions that might choose to open medical facilities. There are religious organizations that don't believe in transplants or blood transfusions or men taking care of women and we wouldn't allow them to limit care based on their beliefs because it would do harm. We have to be fair and non-discriminatory and not allow religion to determine legal care. Thank you Dayna Lowe
Nov 25 2013 1:19PM Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to a religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards must be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it is essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care--not religious doctrine--determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 25 2013 1:23PM Comments to Department of Health Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Department of Health has recently put forth Proposed Rules concerning Certificate of Need and Hospital Licensing and is seeking comments. The Proposed Rules are insufficient. Tell the Department of Heath that the Proposed Rules should be updated to address these specific concerns. Below you will find text you can use to serve as your comment to address the concerns in the proposed rules. Post your comment HERE. Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide.
Nov 25 2013 1:28PM “I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.”
Nov 25 2013 1:37PM I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.
Nov 25 2013 1:40PM All hospitals should be required to offer full services to their patients if there is not another hospital within a reasonable distance that does offer those services. Areas such as Yakima, Ellensburg, and Wenatchee where it would be onerous for patients to have to make a trip to another hospital should be required to offer all services. If the group operating such hospitals feel that it would be too much of a moral burden to do that, then they should get out of the hospital business, or at least only be licensed in major metropolitan areas where access to another hospital is not too difficult. And in those cases they should be held to one licensed hospital out of three to five hospitals in the area.
Nov 25 2013 1:43PM Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 25 2013 1:49PM Please disallow hospital mergers and affiliations that result in religious organizations denying legal reproductive and end of life health care services, including while the taxpaying public is not being informed about this. WA State has the highest percentage of religious control of hospital beds in the U.S., and its continuing to increase - 26% in 2010, 45% so far in 2013. Human tribalism tends to promote conservative interpretations of militarism, religion, politics, economics, and culture, but this obsolete biological determinism is inconsistent with a progressive democracy, science, and the ability to defeat global warming. Let’s start getting our culture in touch with science to overcome the adversity of the indifferent universe.
Nov 25 2013 1:50PM I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.
Nov 25 2013 1:56PM St. Peters Hospital here in Olympia is the only choice for many residents yet their religious tenants limit the care one could receive there. Do not our state laws apply to all hospitals receiving state tax dollars? Does this mean that the health insurance of Blue Cross (medicare supplement) which uses Providence doctors is also limited? The St. Peters Hospice program has served our family well, but we were aware of their lack of support for the Washington State Death with Dignity law.
Nov 25 2013 2:19PM “I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.” K Groom
Nov 25 2013 2:25PM Religions organizations taking control of health care system threatens people's access to all appropriate medical services. Following are comments: Scope of Review: Every change in a hospital's mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards are needed to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The CON process must be transparent and ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Patients must be allowed to know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites what reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. The Department of Health must ensure that the best standards of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility in Washington State.
Nov 25 2013 2:29PM Dear DOH, I join the ACLU in the following comments: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 25 2013 2:48PM I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals. Anything less is unethical, and grossly unjust in our society, which reflects the widest variety of the world's religious, cultural, and philosophical diversity.
Nov 25 2013 2:54PM Over the past several months I have been following news stories on the conversion of secular health services into religiously affiliated services. I am aware of some instances in which reproductive choices were not made available and discrimination against LGBT patients. If more hospitals in Washington state become religiously affiliated, there must be solid rules established to ensure access of all patients to all services, including reproductive and end of life. We need clear standards, oversight of all changes to hospital services and control and enforcement of breaches of these rules. Moreover, patients need to understand what services a nearby hospital does or does not offer, with this information clearly available on hospital websites.
Nov 25 2013 2:55PM I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.
Nov 25 2013 3:10PM You must not give religious organizations or corporations power to deny legal health services including reproductive and end of life care. Doing so lowers the quality and availability of healthcare in Washington and sets a precedent to allow financially funded political movements to substantially reduce the quality of life for our citizens.
Nov 25 2013 3:18PM A woman's health concerns are a matter for her and her physician. Please keep church and state separate in such matters.
Nov 25 2013 3:28PM Hospitals, religious or public, that accept taxpayer dollars, should provide all legal services, including reproductive services, to patients. Especially where there is limited access to hospitals like in rural areas.I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.
Nov 25 2013 4:19PM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Department of Health has recently put forth Proposed Rules concerning Certificate of Need and Hospital Licensing and is seeking comments. The Proposed Rules are insufficient. Tell the Department of Heath that the Proposed Rules should be updated to address these specific concerns. Below you will find text you can use to serve as your comment to address the concerns in the proposed rules. Post your comment HERE. Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 25 2013 4:22PM You must not give religious organizations or corporations power to deny legal health services including reproductive and end of life care. Doing so lowers the quality and availability of healthcare in Washington and sets a precedent to allow financially funded political movements to substantially reduce the quality of life for our citizens.
Nov 25 2013 4:22PM RE: Department of Health (DOH) is revising the Certificate of Need process - a program that requires the state to review and approve certain proposed hospital mergers. As I see it, religiously affiliated health systems are taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate & I am concerned that my access to vital medical services is under threat. I believe that all patients should have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, best care medical services. No patient should be discriminated against or refused access to services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic or other medical facility. I BELIEVE THE FOLLOWING: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in a hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. In closing, I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility. Concerned Washington Resident, Lee G. Wright, 1728 170th Pl Se, Bothell, WA
Nov 25 2013 4:30PM The proposed rules are a step in the right direction, but are missing several key practices to protect public interests. Any change in hospital mission, even if not otherwise accompanied by a transaction, should trigger a review. This is required to keep entities from circumventing the spirit of the review process by separating transactions from changes in mission. Mechanisms for oversight and enforcement should be explicitly stated in the rules. If any existing mechanisms are deemed sufficient, this should be explicitly stated to improve transparency. Transactions that result in a significant decrease in availability of services should be subject to a much higher level of scrutiny, if not prevented outright. This needs to include awareness of services in the hospital's operating area. Thank you for your consideration.
Nov 25 2013 4:53PM Hospital mergers and affiliations that result in religious organizations denying legal reproductive and end of life health care services should NOT be allowed. Health care decisions should NOT be held hostage to any religious dogma. I find it disturbing that WA State has the highest percentage of religious control of hospital beds in the U.S. That should not be allowed to increase by even one bed. If I wanted to live in Missouri, I'd move there!
Nov 25 2013 5:08PM In truth I would like to convince you to not allow mergers of any hospitals in which the newly created entity is the only hospital available in an area. Since it seems unlikely that you will do so then the least you can do is to require the merged institution to specify in clear language the services that they will deny. The clear statement of services being denied should be provided, in writing, to every resident within the hospital's catchment area and should be updated every time a change is made to services. They should state that if a woman is raped and brought to their emergency room she will not be offered Plan B to prevent a possible pregnancy resulting from the rape. They should state whether they will or will not perform a D&C in the event of an incomplete spontaneous abortion which can cause life threatening complications. They should state openly that they will not perform abortions under any circumstances, including rape, incest, a non-viable fetus, or any threat to the life of a pregnant woman including placental hemorrhaging. They should state clearly that they would not supply any form of birth control at any time for any reason. They should also be required to state clearly that no patient receiving care at their facility will have his/her legal right to assisted suicide honored.
Nov 25 2013 6:02PM I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.
Nov 25 2013 6:05PM The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 25 2013 6:05PM I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.
Nov 25 2013 6:07PM We must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services-including reproductive and end-of-life health services.
Nov 25 2013 6:12PM I will not be able to attend the hearing on Tuesday, 11/26/13 so I am writing to express my deep concerns. I implore the health department to revise the rules governing the merger of secular and religious hospitals in order to assure that there will not be a loss of access to reproductive and end-of-life health care services and that the full rights of and respect for LGBT patients will be maintained. Please deny applications for mergers unless these rights are guaranteed for health care facilities using public funds.
Nov 25 2013 6:29PM When and public and private hospital merge, I believe the services should include those provided by the public hospital. Women should always be able to receive contraceptive or abortive health card. jqs
Nov 25 2013 6:33PM Hospitals receiving payments from Medicare, Medicaid, direct subsidies from public funds or tax breaks, should be prohibited from denying legal reproduction and end of life "death with dignity" services based on religious ideology. The WA State Dept. of Health and County Public Hospital Districts need to ensure that, if a healthcare system is allowed by law to not provide certain reproduction and end of life services directly, that that system finds another way for citizens to get those services nearby and refers them to the appropriate place to receive them. The refusing healthcare system needs to pay for all costs of their being provided by another. Regarding transparency, and in the interest of the public's right to know, support the suggestion that a checklist of 20 key reproduction and end of life services be required to be prominently posted by all hospitals on their websites, in their waiting rooms and near their admission desks. This posting should be in large print and in lay persons' language clearly indicating the hospital's policies and where any denied services can be obtained, nearby.
Nov 25 2013 6:41PM Providing information about organizational policies is an essential first step, but does not go near far enough to protecting our health and well being. We must ensure that all Washingtonians have access to a full range of health care services, regardless of where they live and regardless of religious or corporate ideology of those running hospitals and clinics. Organizations that restrict care on ideological grounds should only be allowed to operate where there is locally available ready access to care that is not so restricted.
Nov 25 2013 6:56PM
Nov 25 2013 7:00PM Women's lives are far more important than religious dogma! I have the right to seek and obtain proper reproductive care.
Nov 25 2013 7:49PM I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.
Nov 25 2013 7:55PM I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully, clearly and unambiguously inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.
Nov 25 2013 8:00PM The "Proposed Rules" concerning Certificate of Need and Hospital Licensing should be updated to address the following specific concerns: "Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility." - ACLU People associate themselves with many different religions, but all people have bodies that require medical treatment and attention. The medical community is thus obligated to treat patients regardless of it's own or the institutions' religious affiliation. The medical field first an foremost exists to adequately provide for people's health needs. This help should be given in accordance with medical and ethical standards which do not discriminate against people. Thank you for your time.
Nov 25 2013 8:07PM a public hospital's affiliation with a religious institution should not provide for the denial of legal reproductive and end of life care. publicly funded hospitals have a responsibility to provide legally sanctioned care. the church and the state need to remain separate, and a publicly funded hospital forms a part of the state. transparency is needed to inform the public's choice, and the individual should be free to decide what healthcare measures he desires, not denied his access to legal care because of a religious bias imposed upon him without notice. one who doesn't agree with abortion services, contraception, or end of life care can simply abstain from such, but denying legal healthcare because of religious bias should be illegal. it is a form of discrimination.
