Fr. John's Letter Archives

Enjoy re-reading Fr. John's weekly bulletin letters for the past year.


Hysterectomy for Men

10-16-2016Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Physicians in the US are now required to give upon request a man a hysterectomy. Yes, you read that correctly, it is not a mistake, tongue in check or sarcasm. The Department of Human Services Office of Civil Rights has issued a new rule (no idea where they get the right to do so) that physicians must treat patients according to their stated gender/sex and failure to do so could result in a charge of health care discrimination and fines and loss of reimbursements and possible loss of license. Women who self identify as men and request a hysterectomy regardless of the medical need for such procedure must be accommodated.

DHS is now substituting its judgment for that of the judgment of the treating physician. Even if the doctor’s best medical opinion is that this procedure will do more harm than help, he or she must comply. The DHS mandate which makes sex-reassignment surgery a right, flies in the face of the clinical evidence that clearly shows that over the long run such surgery does not resolve the problems, that those who struggle with gender identity face. In fact long-term medical studies show that it actually is more harmful than helpful.

For our Catholic and other religious hospitals and providers this new rule poses another problem. Catholic ethical and religious directives that govern our healthcare facilities clearly state that it is always morally wrong to intentionally mutilate a healthy body or body part. The exception being when a body part threatens the integrity of the whole body. So for instance a gangrenous limb may need to be amputated to preserve the rest of the body. Obviously performing a hysterectomy when it is not medically necessary is a form of intentional mutilation of the body. For now the rule is being challenged in Federal Court.

Being forced to comply with unethical and immoral medical decisions is not limited to physicians and hospitals. Most of us are being forced to subsidize these treatments along with abortion, assisted suicide, birth control through our health insurance. So what can you do to make sure you are not complicit in immoral medical practices? Especially in light of the fact that health insurance is required by law under the penalty of fines and most insurance plans are required by law to include what many Christians see as unethical and immoral mandates.

One way to avoid being complicit in evil acts is to participate in a Health Sharing Plan. These plans are exempt from the ACA mandates and fulfill the requirement for each individual to be covered by a health plan. They also follow biblical and long-standing Christian moral principles and thus help keep you from being morally culpable. Health Sharing Plans work differently than health insurance in that they require individuals to take greater responsibility for their health care choices. Since it is not insurance but a self-pay system you have greater flexibility in choosing your physician or hospital. Doctors like Health Sharing Programs because there is no bureaucracy to navigate. They also provide you the opportunity to be in a community of people who share your moral values and support each other.

A new Catholic Health Sharing Plan has finally arrived! Up till now most were Christian plans that came close to following Catholic ethical teaching but often fell short in some areas. Solidarity Health Share is now available for Catholics and those who subscribe to Catholic medical moral principles and is fully compliant with the Ethical and Religious Directives for Medical Care issued by the Catholic Bishops. Solidarity Health Share is an ethical and affordable way to pay for medical costs. The member guidelines, which determine what medical expenses are shared among the members of Solidarity, follow Christian teaching and medical expenses that are morally objectionable or violate one’s properly formed conscience are not shared.

Health care sharing is a great example of the Catholic social teaching on solidarity and subsidiarity. First, the principle of solidarity teaches us to commit ourselves to the common good of all, not just ourselves. Second, the principle of subsidiarity teaches us to solve our societal issues at the lowest level possible, closest to those affected. Health care sharing satisfies both principles because members share and bear the burdens of the medical costs of other members and Solidarity simply facilitates the sharing. Members decide what is ethical and moral, not a federal bureaucracy or and insurance company.

For more information go to: http://www.solidarityhealthshare.org/ and request a Free Decision Guide or call 844-313-4999.

Love,
Fr. John B.

P.S. Along related lines: NO ON PROP 205. Marijuana like tobacco has carcinogens and is harmful to your physical health. 

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