Monday, February 15, 2016

Hosptials in the Archdiocese with Catholic Sounding Names

John M. Haas, Ph.D., S.T.L., K.M., President
National Catholic Bioethics Center
6399 Drexel Rd
Philadelphia, PA 19151

Dear Dr. Haas and associates,

On behalf of Cardinal Rigali, Joseph J. Sweeney, Jr. thanked me six years ago for airing my concerns about "the fidelity of Catholic health care facilities in the region to their Catholic identity and mission."  He indicated that an independent ethical review had been done and was shared with Bishop Timothy Senior.  In a meeting in your office almost five years ago, you advised me that you shared my concerns about ongoing egregious situations in Catholic hospitals and would be arranging for both of us to meet with Bishop McIntyre.  It is disappointing that there was no follow through.

Though they continue to have Catholic sounding names, it strikes me as a stretch to claim that we have any "Catholic" hospitals in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.  Judging by their medical personnel, these facilities not only appear unprepared to offer authentic Catholic OBGYN care, but it appears that they could easily mislead ill-informed Catholics about what is acceptable.   

As you must be aware, only seven NFP-only physicians - of any specialty - have been identified in the Philadelphia area
  • Joseph F Harryhill MD Specialty: Vasectomy Reversal (Radnor)
  • George Isajiw MD Specialty: Internal Medicine (Lansdowne)
  •  Alfred Mauriello ll MD Specialty: ENT (Exton)
  • Monique Ruberu MD Specialty: GYN ONLY (Meadowbrook)
  • Lester Ruppersberger DO Specialty: OB/GYN (Langhorne)
  • Eleanor Tiongson MD Specialty: Family Practice (Drexel Hill)
  • William Williams MD Specialty: Rheumatology (Philadelphia)

Bravo to Drs Harryhill, Isajiw, Mauriello, Ruberu, Ruppersberger, Tiongson, and Williams!  Their very rarity should raise enormous concerns:

While the National Catholic Bioethics Center offers trainings/certifications, their only chance of effectiveness would be if hospitals with Catholic sounding names were motivated for change.  As the character Che advised in Evita, "When the money keeps rolling in, you don't ask how.  Exorbitant CEO salaries strike me as a likely motivator for maintaining the status quo:  
  • Michael B. Laign is President/CEO of Holy RedeemerFor 2013, Laign is reported to have received $816,283 in total compensation.
  • Dan Moen is Interim President and CEO of St Mary Medical CenterFor 2013, Moen's predecessor, Greg Wozniak, is reported to have received $775,260 in total compensation.
  • Susan Croushore is the [Interim/] President and CEO of Mercy Health SystemFor 2013, Croushore's predecessor, David H. Clark, is reported to have received $1,524,810 in total compensation.
Aren't the words of the Pope Emeritus applicable to the use of the "Catholic" designation by these hospitals with Catholic sounding names? 


P.S. In my opinion, neither Saint Mary's Advanced Directives and Living Wills nor Holy Redeemer's Making Your Own Health Care Decisions clearly specify Catholic teaching with regard to nutrition and hydration, and that health care services cannot honor advance directives (e.g., non-specific directives to forego nutrition and hydration) opposed to Catholic teaching.

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About Me

I am an enormously blessed husband and dad. In regard to my Catholic theological background, I have a certificate in social ministry & a master's degree (moral theology concentration), as well as a catechetical diploma from the Vatican's Sacred Congregation for the Clergy (Nope, I am not now - nor have I have ever been - a seminarian, deacon, or priest.). I feel particularly proud to have a mandatum. I also have a doctorate in Christian counseling psychology.

And yup, that's me!

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12/12/08 Interview with Rev. Tad Pacholczyk, Ph.D. of the National Catholic Bioethics Center

March for Life 2010