Nov 25 2013 8:15PM I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. People in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals. A hospital's policies should not catch anyone by surprise. Information needs to be clearly stated so that patients know what to expect.
Nov 25 2013 8:29PM Catholic hospitals were founded by self-sacrificing Catholic leaders of the community. They should be able to provide health care according to their beliefs. The history of Catholic hospitals shows them as caring for the disenfranchised and voiceless among our community. We need Catholic hospitals to keep their Catholic identity!
Nov 25 2013 8:36PM I support rules which will ensure that when hospitals and other care facilities in the State of Washington are acquired through purchase or merger, that the acquiring organization be required to provide healthcare services irrespective of their own internal doctrines and practices. Any and all services must be provided if they are legal in our state. No health care facility should be allowed to pick and choose what services it will provide based on religious reasons. Hospitals, clinics and out patient facilities operate in common benefit to all Washington residents. No one should be excluded from treatment simply because they are requesting service that falls under some arbitrary exclusion based on non-scientific reasons. Also, potential consumers of these services should be able to know, in advance, exactly who the parent organization is in ownership and what restrictions might be made when determining care so they may choose other treatment options. Care facilitates owned by religious organizations should be required to report any and all exclusions on an annual basis and if they persist in any form of exclusion of treatment options they should clearly understand that they will lose their certification as healthcare facilities.
Nov 25 2013 8:39PM Catholic hospitals in Washington state provide critically needed medical care to millions of the most vulnerable: families, women, and children. Instead of attacking those who are doing good in our communities, providing a high quality of care to millions, it’s time to stand up in their defense. CON is unnecessary, over-reaching, and ultimately a waste of time and money.
Nov 25 2013 8:56PM I think we must separate religion from health care. I fired a doctor who would not prescribe Viagra for me because of his radical sect of Catholicism. I regret losing him because he is an excellent doctor, one whose father was also an exceptional and world renowned doctor, but when he put his religion in the way of my healthcare he left me no choice.
Nov 25 2013 8:56PM “I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.”
Nov 25 2013 8:57PM My mother was totally in control of her decline and death when she went to the hospital from a nursing home for nothing more than pneumonia. She asked to have her medications suspended and be put on pain meds only. Her Dr. said no, that they couldn't do that for her. So she showed him--she had a stroke at the hospital which rendered her completely paralyzed on one side. But she was still in control and again asked her Dr. to let her deny further treatment and be taken off all her meds. I was so amazed that he did that--I had told her that a hospital was only going to insist on treatments to keep her alive. Then a few days later her request to her Dr. was to disable her pace maker, which he did. She faded away peacefully within 12 hours. So much better than living out her days as a disabled patient in a nursing care facility where she would have been miserable. Had she been in a hospital that had ties to a religious organization such as are being considered for the Tukwila or the Arlington Hospital District, I doubt that she would have had that control and been able to make that decision for herself. How can a hospital be responsive to the needs of each patient, regardless of religious beliefs, and how can it respond to the state laws allowing dignity to end of life issues, if it is affiliated with a Catholic run health care system? I don't believe it would be a good outcome for all of our citizens who would be served by that hospital.
Nov 25 2013 8:59PM “I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.” A patient's healthcare should be between the patient and their healthcare provider. If the choices are legal under state law, they must not be restricted by an outside individual or agency's belief system.
Nov 25 2013 10:03PM I am STRONGLY AND DEEPLY CONCERNED that the growing merger of hospitals will cause Catholic dogma to LIMIT PEOPLE'S ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE. The Department of Health should ABSOLUTELY REQUIRE ALL HOSPITALS TO PROVIDE SERVICES THAT THE PATIENTS REQUEST and ABSOLUTELY NOT DENY SERVICE based on the religious dogma of the hospital's owners. I happen to be a person of strong religious faith, so I am NOT against religion. I believe that PATIENTS should be in charge and hospitals should NOT impose their dogma in ways that limit patients to the services that they request.
Nov 25 2013 10:07PM Sorry, don't know what concur means. But I am writing to let you know that I am very concerned with the trend of Catholic hospitals taking over services in many area, especially rural areas. I have recently bought a home on San Juan Island, where Peace Health established a hospital and took over the preexisting clinic.I find that now I am subject to Catholic Bishop's antiquated rules, and this with taxpayer money. Please insure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility. For several years in the late 1970's, as a Seattle Public School teacher, I was assigned to a Catholic school, teaching remedial TItle I classes. The reasoning was that Federal money/programs could only go into a Catholic school if there was a separation of function, so Seattle Schools supplied the employees for the Federal Title I position. I don't understand how public monies are now being used to fulfill a Catholic agenda, an agenda which is in direct opposition to Federal law and our constitutional rights. Trusting you to protect our end-of -life rights, and women's right to choose. Louise Perlman
Nov 25 2013 10:22PM Publicly funded hospital care is one of the most important issues of "separation of church and state". Publicly funded hospital beds thru mergers and affiliations should absolutely NOT have religious dogma attached to them, and if the merger or affiliation is with a religiously affiliated hospital which refuses to separate their religious beliefs from the hospital care and services they offer, they should NOT be allowed to be merged or affiliated with publicly funded hospital care! Every hospital patient deserves to have their personal medical needs met, without imposition of hospital policy or staff's personal or ethnic beliefs or values.
Nov 25 2013 10:27PM I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals. If religiously affiliated hospitals feel they can not provide full services in emergency situations, then they should be closed down and resold to groups that can provide proper health care. Denying such services is illegal in this state, and must not be condoned.
Nov 25 2013 10:28PM Open statements of health care policy restrictions for religious reasons should be clearly stated up front. This is only fair.
Nov 25 2013 10:36PM Hospitals should exist to provide health care to all people, not to subject them to religious doctrine. If there are health services that a hospital refuses to provide because of religious ownership, the list of refused care or procedures should be clearly posted where prospective patients can see and understand them. The Department of health should insure that religious ownership of hospitals does not place an undue burden (through cost or distance of travel, for instance) on patients, including those seeking reproductive, LGBT, or end-of-life care. Changes in hospital ownership or policy should be subject to Health Department oversight and enforcement to ensure that a full range of services is available.
Nov 25 2013 10:42PM For a hospital to have the full range of life-ending procedures which are indorced by pro-abortion, pro-euthanasia activists leaves shivers down my spine litterally. I want to go to a hospital to get well, not have to be worried and fearful that they at the hospital will make a decision to end my life. If Catholic hospitals are forced to comply with the secular hospitals, the Catholic hospitals are no longer free to continue to practice medicine according to the high standard of care and conscience on which I and millions in Washington State depend, and they will therefore be forced to close. I wish to go to a hospital in which I can have the confidence that my health care will meet my wishes according to my beliefs and conscience and not someones elses and in order to do that my Catholic hospital needs to stay open. Thank you.
Nov 25 2013 10:45PM I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility. High quality, non-discriminatory medical care (and I emphasize care) is vital. Please ensure that these corporate mergers do not deny any of us the best health care possible, regardless of who "owns" the facilities and what their personal ideologies are. For each one of us who comment here, there are probably at least one hundred silent voices who we each represent. Probably much more. Thank you.
Nov 25 2013 11:14PM I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.
Nov 25 2013 11:17PM Recently, WA state voted not to label GMO products stating that there are already enough labeling and it's a waste of time and money forcing farmers and retailers to label or face financial consequences and thus those who are living on the margins will face higher prices just to put food on the table. it would be safe to say that WA would also vote "NO" to making more rules and regulations for hospitals and healthcare entities. That would mean less time and money will be spent on caring for patients, but on ensuring that rules and regulations are met in order to keep their doors open. Most, if not all, Catholic hospitals have the most generous sliding scales as well as "FREE" healthcare for those who can not pay. (I personally know individuals and families whom have benefited.) I'm not sure that other hospitals can boast of similar levels generosity. Does our state want to crush those already living on the margins by enforcing these needless rules and regulations? The ones who will ultimately suffer from these ridiculous "regulations" are the poor. How many of us, who are not Catholic, do not know already know what Catholics believe? Should not the word "Catholic" seen on a sign or paper already tell you? Who actually thinks they will find pork served at a Jewish hospital? Should a Jewish hospital then go through all the time, effort and money to make sure that visitors, patients and potentials are aware that they don't serve pork or face penalties? It's ridiculous as the enforcing the "Scarlet Letter"! WA state voted "NO" to "labeling"---WA obviously does not want to waste more taxpayer money to impose more rules and regulations that will later come back to harm the least among us--or the majority of us! We have no more time, money and resources to waste in this state. The country and state have left individuals and families without proper healthcare....Leave those hospitals alone! Let them continue to care for those whom the nation, state and communities have failed to care for.
Nov 26 2013 12:06AM I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.
Nov 26 2013 12:22AM I do not see the need for this as it seems to be more rules and regulations on top of a plethora of already unneeded ones. This is an apparent game being played to close down and usurp the conscience rights of hospitals who have religious affiliations, i.e. Christian. This is clearly a discriminatory directive and is certainly NOT about choice or transparency. It is obviously clear what the main agenda is on this and another political ploy by those who think life is not precious if it is not their own! Shameful that this directive was ever written, but typical for those who want it.
Nov 26 2013 12:24AM From my brief over view of the comments submitted on this topic I see that there have been a lot of comments submitted through a concerted effort by organized groups who have sent out their prewritten comments on forms for their contact list to copy and paste here. Unfortunately this has become a common practice and skews the public comment processes. Having lived in a community where Peace Health is the only hospital I do not have an issue with a lack of transparency from Peace Health. They have always provided quality services to the community and any services that they do not offer are readily available nearby. The problem for Peace Health is a lack of bed space and staffing. A solution would be to work towards licensing more hospitals, create competition for the services offered by community hospitals. The local hospital is over utilized and cannot keep up with the patient needs because of under staffing and lack of beds which has created a risk to patient safety. Bigger is not always better. Your survey appears to be focused on transparency to the public of what services the hospital does or does not offer. I have never heard one complaint about transparency, but lots of complaints about under service to patients because of my previously stated reasons.
