Catholic Hospital Comes Under Fire for "Tying Tubes" at Joint Venture Surgery Center

Officials at St. Rita's Medical Center in Lima, Ohio, have come under fire for acknowledging that tubal ligation surgeries are performed at a local surgery center partially owned by the hospital, according to a Toledo Blade report.

St. Rita's Medical Center holds 51 percent ownership of West Central Ohio Surgery & Endoscopy Center, an ASC near the hospital that performs tubal ligations, a procedure commonly known as having one's "tubes tied." The Catholic Church has been consistent in its opposition to all forms of contraception excepting natural birth control, and several hospitals have lost their Catholic statuses in the last few years for performing procedures condemned by the Church. While St. Rita's is a Catholic organization, the surgery center is not.

The non-profit hospital earned $995,343 in revenue from the surgery center in 2009 but did not collect revenue from tubal ligations. The revenue from those procedures is donated to a local charity, according to the report.

According to the report, the surgery center and the hospital established that revenue from tubal ligation would be donated to charity when the surgery center opened as a joint venture.

The Toledo diocese said in a statement this week that Bishop Leonard Blair is satisfied that Catholic healthcare in the Diocese of Toledo complies with the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services. Bishop Blair is aware of the situation involving St. Rita's Medical Center and the surgery center.

While other religious leaders did not comment specifically on the situation with St. Rita's, several expressed disapproval over the hospital's decision to let the surgery center perform the procedure.

Read the Toledo Blade report on tubal ligations.

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