• Almost a third of Catholic hospitals are located in rural areas.
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Need Help in Your Community?

  1. Has your local hospital announced a merger or affiliation with a religiously-affiliated hospital that uses doctrine to restrict patients’ access to health services?
  2. Has a pharmacist refused to fill your prescription because of personal objections to contraception?
  3. Have you been denied medical care or information by a physician who cited religious or moral objections?

If you’ve been affected by religious restrictions when you tried to obtain health care, please let us know.
We may be able to help. 

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Or call us at 212.870.2010

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Patients' Rights:
Emergency Care 

When patients need emergency care, hospitals must be required to provide that care immediately on site.

Unfortunately, there have been reports of religiously-sponsored hospitals refusing to treat women presenting in the emergency department with dangerous ectopic pregnancies and such pregnancy emergencies as premature rupture of membranes. Some religious hospitals also fail to offer emergency contraception to victims of sexual assault (See our EC in the ER page for more info). In such emergency cases, the patient’s need for care must take precedence over a hospital’s policies.

When a hospital has an emergency department, it should be required to provide such emergency care as a condition of Medicare and Medicaid participation, as well as licensing and accreditation. Compliance with such policies should be enforced by internal review and outside auditing agencies.

Both the ACLU and the National Women's Law Center have recently asked the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to consider new or enhanced language under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act and the Conditions of Participation of Medicare and Medicaid requiring all hospitals to provide treatment on site, regardless of ethical or religious policies, when timely treatment is essential to protect the patient’s health. Hospitals should be prohibited from transferring the patient in such instances.