Nov 26 2013 12:28AM I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies.  However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.
Nov 26 2013 12:41AM In Spokane, Wa the hospitals are run/owned by Providence Health Corp, a religious organization. When I am taken to or admitted to a hospital for medical care, I do NOT want my individual rights denied or even compromised because of the religious beliefs of the people choosing to operate the hospital. I go to the hospital for medical care, not religious care. Legal procedures MUST be available at all hospitals to all who want/need them. Organizations/corporations who want to serve the public must operate according to Law, not religious beliefs. If they are not willing to provide all legal medical procedures without hesitation or additional paperwork or delay, they should not be licensed.
Nov 26 2013 1:06AM I am writing to clarify that yes, I concur that hospitals should be required to post their reproductive and end of life policies. Further, as I have already stated, I believe they should be required to follow the Law, not religious beliefs when serving the public. I also wanted to address the individuals who try to undermine the overwhelming support for transparency in Religious Philosophy in our Medical Institutions by saying that because some copy & paste comments that somehow, they skew the stats & perhaps should not count. I would say, if someone has said something we agree with in person we say "me too". I propose that is the intent of those who copy & paste. They should count- each and every one - as a person's voiced opinion. fully
Nov 26 2013 4:24AM I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.
Nov 26 2013 6:06AM This proposal doesn't do half of what it should. Transparency, though important, is a miniscule part of the issue. Religious values should not come into play at all in the running of a public hospital. Services must never be withheld based on these values. We MUST be able to choose for ourselves in matters of birth control, abortion, and end of life interventions, and in any matter that involves our health care. Keep religion out of health care policies! Thank you.
Nov 26 2013 6:44AM Catholic hospitals in Washington state provide critically needed medical care to millions of the most vulnerable: families, women, and children. They provide a high quality of care, and operate in a manner that recognizes the value of each human life. CON is unnecessary and over-reaching. So called "transparency" is only applied to life-affirming providers in this state, never to the abortion industry.
Nov 26 2013 6:54AM Due to my belief in the right for religious institutions and businesses to follow their consciences and let the general public decide where they want to go...I believe to follow this directive is unthinkable. It is reverse discrimination by the government. The potential for additional harm to the state health system is also in too much danger by enforcing this rule.
Nov 26 2013 8:13AM November 26, 2013 Janis Sigman, Program Manager Certificate of Need Program Washington Department of Health PO Box 47852 Olympia, WA 98502-7852 Ms. Sigman: Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the proposed rules to modernize the Certificate of Need Process and ensuring greater consumer transparency with regard to health care facility actions and policies in accordance with the Directive of the Governor 13-12. As we previously stated in the August 5th rules workshop, we have several concerns with the emerging increase in mergers, partnerships, acquisitions, and other similar actions. The CoN process is currently our best tool to protect access, quality, and cost of care; thus, we support the governor’s request to review and potentially revise the CoN requirements. Transactions that result in a negative impact to access to care can take on many forms and labels. As a result, we are pleased to see the broadening of the definition of “sale, purchase, or lease” to mean any transaction in which the control, directly or indirectly, of part or all of any existing hospital changes to a different person, including but not limited to by contract, affiliation, corporate membership restricting, or any other transaction. The Governor also directed the DOH to consider ways to improve transparency for consumer information and ease of use. While we support a requirement of facilities to submit and post to DOH the current practice at the hospital for admission, non-discrimination, end of life care, and reproductive services, we are concerned that the requirement of a list of services that become limited or not available as a result of one of the four policies is no longer proposed. We believe this is a step backward from the concept rules proposed last summer. Furthermore, merely posting policies does not go far enough to protect patients’ rights to receive legal health services. Any organization should be prohibited from restricting access to any legal health services, including family planning and end of life care. Allowing organizations to restrict services also goes against the Code of Ethics for Nurses. In particular, • nurses are required to recognize specific patient rights, particularly the right of self-determination. Self-determination, or autonomy, is the philosophical basis for informed consent in health care. • Patients have the moral and legal right to determine what will be done with their own person • The provision that the nurse’s primary commitment is to the patient… Assuring availability of all legal services is most important to those patients, particularly in rural communities, who do not have the option to seek health care elsewhere. We also have concerns about the potential for anti-trust violations as the market “shrinks” with limited number of provider groups and organizations. We remain concerned about the rising costs of healthcare. What we witness with these emerging organizational relationships is a continued increase in administrative costs, including more “layers” on organizational charts and continued duplication of expensive services. We have yet to see a more cost effective healthcare delivery system emerge as a result of these consolidations. So far we have not seen a commitment towards an increasing safe staffing levels of registered nurses. Finally, Washington is moving forward with Medicaid expansion and the health benefit exchange. In doing so, our state is making a commitment to greater access to care for the record number of Washingtonians who do not have health coverage, as well as an intent improve the quality of care in a more cost effective manner. The trend of hospital system mergers will undermine the quality of care for patients if adequate safeguards are not put in place. Quality care starts by giving patients the right to receive the information they need to make the best decisions about their health care. Finally, a lack of evidence to show consolidations decreases costs further raises the question of whether hospital consolidation actually supports Washington’s goal of achieving health reform. Thank you for the opportunity to comment.
Nov 26 2013 8:37AM Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 26 2013 9:36AM This appears to be part of the mental brainwashing occuring in our society and state. Let's take time to look at who is behind this and thus their purposes. NARAL claims there is a 'takeover' of the industry by Catholic hospitals. How ludicrous. Catholic hospitals have always been one of the most prominent health care providers in this country, and noted for their excellence in health care as well. In the history of this country, there has never been any need for such regulation under the guise of 'consumer protection' or 'consumer information'. The perception of having this need has been created and fueled by special interests such as NARAL in order to propogate their agenda. It is not done in the interest of consumer protection but, rather, creates that perception for their own organization's benefit. We have no need for this regulation and it is a pity to see our government resources manipulated by special interests.
Nov 26 2013 10:09AM This is a needless requirement designed to force people of conscience to perform acts that they find reprehensible. It is against the 1st amendment and is counter to American principles of freedom of conscience. Catholic hospitals have a long history of providing outstanding health care to all Americans, this proposal is a dagger aimed at their heart. Don’t force others to do something against the core of their belief.
Nov 26 2013 10:10AM Why does the government need to cater to special interest groups? I am a business owner and we do not publish services that we do not provide? Who would and why? This is not a reasonable request.
Nov 26 2013 10:11AM It seems unlikely that the abortion industry would be content simply knowing who it is that doesn't want to perform abortions. We've already seen federal laws targeting the Catholic Church and businesses like Hobby Lobby for their beliefs about contraception. We've seen IRS audits targeting conservative groups and lawsuits against florists, bakeries, and pharmacists based on their beliefs The uniqueness of this approach also exposes its vindictiveness. There is no precedent for requiring private businesses to disclose the services they don't provide. Why would there be? Making everyone publish a list of the things they don't do wouldn't be reasonable. Already, the law in Washington provides for abortion on demand, paid for by taxpayers, without the benefit of a waiting period, counseling, or an ultra-sound, and if the abortion involves a minor the abortion can be performed without the parent's awareness. How far is the government willing to go to force people to transgress their conscience?
Nov 26 2013 10:13AM As a healthcare worker, it is chilling the effects such a "list" will have on those who have deeply held objections to procedures such as abortion. We live in a country that is supposed to respect the right of all individual's deeply held religious beliefs when those beliefs don't cause harm to others. This is an egregious attempt to force healthcare workers to violate their conscious simply because it makes abortion less convenient for patients. Well, I agree as many on the pro-abortion side point out, abortion should be inconvenient and something that is pondered extensively before a decision is made. Please reconsider this frightening abuse of the religious liberty of a large number of Americans. Regards, Dr. Gregory Wheeler
Nov 26 2013 10:15AM Too whom it may concern, Am I under the misunderstanding that we live in a free country, free to make our own choices and with our lives, religion, and free speech? Do we not have freedom of religion? If that is the case, then that means we also have faith based organizations and charities. These are likely to be pro life and not wanting anything to do with abortion. If you want an abortion then go to Planned Parenthood and get one but don't expect a Catholic hospital to perform one. You are trying to dictate to us, the people, that we must accept abortion as the accepted norm even though it is murder! Have you ever thought of your own mortality? As leaders you are held to a higher standard. You are supposed to be our moral guide. You will have to answer to God for the decisions made and votes cast. Obviously you are not pro-choice because you won't allow for anyone to choose life. I think you are a sham!!
Nov 26 2013 10:16AM This is Washington State again trying to be "Pro Abortion" in everything it does. We are against killing little babies and every normal person should be, also. How can murder be condoned in any way? Let private Catholic Hospitals continue to uphold their God given rights, without persecution from the state of Washington. Sincerely, Darren & Lisa Talley
Nov 26 2013 10:18AM There is no need for this amendment, other than for the purpose of harasment to people who don't do what a certain group thinks is P.C.
Nov 26 2013 10:21AM I believe this is an unneeded and invasive policy. I do not support singling out hospitals, medical facilities, pharmacies, personnel, etc. based on whether they are willing to preform abortions and/or provide birth control. I strongly oppose this rule.
Nov 26 2013 10:22AM November 26th, at 1:00 pm, the abortion industry is asking Department of Health to identify and publish a list of hospitals that are pro-life. The new rules would require medical providers to post their policies on abortion and assisted suicide on their website. They would also be required to submit those policies to the Department of Health which would also post them online. The uniqueness of this approach also exposes its vindictiveness. There is no precedent for requiring private businesses to disclose the services they don't provide. Why would there be? Making everyone publish a list of the things they don't do wouldn't be reasonable. This is a bad policy that is clearly driven by the abortion lobby and does not serve the best interests of the people of the State of Washington. It will only serve to exclude Catholic hospitals from public health partnerships.
Nov 26 2013 10:22AM Two comments: 1. There is a lot of reposting of the same "pro" comments. Looks like somebody wants to stack the deck in their favor. 2. The physician in charge of the patient's care is a determining factor in the specific care given. This directive is but one ugly step towards forcing physicians to deliver specific care that they are morally opposed to. This directive also is a foot in the door for closing those hospitals that do not provide services that the State in its infinite wisdom fell should be available everywhere. As an example, you could easily leave Stevens County without a hospital. This is a poorly thought out directive that would not necessarily make it through the legislature, so the governor wants to enforce his particular moral stance on the rest of the state.
