Catholic Hospitals Betray Mission?

Those who work in Catholic health care have probably heard about a report released on Wikileaks entitled: Sterilization and abortion practices in Texas Catholic hospitals. In this report, a group of anonymous whistleblowers analyzed data from the Texas Health Care Information Collection Center for Health Statistics and concluded that many immoral procedures were conducted by Catholic sponsored health care institutions between 2000-2003.

As an aspiring mission leader, I imagined myself being confronted with this report. How would I react? How would I respond to someone asking my opinion of the report? What would I say to someone, in light of this report, inquiring about my hospital’s compliance with the Catholic health care directives on sterilization and abortion?

Before I could even begin to answer these questions, I realized the incredible breadth of knowledge required to fully understand the report. I saw that I need to develop a commanding knowledge of many things.

Here’s a short list:

  • Ethics and Catholic Moral Tradition
  • The Mission of Catholic Health Care
  • The USCCB’s Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services
  • The coding (billing) process:
    • Difference between category coding and entity coding
    • ICD-9-CM - Diagnoses Codes & Procedure Codes
  • The theology of sponsorship and the role of Catholic religious orders therein

I am most interested in the effects of this report on Catholic health care in the United States. I will closely follow it’s aftermath.

Michael Miller, Jr.