Home > When Religious Rules And Women's Health Collide
When Religious Rules And Women's Health Collide
NPR reports on a survey, which appears in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, of more than 1,000 OB-GYNs who work in religious hospitals and finds that more than one-third report they've had a conflict regarding religion-based policy and patient care.
When you go to the hospital these days, chances are good that it will be affiliated with a religious organization. And while that may might just mean the chaplain will be of a specific denomination or some foods will be off limits, there may also be rules about the kind of care allowed.
A survey of more than 1,000 OB-GYNs who work in religious hospitals finds that more than one-third report they've had a conflict regarding religion-based policy and patient care. At Catholic hospitals, the figure was 52 percent.
Restrictions on abortion at Catholic hospitals are the rule. But that's not the only issue, says Debra Stulberg, an assistant professor of family medicine at the University of Chicago Medical School and lead author of the study.
Stulberg said while the survey did not allow researchers to pinpoint the exact nature of the conflicts (more research is currently under way involving follow-up interviews with some of the survey respondents), her own discussions with physicians in religiously affiliated hospitals have found that the most frequent issues arise around birth control and sterilization, particularly for women who want to be sterilized just after giving birth.