Nov 26 2013 10:25AM This could easily turn into the same situation we had with the IRS picking on Tea-Party groups, which was shameful and illegal.
Nov 26 2013 10:26AM First of all, too bad organized groups like NARAL have hijacked this public commenting process. Just look at the comments above that have been pasted in, exactly the same, dozens and dozens of times. Rediculous minions following the direction of their masters. I for one, speak for myself. This directive is rediculous. Religious hospitals and other religiously affiliated groups have been the primary source of public service since the founding of this country. Just look at the multitude of soup kitchens, shelters, etc. that have saved lives for decades - all run by the evil religiously affiliated groups that also run hospitals today. Bottom line, to requre private businesses (not government run!) to disclose services they don't provide is ludicrous. The real reason to publish these lists is to further a political agenda, with the intent to marginalize these religiously affiliated hospitals until they go out of business altogether. The ultimate goal by these minority radical socialist groups is to remove religion from America altogher. Wake up folks.
Nov 26 2013 10:27AM Discriminates against those that are pro life and limits personal and private business freedoms from government intrusions by those stating they are pro choice when they are only pro abortion without limit and desire to legislate it to all
Nov 26 2013 10:33AM Politics has no place in dictating how a hospital takes care of its patients. They do not need additional paperwork or harassment from the government.
Nov 26 2013 10:37AM Healthcare facilities should be able to keep their ability to choose whether to perform certain procedures or not. Freedom is what this country was initially founded upon and many lives were sacrificed for that freedom. So, as for abortion and any other procedure that would end a life other than by natural causes , should be condemned and banned! I for one, am against this rule and those who support it should be ashamed of themselves!
Nov 26 2013 10:37AM WSDH, Do not support this change.In San Juan County we are experiencing a strong bullying of our Catholic Hospital from the pro abortion crowd.This rule will hamper the function of our hospital and other centers opposed to abortion. Do not support this change, Michelle Loftus San Juan Island, WA
Nov 26 2013 10:39AM I'm opposed to restrictions on hospitals that go against their rights of conscience. Such would be the case for a Catholic hospital that the state would force to perform procedures contrary to Catholic moral teaching.
Nov 26 2013 10:40AM I request that the State of Washington guarantee to all women the right of appropriate and adequate health care, including reproductive rights, no matter what form of hospital governance. If a hospital accepts any form of general tax dollars, be they federal, state, or local, for its support, they must be obligated to provide all such procedures as are legal in the State of Washington. Thank you. Dr. Fayette F. Krause
Nov 26 2013 10:47AM People should have the right to practice their religion freely, thus if a person does not offer certain services at their business due to religious conviction they should be free to do so! There is no benefit to enacting these rules. This rule intimidates people who want to practice their religion by parading the fact that they may be in the minority in this state. It doesn't help healthcare to create this list. The level of health care provided by religiously established hospitals is within the law and they often provide more well rounded care due to their convictions. Should EVERY hospital be forced to provide EVERY medical service just because that service is available in this country? That wouldn't even make sense! Talk about driving up the cost of healthcare! If this rule is extrapolated you could use the same bullying tactics to force hospitals everywhere to provide this or that service when that is just not common sense.
Nov 26 2013 10:55AM Religious control of hospital beds has doubled since 2010 to close to half of all available beds. Allowing religous hospitals to exercise their faith by denying abortion care and forcing unwanted end-of-life care is in direct conflict with the hospitals' mission to serve their communities. Many communities have only one hospital, so it's not a matter of patients just exercising their choice. Please make the needs of the community the primary consideration.
Nov 26 2013 10:59AM The WA State constitution says no public money should be used to support religious organizations, institutions, ministries, etc. Several years ago, the State Legislature passed a "reproductive health parity" law, saying all people must have equal access to reproductive health services. The American College of Ob-Gyns has expressed serious concern about medical ethics: doctors in Catholic hospitals must give priority to the bishops' directives whether or not they conflict with medical standards of practice. This has been widely discussed in Texas and New Mexico. With the increase of Catholic control of health care systems in Washington State equal access to reproductive health services is rapidly declining. As we've seen for example in the Providence-Swedish merger, bishops' directives are gradually being used to direct medical care at Swedish, despite the original publicity saying that wouldn't happen. This is no isolated example. Right now, some of the merger agreements have language about how they honor all patient needs and requests except when they conflict with the bishops' directives: that is, the bishops don't want contraception, so a secular hospital merging with a Catholic one can now find itself ordered to stop providing contraceptives. And of course no abortions, even if the doctors have determined the fetus is not viable and that if the pregnancy is not terminated, the mother will die. As a result of the discussions of this issue, more and more stories are appearing about ways in which health care providers have, many times against their best judgment, denied certain medical care to patients. In addition to reproductive health care issues, end of life care is also at risk of falling afoul of the Catholic Church's ideas about what should be allowed. I personally saw my mother kept alive in an ICU for three weeks because the doctors thought that God might work a miracle and return her to functioning. When I reach that point in my life, which at age 73 is going to be sooner rather than later, I want to be free to make choices about how my life ends and not have those choices controlled by a church whose teachings I do not agree with. I strongly support the proposal that the Department of Health should write/strengthen regulations requiring hospitals contemplating mergers and also receiving public money (WA taxes raised by public hospital districts to fund hospital services, and also Medicaid, Medicare) to, in short, abide by both the WA state constitution and WA state laws.
Nov 26 2013 11:00AM We've come a long way from the original Hyppocratic Oath... "I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; I will keep them from harm and injustice. I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art." Funny...harm and injustice...life and art...abortion and assisted suicide... Sure would hate for one of those doctors to have heard me wrong. Let me live. (...and let others live, too, eh?)
Nov 26 2013 11:00AM You cannot hide your actions from God. Religious freedom is one of the foundations this country was built on. This directive violates it. You are targeting religious hospitals and therefore targeting God. Not a wise choice.
Nov 26 2013 11:01AM In a free and secular society it is essential that hospitals serving the public render care and treatment based solely on the needs and wishes of those receiving the care and treatment, and not based on any religious beliefs or dogma-based values of those operating, managing, or practicing at the hospital.
Nov 26 2013 11:07AM I do not agree with and oppose the DOH's plan to require hospitals to publish whether or not they are pro-life. This is not a normal requirement for businesses--requiring them to publish services they do not provide. Instead, I believe this list will be used to target and in effect black list such hospitals.
Nov 26 2013 11:09AM Give EVERYONE the freedom to choose what is right then let each find a care facility that fits their needs. Do not impose regulations to those persons or health facilities who believe that life is sacred and death to a living being is wrong.
Nov 26 2013 11:13AM I understand the necessity of requiring hospitals to disclose to patients which services they will and will not provide. That makes sense. But I am alarmed that so many comments here reflect a disregard for the rights of conscience of religiously-affiliated medical facilities. Religiously-based organizations have a basic right to operate according to their beliefs, and no medical establishment should be required to perform procedures that violate its religious views. The controversial services regarding beginning or ending of life can be obtained elsewhere (which will presumably be clarified with this new rule). But I have serious concerns about the government holding a list of business's beliefs about controversial issues. I can easily imagine pro-abortion activists trying to use such a list in future legislation to penalize establishments that don't share their view. I would only support the new policy if it contained clear language that would ensure continued religious freedom and rights of conscience for religiously-affiliated medical facilities.
Nov 26 2013 11:15AM I am totally opposed to this policy change. It is none of anyone's business whether a hospital does abortions or not. This policy change is nothing more than an attempt to trample on people's First Amendment rights of freedom of the free exercise of their religious beliefs, and in conjunction the free exercise of their conscience.
Nov 26 2013 11:16AM Our nation was built on our religious freedom, and the blacklisting of great hospitals that do not perform abortions is a direct blow to religious freedom. This is contrary to what our nation stands for and should not be done. This is definitely a step backward for our state in this regard. Please reconsider. Thank you.
Nov 26 2013 11:17AM It is unclear to me how this rule, specifically requiring posting of policies online, is suddenly necessary to implement any legislative mandate. If there is widespread public support of such a rule, perhaps the legislature could consider it. In the meantime, please refrain from implementing or using further public resources on such rule-making.
Nov 26 2013 11:17AM I don't believe you need to have Catholic hospitals to go against their own religion in regards to abortion. there are so many places a woman or girl can go that offer those services. there are many of us though not Catholic believe we have the right to go to a hospital that RESPECTS LIFE from beginning to end. There are Christian hospitals and Jewish hospitals that also RESPECT LIFE Why take RELIGOUS FREEDOM AWAY? I believe there should be a calming down period on this issue of abortion because there should be a place where pregnant girls and women can go and be able to not feel ashamed of being pregnant and those who also have RESPECT FOR LIFE and would like to be in a hospital where they can be heard and listened to so that whoever is pushing them to have an abortion against their will, that place could be a CATHOLIC HOSPITAL and by the way CATHOLIC HOSPITALS don't just employ CATHOLICS So I believe this action is due to "what is popular" instead of respecting RELIGOUS FREEDOM PLEASE RETHINK THIS Dont be afraid of feeling uncomfortable in not agreeing with those who want abortion and euthanasia everywhere. We are not talking about putting a 7-11 store out of business here. Catholic hospitals and Chritian clinics help women all the time that come to us for counselling after having an abortion It is life shattering to them and also to the unfortunate girls who are pushed into the human trafficking life of misery and made to have abortions for birth control. Do you want to contribute to that? RETHINK THIS IT IS WRONG!!!!!!
Nov 26 2013 11:19AM The State is going too far reaching into our rights as citizens of WA and the United States of America and business owners to push us to do things against our conscience. This country was build upon these rights and the state should spend their time and our tax dollars doing constructive things instead of pushing for special interests.
Nov 26 2013 11:21AM Like individuals, businesses should also be free to respect human life, and opt to refer persons seeking abortions or assisted suicide to other providers. Please do not allow further chipping away of freedom of religion and freedom of speech.
