The Freedom From Religion Foundation is fighting to protect the constitutional rights of Washington residents after more than eight secular hospitals have merged or plan to merge with Catholic hospitals.
This is part of a larger phenomenon happening across the country where the merged hospital is forced to adopt the doctrine of the Catholic Church. Catholic hospitals refuse to give patients the medical treatment they need if the treatment does not conform to their interpretation of a 2,000-year-old holy book.
Women are denied abortions; transgender people are denied the resources they need to transition; the sick and elderly are denied end-of-life treatment; and nobody will be given proper access to birth control. Hospitals plagued by Catholic dogma will also potentially discriminate against people because of their marital status and sexual orientation.
FFRF will not allow religious dogma to dictate the healthcare patients receive from public hospitals. Catholics make up 16 percent of Washington’s population, but Catholic hospitals use government funding to force their backward beliefs on the entire state of Washington. FFRF has responded to this blatant violation of people’s constitutional and human rights by imploring Washington Governor Jay Inslee and the Washington State Department of Health in a June 24 letter to stop the Catholic Church’s takeover of the state healthcare system.
FFRF Staff Attorney Andrew Seidel wrote, “Should community residents and medical professionals be forced to adhere to beliefs that they do not share? Should the first priority of these institutions be religious instead of medical? Should patients be proselytized instead of treated? Do not endanger patients by putting religious beliefs before providing the best possible medical care.”