Nov 26 2013 11:24AM I am a Washington State registered voter, writing to express my objection to the proposed rules. Earlier this year, Washington's Attorney General issued a ruling stating that it was illegal for a hospital district to contract with a Catholic Hospital because of their unwillingness to perform abortions was discrimination. Now, the abortion industry is taking a further step by asking Department of Health to identify and publish a list of hospitals that are pro-life. The proposed rules would require medical providers to post their policies on abortion and assisted suicide on their website. They would also be required to submit those policies to the Department of Health which would also post them online. We need not be all that creative to imagine the consequences of being on this particular "naughty list." In recent years, we have already seen federal laws targeting the Catholic Church and businesses like Hobby Lobby for their beliefs about contraception. We have also seen IRS audits targeting conservative groups and lawsuits against florists, bakeries, and pharmacists based on their beliefs. I believe having the government keeps lists based entirely on businesses beliefs about controversial issues cannot possibly be good for individual rights or religious freedom. Sincerely Yours, Franky Wong
Nov 26 2013 11:27AM It seems to me that on the one hand, we want healthcare costs controlled so we can all afford it, but on the other we want "to improve ease and transparency". I, for one, cannot afford any more convenience. Will this be the straw that broke the camel's back? Perhaps not, but that straw is coming any day now. Recently, my grandfather received outstanding end-of-life care from Franciscan Healthcare Services. I feel very fortunate that they were among my choices for his care.
Nov 26 2013 11:34AM And so it begins, with the governor's mandate that the DOH review the language of hospitals' Certificate of Need(CON), mandating they articulate the procedures NOT provided on their websites and advertising, they've placed the frog in lukewarm water and turned up the heat under the pot. WA State plans to boil the frog - the end result is that Catholic and other religious healthcare facilities will be forced to provide "a complete range of services in womens' healthcare and euthanasia" political speak for abortion on demand and suicide on demand. I pray that all who live by the Judeo-Christian moral law continue to defend our Freedom of Religion rights that though they may be taken away under human law, it can never be erased from our hearts. I don't doubt the reason for pushing this issue so vigorously is the false notion that NARAL, Planned Parenthood, the ACLU and WA State lawmakers, have in thinking this will lead to "freedom" to behave in whatever manner that suits people without consequence. However, the "freedom" sought does not exist - it's not organized religion that seeks to stifle their activities; it is God's natural moral law - therefore, even if the State of Washington forces healthcare providers to either provide services they find morally reprehensible or close their doors (and this point will probably be reached) the consequences of these acts will continue to afflict those who participate or give consent because God's natural law must play out in the great order of things. God gave us a conscience so that as reasoned beings we would know right from wrong whether man's law reflects it or not. That conscience will bubble to the surface because it must. Therefore, for the advocates and recipients of abortion and euthanasia, great pain and suffering continue to lay ahead, because it is the natural result of these inhumane activities, . I've expressed this very poorly - but even though these issues are painful; there is hope in that folks still have the opportunity to learn from the consequences of their behavior and will freely choose to reverse this course and again make man's laws reflect God's laws which are founded on Judaeo-Christian
Nov 26 2013 11:35AM The religious hospitals and clinics obfuscate and deny the consumer the respect for the consumer’s medical choices and decisions but continue to take the taxpayer and citizens dollars. Don’t let religious beliefs and financial control continue to prevent consumers from receiving the medical care they choose. Stop the religious businesses and hospitals and clinics refusal to respect medical decisions consumers and/or incapacitated family members have placed into a legal Medical Directive. This religious control must be exposed to the public BEFORE they seek hospital care, before a family finds out that a loved one has been forced on life support because of a hospital’s religious belief and control. Defining specifics of services provided does not need to be complex or misleading unless those medical facilities chose to present them in that way. The only reasons for making complex specifics of services is the religious community’s attempts to be secretive and misleading. The rights of an informed consumer are legally written and must be honored. A list of services must be provided openly. For example: Are all options of birth control offered in this hospital? Yes or No? Is it this hospital's policy to respect and comply with the consumers Do Not Resuscitate Directives? Yes or No? Is it this hospital's policy to enforce pregnancy over the decisions of the female? Yes or No? As a trauma survivor and person still in need of medical attention, just those 3 questions would provide a sufficient answer for me and I’m sure for those who also need or seeking medical care. I and millions of other people are not Catholic or governed by religious dogma and our medical lives should not be controlled by religious doctrine.
Nov 26 2013 11:37AM In our country, we specifically expect to have access to a variety of diverse institutions, to meet our diverse needs. While one American woman has every right to seek out a hospital that agrees with her strong stance on abortion and recieve care there, I also have every right to seek out a hospital that agrees with my strong stance on the protection of human life, and recieve care there. We also aim to protect everybody's rights, not just half of the peoples rights. What is proposed here is not the protection of all women's access to healthcare, but the undermining of a important segment of women's access healthcare. In other words, this is a road to decreasing our options, not increasing them.
Nov 26 2013 11:39AM A reading of the obviously scripted and organized comments expressing distain for the importance of retaining balance between religious freedom and governmental power is startling. It is also very troubling that so little, if any, concern is expressed for the fundamental principle that protection of human life is at the core of a civilized and caring society. The proposed rule appears to have as its objective the facilitation of abortion on demand, with no counter argument tolerated, and the recruitment of facilitators, no matter what their deeply held moral views to the contrary may be. This proposed rule should be rejected as an unwise use of government power that will lead to further weakening of our society and a lessening of personal freedom in the service of harmful public policy. As a wise observer once said, " We shall never prevent the abuse of power if we are not prepared to limit power in a way which occasionally may prevent its use for (what some consider) desirable purposes".
Nov 26 2013 11:42AM No, a person has the responsibility to ask. Will I be asking my health care facility that delivers the children of my family if they turn around and kill the unborn? Yes. It will be the first question out of my mouth.
Nov 26 2013 11:46AM I approve of the general idea of the proposed amendment but think that it does not go far enough. I am apprehensive about the confinement of proposed disclosures to “end of life care” and “reproductive health care”—which I assume are euphemisms for assisted suicide and abortion. Why aren’t the hundreds of other legal medical procedures included? Moreover, the tenor of most of the above comments shows that the proposed amendment is widely perceived as a preliminary step to compelling hospitals to provide such “termination of life” procedures. What is so unique and sacred about these termination of life procedures? Why should hospitals be compelled to provide them? There are hundreds of other legal medical procedures that are unavailable in Thurston County hospitals. Should the state compel all hospitals to provide all of them? I fear HHS is yielding to pressure from a fanatical and aggressive pro-death bloc to give a special preferred status to abortion and assisted suicide. The so-called “end of life care” and “reproductive health care” procedures should be treated in the same way as any other medical procedure; hospitals should have the right to elect which procedures they choose to provide. As to limitation of availability, hospitals are not even needed. Termination of life procedures do not require hospitals; we have abortion clinics and (as Dr. Kevorkian has demonstrated) could easily have suicide clinics. In conclusion, I am suspicious of the wording of the amendment. It should be broadened to include all medical procedures or dropped.
Nov 26 2013 11:50AM We strongly believe that religious beliefs must not dictate which health care options are available to the public. Abortion, birth control, and end-of-life choice are all legal and must be available in any institution that receives public funds of any kind. We are not Roman Catholic and we resent being forced to adhere to RC doctrine. We are Unitarians and our denomination supports freedom of conscience. Guidelines from DOH should clearly, in plain English, require that medical institutions receiving any public funds will adhere to the freedom of religion guaranteed in our national and state constitutions. Patients must be free to decide what is best for them according to their conscience and good medical practice--not according to the dictates of a particular religious denomination whatever that denomination may be.
Nov 26 2013 11:55AM Washington State is one of two states that receives an A+ rating from NARAL Pro Choice America for ease of access to abortion and abortion friendly laws. NARAL grades the US as a whole a D. Americans United for Life (AUL) ranks Washington State #50 in pro life issues and laws. Women in WA State have plenty of access to abortion and birth control regardless of the Catholic and Christian hospitals and regardless of any merges. According to the US statistics, 3 of 4 women facing an unplanned pregnancy choose to continue their pregnancies and give birth. This regulation will force Catholic and Christian hospitals to shut down because they will not comply with the taking of life. With them shut down, who would you prefer to be waiting on the ferry dock waiting for the ferry to take them to medical care: a women waiting to go for an elective abortion or a woman in active labor with no hospital in the area? This ruling will put 3/4 of the pregnant women in real danger of their lives. You will be literally throwing the baby out with the bathwater. If this ruling goes through, WA state will intentionally put women's lives (and that of their unborn) in danger. You will be ushering in "Back alley childbirth" for women who can't have access to maternal care and childbirth. Only in this case, both the mother and her unborn's lives are at risk. This is a bad regulation that will break constitutional law respecting individuals and businesses right of freedom of religion and conscience. It is a poor regulation. Come up with something else.
Nov 26 2013 11:56AM Dear Sirs: Please allow Catholic hospitals to follow their religious convictions and do not restrain them from the freedom of practicing their religious convictions. Thank you, Lyn Tully
Nov 26 2013 12:00PM Another bully tactic by our governor, and when is someone going to call the "race card" on Jay. If you don't respect our religion, and our beliefs how can we not voice our deep concerns for your blatant decisions. You should be ashamed of this bill and all you others that would support such a travesty. We have enough hospitals that participate in abortion, should I name them-most people don't know them. You should publish them, like your pointing out the Catholic hospitals. Disgusting legislation. Matt Ulrich
Nov 26 2013 12:01PM There are many options for providing the "reproductive care" being proposed by the Governor and other interested parties. CATHOLIC HOSPITALS SHOULD NOT, AND MUST NOT, BE COERCED INTO PROVIDING PROCEDURES CAUSING DEATH. OUR HOSPITALS WERE DESIGNED TO SAVE LIVES, NOT KILL. IT IS TANTAMOUNT TO DEMANDING RELIGIOUS CONVERSION TO REQUIRE A FACILITY SUPPORTED BY CATHOLICS AND THE CHURCH ITSELF TO CONTRAVENE OUR DEEPLY HELD BELIEFS AND MORAL CODES, CAUSING THE DEATH OF AN INNOCENT PERSON BY ABORTION OR EUTHANASIA. STRONGLY OBJECT TO THIS KIND OF OPPRESSION OF THE RIGHTS OF A RELIGION THAT HAS PROVIDED HEALTH CARE ACROSS THE COUNTRY (OFTEN: FREE) TO ALL WHO CAME REGARDLESS OF RELIGION OR ABILTY TO PAY. PLEASE CONSIDER THE EXAMPLE THIS IS SETTING. WHY ARE CHRISTIANS BEING SINGLED OUT FOR PERSECUTION?
Nov 26 2013 12:03PM Requiring written explanation from organizations for absence of services that do not coincide with the organization's beliefs, seems to me to be a violation of the U.S. Constitution and the Washington State Constitution.
Nov 26 2013 12:05PM I am a supporter of human rights, and the inherent dignity of all human beings. I am deeply concerned with the ironically anti-choice direction the pro-abortion lobby is going in. Regardless of your beliefs on abortion, everyone should be concerned when minority groups are targeted and put on “lists.” It may be comfortable now to say that a group we disagree with should be forced by the government to provide services that go against their conscience, but what happens when the tide of general opinion is turned, and you or your business is forced to do something you don’t believe in? Isn’t this how freedoms and liberties began to slip away in Nazi, Germany? Freedom – and allowing diversity, even for those Catholics who serve in hospitals in ways we may not agree with- is not only important but a fundamental right and privilege. I oppose this rule.
Nov 26 2013 12:07PM I would suggest, rather than creating more legislation and wasting more (unavailable) tax dollars, that people simply understand that a Catholic hospital is just that, Catholic. If you CHOOSE to go there, you are CHOOSING to do so, knowing their moral limits. That means if you want an abortion or someone to end your life with drugs "euthanasia", do not choose a Catholic (or Adventist or Jewish or...) hospital. There are plenty of non-Catholic facilities you could choose so why are you trying to force a Catholic facility to follow YOUR beliefs? They are what they are, same thing they've been for thousands of years and they aren't forcing you to come there! Just the fact that it is a Catholic facility should tell you they aren't going to provide euthanasia, abortion, or birth control but, sadly, some "Catholic" facilities aren't very Catholic anymore as they've had to conform to many other governmental intrusions. Catholic hosptials have always welcomed non-Catholics in charity. The world we now live in requires they be paid by government funding when they treat paients that qualify for that funding. However, abortion is NOT "treatment", nor is euthanasia. Treatment is designed to cure something or at least relieve the suffering without causing harm to the human (both abortion and euthanasia biologically stop a beating human heart [kill humans] - it's not a spiritual question). This bill is just trying to further block Catholic hospitals from contracting to provide the services they do provide very well, purely because they won't override their own consciences and kill human beings. If you want a service they don't provide, go to someone that does provide it. If a healthcare contract is awarded to a Catholic facility because it can do the best job for the lowest cost, then just award a second one to a provider of just the things you can't get at the Catholic hospital and figure that into the overall cost factors before you decide. This legislation is a veiled way of "blacklisting" Catholic (and other religious) hospitals from competing for contracts at all. Um, before you go closing all those Catholic hospitals I'd like to remind you that they are a critically necessary part of America. One in six hospitals in our country is Catholic. Bottom line: It's ridiculous to require any business to post what it does NOT provide. Catholic hosptials don't provide services that cause death (birth control is abortifacient causing death to the zygote), however they do provide the best in genuine health care so why should they post a list of what they won't do? Should the bakery be required to post they don't sell car batteries or mountain climbing gear? Should the kosher meat store have to post a list of all the pork products they don't provide? Silly! Why are we wasting tax money with this kind of "pork"?
Nov 26 2013 12:13PM Why waste more resources to require businesses to list the services they do NOT provide? Where does the individual's responsibility kick in when we try to control things and publicly inform everything? Hospitals should be free to choose which services they want to offer and individuals should be free to choose where they want to go. Without Catholic hospitals, many people would not receive basic services they need. Uphold our religious freedom and individual rights and stop focusing on things that label organizations based on their beliefs (if it's not mainstream). Time and money is better spent on things that will make a difference, not on listing services that are not provided.
Nov 26 2013 12:16PM I do not believe that hospitals should be required by the government to list the reproductive services they do not provide. If allowed this would be a clear example of over regulation by the government. Please allow health care institutions that are faith based to deliver care in a manner consistent with their religious beliefs. Freedom to practice one's religious beliefs needs to be preserved in our country in all circumstances including delivery of healthcare.
Nov 26 2013 12:16PM The proposed changes seem to add little to patient care and, in aggregate, a large burden on healthcare facilities at large. Let's have common sense prevail in this: anyone seeking care for nearly ANY malady or condition can ascertain whether or not a local facilty can care for them in the way they desire. As this is written, I see a troubling opportunity for a "scorecard" of sorts - particulary a political one - to be created, and a target painted on the backs of those who don't fall in line with the prevailing winds of political correctness. Please, do not endorse this expensive and potentially litigious exercise.
Nov 26 2013 12:18PM It is unreasonable to make religious organizations offer services against their beliefs--remember, some day it might be our beliefs in question and we will want them respected. I do believe hospitals should be willing to say outright what they do and do not provide, and should be willing to give up some tax money to maintain their independence. I don't see anything wrong with allowing them to accept Medicare and Medicaid--these are insurance, and patients who have their insurance subsidized by the government should still have the freedom to choose a public or a religious hospital.
Nov 26 2013 12:34PM I feel this is a slippery slope. Faith based institutions should be allowed to deliver services that are in line with their moral and religious beliefs. We are allowing exemptions from Obama Care by certain groups under the premise of conscientous objection. This is no different.
Nov 26 2013 12:35PM Hospitals should not have to post a list that they do not perform abortions.
Nov 26 2013 12:42PM The Department of Health should REQUIRE the proposed rule change policies to FULLY and CLEARLY INFORM patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington State hospitals. It is all too easy for hospitals to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies so PLEASE require that they post their policies in a CLEAR,CONCISE AND EASILY UNDERSTOOD format.
Nov 26 2013 12:53PM Requiring a hospital to provide information on whether they are pro-life or pro-murder(choice) is reminiscent of Gestapo or KGB days and is UNAMERICAN! I strongly urge the rejection of this rule that violates the 1st amendment of the US Constitution and the 1st amendment, section 11 of the WA state constitution.
Nov 26 2013 12:59PM Creating more rules for health care organizations to adhere to will reduce availability of services, increase costs, and severely limit organizations willing to provide health services. Just as I need to inquire whether hospital/providers are covered by my insurance, whether the hospital/provider actually does a needed procedure, and ultimately whether the hospital/provider is competent to complete the procedure for healing; I too should be responsible to find out if the hospital/provider completes life-ending procedures.
Nov 26 2013 1:02PM In key issues such as assisted suicide and abortion, which have moral implications and are not universally accepted, it should not be required for a hospital to post its position, especially in a politically charged environment that could open it up for frivolous lawsuits or targeting by special interests or even government. In all fairness, no business is required to show what it does not provide. The right to an abortion does not trump one's right not to provide it. This directive is another form of government overreach.
Nov 26 2013 1:04PM Women have the inherent right to decide on their health needs! Stop the war on women's Bodies!
Nov 26 2013 1:06PM Requiring health facilities to post policies on what services they provide seems a noble goal, but it oversteps the bounds of government. Does the government require restaurants to provide to a government agency and require them to post their policies on vegetarian/vegan/low carb/low fat diets and what kind of meals they provide? The government's role in health care is, and should continue to be, to certify that a particular facility is safe for all those who wish to use it. It should NOT be telling a business what services it can/should and can't provide. That choice should continue to be up to the facility and consumers should perform their due diligence in choosing where they get their care. The government should likewise stay away from approving mergers, sales or leases based on what services are provided. Reviewing such an arrangement for purposes of avoiding monopolies is needed, but it is not the responsibility of the government to ensure that all legal services are easily available. Does the government ensure that everyone has easy access to other legally available goods/services? Are their requirements to review the available menu items when a restaurant is sold? Or a review to ensure that there are enough of a certain type of businesses in the local area when commercial property is sold?
Nov 26 2013 1:12PM I am over 60 years old. I was forced to live and make fertility decisions by religious medical politics and religious financial institutions in the "Bloody Back Alley Bad Old Days". The religious hospitals and clinics obfuscate and deny the consumer respect for the consumer’s legal medical choices and decisions but continue to take the taxpayer and citizens dollars. Religious control must be exposed to the public and the consumer before they seek or are forced into hospital care, before a family finds a loved one has been forced on life support and before a woman finds her legal fertility decisions are abrogated and denied by the organized religious institutions and corporations beliefs and control. Defining specifics of services provided does not need to be complex or misleading unless those religion dominated medical facilities chose to present them in that way. The only reasons for making complex and complicated specifics of services is the religious community’s attempts to be secretive and misleading. The rights of an informed consumer are legally written and must be honored. A list of services must be provided openly. For example: Are all options of birth control and family planning offered in this hospital? Yes or No? Is it this hospital's policy to respect and comply with the consumers Do Not Resuscitate Directives? Yes or No? Is it this hospital's policy to enforce and coerce pregnancy over the decisions of the female? Yes or No? I refuse to be dictated to and governed by religious dogma--our legal medical and life decisions must not be controlled by religious doctrine and religious medical institutions.
Nov 26 2013 1:29PM Does the grocery store have to advertise that it doesn't carry Special K? The appliance store that it doesn't sell Maytag? You get the idea. Businesses advertise what they sell, not what they don't sell.
Nov 26 2013 1:35PM I believe it is unconstitutional to force businesses to post what services they do not provide. I believe businesses should have the right to conduct commerce without violating their sincerely held beliefs and being subjected to intimidating tactics to participate in activities that violate their conscience. Instead of using the rule of law punitively to enforce conformity, allow free market principles to decide what health providers succeed. People do not need the states help to decide what provider they will select. Liberty and limited government is all about promoting diversity, but this directive is in effect discouraging it.
Nov 26 2013 1:36PM If a medical facility wants to offer anti-reproductive services and assisted suicide, let them advertise this. The people who want these procedures can then readily attain them. These services hardly count as "health care", however. Take me to a hospital where "health care" still supports life and the Hippocratic Oath still means something.
Nov 26 2013 1:40PM Religiously affiliated health systems have been taking over secular ones at an unprecedented rate. These takeovers threaten Washingtonians’ access to best care medical services, including reproductive and end-of-life health services. The Department of Health, through the Certificate of Need (CON) process, must ensure that all patients have access in their local communities to a full range of lawful, medically appropriate services. And no patient should be discriminated against or refused access to such services because of the religious doctrines of the organization controlling a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility. The Certificate of Need Process should be updated to address these specific concerns: Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 26 2013 1:42PM Since when do we ask private businesses to say what they do not provide. This is just another step by abortion providers, not to allow pro-choice, but to make sure that abortion is the only choice. What happened to the voice of those of us who strongly and morally oppose abortion. A simple phone call can provide the information you are talking about and not impose more rules and regulations on businesses. I strongly oppose this and would ask it be aborted!
Nov 26 2013 1:59PM This "Certificate of Need and Hospital Licensing Regulations and Governer's Directive" seems to be a direct strong-arm tactic of the abortion industry to black list hospitals that do not fit into their vision of choice. What choice will there be if all hospitals implemented policies that required the destruction of human life? What is the abortion industry fearing? Washington State is now a state known for its A+ rating as a pro-choice environment by NARAL. I was born, raised, and still live in Washington state which I have always been proud to claim. But now it saddens me to know how closed to life our state is becoming. It is a reality that defies the physical beauty of our state. There is no choice if choices are eliminated. Please do not approve this certificate! There is no precedent for requiring private businesses to disclose the services they don't provide. Please don't allow our state to become the pawn of the abortion industry. Let us be a state of the free. What is the point of requiring every hospital to publish what it does not do? This would be an overbearing and oppressive policy!
Nov 26 2013 2:24PM I don't see how keeping government lists of businesses beliefs on two highly controversial issues can possibly be a cause to champion individual rights. Abortion and assisted suicide are issues that press heavily on an individual's conscience. We've seen pharmacists, florists, bakeries and so forth be the target of horrendous legal trouble for simply standing by what they feel is right. The only thing these lists will accomplish is an increased number of these assaults, and people and businesses (who are run by humans with their own consciences) having their rights made smaller and smaller.
Nov 26 2013 2:49PM Since when has a private business had to disclose services it does not provide? Making private businesses publish this list is just unreasonable and frivolous. If you disagree with being by cared for by a Catholic, religious hospital, the public has a CHOICE to go somewhere else already. It is the same as eating fast food. If you like Subway, don't spend your money at McDonald's. But then don't make McDonald's post a sign that indicates they don't serve sub sandwiches! The benefit of private enterprise is that every business is not alike. That is the beauty of a healthy marketplace. Let Catholic hospitals continue to cater to its customers. Let non-religiously affiliated hospitals cater to their clientele. We are missing the point that hospitals are private businesses with customers, not government bureaucracies intended to serve each and every person! It is undemocratic to make every business be same, provide the same services, or to highlight the services it doesn't provide. Legislature, there is no need for this rule. -John M. Bothell, WA
Nov 26 2013 2:54PM Under the proposed rule change, hospitals will be require to post their reproductive policies. However, sometimes the wording is vague & difficult for the average person to decipher. The Dept of Health should require that the policies fully inform patients about their reproductive health services (& end of life services, too). All patients have the right to be fully informed about these critical issues. Anything else is deception. Thank you for considering my comments.
Nov 26 2013 2:55PM There is no precedent for requiring private businesses to disclose the services that they don't provide. Forcing any business to disclose what they "don't" do is clearly unreasonable. This is a bad policy clearly driven by the abortion lobby, and does not serve the best interests of the people of the state of Washington. This is a very poorly thought out directive, with many intended, and unintended consequences. The governor, along with those who are pro abortion, seem to want to enforce their moral stance on the people of the state, rather then allowing those who consider all ages and stages of life to be sacred and valued. We are also pro-choice; our choices are just different from yours. This proposal does sound like Gestapo or KGB tactics rather than our United States of America, "Land of the FREE". It is in clear violation of the 1st amendment of the US Constitution which clearly states; "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, NOR PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEROF;". We are guaranteed freedom OF religion, NOT freedom from religion. Article 1 Section 11 of the Washington State Constitution also guarantees our religious freedoms. I strongly urge rejection of this rule.
Nov 26 2013 3:05PM Please, please make no decision which removes the right of faith-based hospitals to follow their deeply held beliefs in the offering of health care services. The proposed rules would be a direct attack on religious liberty.
Nov 26 2013 3:19PM It is inappropriate and unreasonable to identify and publish a list of hospitals that are pro-life, and require medical providers to post their policies on abortion and assisted suicide on their website. They should not be required to submit those policies to the Department of Health, which would also post them online. It is frightening to perceive that any who oppose abortion are being systematically purged from society.
Nov 26 2013 3:30PM The implication of this proposal, and most of the comments from others, imply FALSELY that religiously-affiliated hospitals don't comply with the best scientifically-based practices. On the contrary, they adhere to the highest scientific, social, and human principle: that all human life is worthy of respect. Religious principles and science don't conflict with one another but work in concert, 'hand in glove'. Respect for human life results in conclusions and principles that are wholly human, not exclusively religious. Science can only tell us what 'is' and not what 'ought to be' -- the latter is a matter for philosophy and/or religion. There is no lack of access to what some claim to be reproductive and end-of-life 'health care' in this state. To begin with, abortion, contraception, and euthanasia can hardly be considered health care. Pregnancy is not a disease, and deliberately acting to end a life is not protecting or sustaining health. For the state to mandate religious organizations to act in violation of the freedom of religious practice guaranteed by the US Constitution is reprehensible. For the record, Catholic healthcare is not required to provide extraordinary measures to prolong life - only ordinary measures. Further, it is false to claim that there is a 'constitutional right' to abortion. That's not what Roe v Wade decided, though the meme has been popularized by those who get rich by taking lives of the unborn and harming those children's mothers. I don't see why people are so concerned about the number of hospitals run by religious organizations. The entire concept of a hospital was originated by religious organizations. If they are becoming predominant in the field again, it's because they are able to stay financially solvent by providing the best care. The way to keep the best health care is certainly not by imposing more regulations that have nothing to do with actual health care!
Nov 26 2013 3:35PM There is no reason to add costs to hospitals and this leaves them vulnerable to loss of finances and other because of their principles.
Nov 26 2013 3:42PM There is no reason to add costs to hospitals and this leaves them vulnerable to loss of finances and other because of their principles.
Nov 26 2013 3:44PM I think Governor Inslee needs to be more transparent to the citizens of this State, regarding what is driving him to issue such a directive. As a woman, I can't imagine he is doing this for my benefit. We already have access to whatever we want/need, so who/what is really going to benefit from such a overreaching directive? Certainly not the taxpayers or the majority of the patients or the caregivers at the hospitals whose jobs could be impacted and rights to conscience violated for not abiding by his and Planned Parenthood's ideological and self-serving dictates. Enough is enough. This is a bad rule that should be rejected.
Nov 26 2013 3:49PM I appreciate that under the proposed rule change hospitals will be required to post their reproductive health policies. However, without further guidance hospitals may be able to hide any restrictions under vaguely worded policies. The Department of Health should require the policies to fully inform patients about the reproductive health services and end of life care the hospitals do and do not provide. Women and patients in emergency situations deserve access to comprehensive reproductive health and end-of-life care without unnecessary delay or barriers from Washington’s hospitals.
Nov 26 2013 4:13PM My father's family was of Norwegian Luthern background. When I was in need of life saving treatment, it was a Catholic Hospital. We need dedicated, caring, consciencous LIFE SAVING and health saving treatment. Let all hospitals do their best. I would not want to be treated by those who would not follow their conscience and submitt to one sided government pressure, or those who have no conscience concerning life. Who would you trust? Please do not, because of current, popular, and political correctness destroy a HEALTH delivery system. That will all evolve and change. Protection of conscience and the decisions that result if the basic freedom by whick all freedoms survive. Very sincerely, J.R.R.
Nov 26 2013 4:24PM Requiring hospitals to post whether or not they do abortions makes no sense. Should they post whether or not they do open heart surgery, plastic surgery, and major organ transplants? A person whop needs those services makes inquiry as to which hospitals DO them. No business needs to post what it does NOT do, only what it does.
Nov 26 2013 4:37PM I concur that changes are needed to 246-310-010 - the definitions rule. ---- Further, I concur that it serves the public interest to add 246-320-141, a patient's rights rule. At the public hearing, I turned in written comments suggesting word changes to strengthen and clarify the rights rule. Thank you for taking said comments into consideration.----- An unintended benefit from Governor's Directive 13-12 is to see urgent problems elsewhere in 246-310-010, the Definitions rule, and in the CN rules that the definitions point to.----- I draw your attention to 246-310-010 (15) (16) and (45) (a). These three CN rules (and other CN rules) provide our State's only definition of Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs), and Continuing Care Financing Contracts. Paragraph (45) (a) requires the use of an accounting standard that was withdrawn several years ago. Standards promulgated by the Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASBs") now set the standard for CCRC financial accounting. ------ At the very least, Secretary Weisman could open up a rule making process on (45) (a). Alternatively, the Secretary could request guidance from the legislature by means of requesting the introduction of a bill during the 2014 legislative session.----- I would appreciate an answer to this question: the CN Program may mandate and approve contractual terms for continuing care financing contracts, but once these financing contracts are marketed to the public by the CN-approved entity, and executed with elderly members of the public, where is the oversight of contract performance located? Does it remain with the Department of Health? Does it transfer to the nursing home licensing agency (DSHS)?------ The Senate Health Care Committee has retained SB 5017 in the status it had at the end of the 2013 legislative special sessions. This bill would eliminate CN review for all health care entities except for hospitals. I value the detailed transparency available through the CN Program, and available nowhere else. I made this public comment during a Senate Health Care Committee hearing on SB 5017 during the 2013 legislative session, and intend to do so again, should SB 5017 get another hearing. If the Legislature intends to do away with CN Review of nursing homes, I would expect the Legislature to locate improved transparency in the initial licensing of nursing homes, and in license renewals into DSHS licensing authority.----- Next, I suggest that it is time to update the CN rules - and possibly the RCWs - that provide for nursing home "bed banking." A nursing home pays a fee of about $1350 to "bank" the beds of a closed nursing home for four years, keeping them out of use. It can "renew" the privilege of keeping the beds out of use for an additional four years for an additional cost of $770. In King County, one entity is attempting to parlay that $2100 cost into $560,000 revenue (CN #1503) benefiting entities not identified in the CN application materials (a possible undisclosed conflict of interest, I argue). A different entity might parlay that $2100 bed banking cost into $460,000 revenue to itself (CN application 14-02). ------- The legislature says it is seeking nickels and dimes under rocks (metaphorically speaking). Should not that million dollars revenue, created by keeping nursing home beds out of the nursing home bed supply, accrue to the State, and not to corporate interests? Does Secretary Weisman have the authority to change bed banking fees so that some of the revenue benefits the State, or so that there is a DIS-incentive to keep "needed" nursing home beds out of use? Finally, given the changing landscape of financing arrangements for facilities that need CN review, I suggest that it is time to strengthen the protections of 246-310-500 (3). Right now, the Secretary's designee MAY suspend a certificate of need for causes including the suspicion of fraud. Items (a) (ii) through (v) are actually different "types" of conditions in data which raise a suspicion of fraud. "Suspicion of fraud" is named as cause (a) (i) that might result in a CN suspension.------ I propose the following revised wording: 246-310-500 (3) The department shall apply the following provisions when suspending a certificate of need. (a) The secretary's designee SHALL suspend a certificate of need for CAUSE, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO: (i) suspicion of fraud, (ii) Misrepresentation, (iii) False statements, (iv) Misleading statements, and (v) evasion or suppression of material fact in the application for a certificate of need or any of its supporting materials.....----- I am not sure it benefits the public for the Department of Health to be using CN Program discretionary authority to determine that there is, or is not, the suspicion of fraud in a CN evaluation and decision. A documented suspension order triggers a notice, and subsequent steps result in a clarified public record leading to reinstatement, amendment, or revocation. I believe the public would benefit from strengthening the protections against financial dealings that have even the appearance of fraud. A public record revised by a documented suspension order and documented review of facts and circumstances, and documented reinstatement, amendment, or revocation, would benefit the public and the public confidence in the CN Program.
Nov 26 2013 4:56PM Consumers would benefit from additional transparency of the CN process itself. Specifically, consumers would benefit from a rules change at 246-310-080 - the rules applying to Letters of Intent. In the changing financing landscape of facilities that need CN review, I suggest that there is a new need for transparency at the time a letter of intent is submitted. This could be accomplished by a rules change requiring a CN applicant (and/or related entity, such as the current owner of a facility for which an ownership change is proposed), to give a mandatory written notice to financiers, notifying them that contractual obligations may subject to change by Actions of the State, and that interested parties may seek independent counsel on the effect of a CN action on contractual rights and obligations. Mandatory notice by a CN entity to financiers at the time of letter of intent would be better than the public notice that occurs only at the time a review begins.
Nov 26 2013 4:58PM Consumer transparency would improve if the CN Program were to require Cn applicants to disclose in letters of intent the identify of retained consultants, and any revenue they are getting for their willingness to submit the CN application.
Nov 26 2013 5:00PM This is not the time to impose new burdens on hospitals trying to survive in these tough times.The current certificate of need process is sufficient..... We don't need our state Health Dept. or our hospitals wasting time and precious resources dealing with this excessive and pointless proposed red tape.....The TRUE threat to access to healthcare will come if larger hospitals that are financially strong enough to help rescue and stabilize smaller, often rural hospitals are prevented from doing so due to targeted religious discrimination via expansion of the state's certificate of need powers....Nationally, the certificate of need concept is falling out of favor. Let's not go the opposite direction in Washington....The Dept of Health's mission is to improve the health of Washingtonians. DOH should be doing everything it canto help struggling hospitals, often in underserved areas, stay open - not make it harder for them to find a willing suitor....When the only hospital in a community leaves, everyone in the community is hurt. When your mother has a stroke,do you want her to have travel far from home for emergency care? When your dad has his heart attack or your child is in a car accident,will you be glad that the Catholic hospital that was willing to affiliate with your then-financially struggling rural hospital - and could have thereby saved it from having to close - was blocked from doing so?.....Abortions are nearly all done in dedicated abortion facilities - rarely in the hospital setting - so very little if anything would change if a non-secular hospital affiliated with a secular hospital.....Assisted suicides were sold to the voting public as a largely at-home option and indeed, are rarely done in the hospital setting. So very little if anything would change if a non-secular hospital affiliated with a secular hospital......There's no reason for DOH to dictate to hospitals that they must waste their time devising and posting policies regarding "reproductive (ie anti-reproductive - abortion) and "end of life" (ie ending life) policies. As DOH well knows - after all it's DOH that collects this data on abortion and assisted suicide - abortion and assisted suicide rarely occur in the hospital setting in any hospital, religious OR secular. This policy/posting requirement sounds like a fishing expedition.
Nov 26 2013 5:30PM The proposed rules regarding CoN and Hospital Licensing are desireable by not sufficient as written to protect the rights and fulfill the needs of the citizens of Washington State. It is critical that every transaction involving change to a hospital's missions, services or controlling entity should be subject to CoN review. This has become especially important as more previously secular private hospitals are bought by or merge with hospitals and health care corporations run by religious organizationn (e.g. Sweidsh Hosptials and Providence Hospitals). Accessible and affordable healthcare must be maintained in our state, and we need oversight and enforcement mechanisms to monitor nad ensure compliance with existing regulations, and the terms of a CoN once it is granted. Also, the CoN process needs to be understandable by the average citizen. Furthermore, it is essential that any potential patient be provided with inforamtion on what services are available at a hospital, AND what services the hospital WILL NOT provide, whether because of religious beliefs or because of lack of equipment or personnel. Finally, I respoectfully submit that transparency of service is just as important in emergency situations. It would be desireable if the state had a way of protecting and guaranteeing service to patients who are forced, due to location or other reasons, to be admitted to a hospital that denies certain treatments on the basis of a religous ideology which may not be that of the patient. Thank you, M.D. Lancaster
Nov 26 2013 5:31PM Health care decisions need to be between the patient and the physician without interference or limitations based on anyone else's religious philosophy. Hospital mergers or affiliations with religious organizations with attached limits of reproductive or end of life health issues must NOT be allowed.
Nov 26 2013 5:44PM Abortion is totally wrong and anything even remotely connected with it should be abolished.
Nov 26 2013 5:45PM Scope of Review: Every transaction that involves a change in hospital mission, a curtailment of important services, or a transfer of hospital control should be subject to CON review. A change in hospital mission should include a change from a secular to religious health care mission. Clear Standards: Clear standards need to be in place to protect accessible and affordable health care for patients. Oversight and Enforcement: Once a CON is granted, oversight and enforcement mechanisms must exist to monitor and ensure compliance with its terms and conditions. Transparency: The public must be able to understand the CON process and to be involved in it to ensure that vital health needs are addressed. Further, it essential that patients know what services a hospital will provide. Hospitals should be required to post on their websites a list of reproductive, end-of-life, and LGBT health care services that they do or do not provide. I urge DOH to ensure that the best standard of medical care, not religious doctrine, determines the treatment a patient receives in a health facility.
Nov 26 2013 5:53PM It is my understanding that the Washington State government is seeking to force Catholic hospitals such as St. Joseph Hospital in Tacoma, WA to provide abortions and euthanasia. This violates the religious beliefs of the Catholic Church. My deceased husband and I have always gone to St. Joseph's because they are pro life. I cannot imagine that this wonderful hospital...and many wonderful hospitals....would be denied being covered by insurance companies. The pro-choice population does not represent the entire population as you well know. Where are our freedoms going in Washington State and in America! Businesses should be free to conduct their businesses and insurance as they deem right and best. Thank you for taking comments from citizens of Washington State. i appreciate your willingness to listen. Sincerely, Gaylon Bostrom
Nov 26 2013 6:06PM Hospitals and health systems should be required to disclose their reproductive and end-of-life policies and be specific. The checklist recommended by the ACLU is a smart approach. At a higher level, why do we allow any licensed hospital to impose clerics' rules on physicians and/or patients when it's so clear those rules result in care that doesn't meet professional and/or ethical standards? The American Congress of ob-GYNs is very clear that women need easy access to contraception and that the imposition of "conscience rights" must not result in compromised care for patients. The Catholic bishops' insistence that their ministries can take tax dollars and impose their rules in a health care setting on nonCatholics is absurd. We need to transform WA's health system from one where a tiny religious minority (conservative Catholics who agree with the bishops) can impose its rules on half the state to a system where patients rights are protected and where doctors can make decisions free of religious oversight and intimidation.
Nov 26 2013 8:11PM I am disappointed to see another proposal for listing things you DO NOT provide. This rule change will obviously not go unanswered if approved. How much of my money is the state willing to spend to force abortion on us? When I was in business as a mason contractor, should I have been forced by the power of the state to publish all the things that I DID NOT provide? Should the Department of Health be forced to provide a list and publish the things it DOES NOT provide? Why does this logic only seem to work when we are talking about abortion? No one is taking this equally illogical (right) away from anyone by not providing it. I have a constitutional right to a lot of things. Does it then follow that my fellow citizens are obligated to provide the means for me to realize them? Very murky water the state is wading into here. Please don't burn more of my tax dollars on this.
Nov 26 2013 8:34PM I have several comments. First, this policy change should come from the legislature, not the Governor. Second, it is not necessary and will add costs to provide medical care. Third, assisted suicide and abortion are not truly medical care or medically necessary (abortion to save the life of the mother may be, but is extremely rare). Fourth, it seems to be part of the state government attempting to force its liberal "doctrine" on citizens who disagree. Many of those commenting expressed concern about the religious beliefs of doctors and hospitals being forced on them, yet a doctor refusing to do something against their beliefs does not force the patient to believe the same. But they hypocritically think their beliefs should be forced on the doctors and hospitals. Finally, our government is founded upon the principle of freedom of religion. This rule is a move toward not allowing doctors and hospital administrators to practice their religion. (The comments regarding separation of church and state and freedom from religion are unfounded, as those are not in the constitution.)
Nov 26 2013 8:36PM This is clearly vindictive policy that is unneeded and beyond the scope of the mission of the Department of Health. To have government keep lists based entirely on businesses beliefs about controversial issues can't possibly be good for individual rights or religious freedom. Conscience must also be protected.
Nov 26 2013 9:52PM I am tolerant and open minded of other view points. I am not bigetted or heterophobic. I am not angry or nasty at people who do not feel or think the same way I do. I am an American.
Nov 26 2013 11:02PM This is unnecessary and intrusive. Please do not enact it.



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