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Posted at 7:10 PM ET, 01/12/2011

Seeking a hospital that doesn't limit care

By Susan F. Wood and Laura Meyers, Washington

The statement from Marilyn Moon, chair of the Maryland Health Care Commission, that Montgomery County does not "lack available and accessible options" for obtaining reproductive health services ["Adventist keeps up fight for new hospital," Metro, Jan. 6] is inaccurate, and, as a result, her endorsement of the Holy Cross proposal to build a new hospital in the county is seriously flawed.

Released in January 2010, our "Report on Reproductive Health Services in Montgomery County" found that only about one-third of women in need of publicly supported reproductive health care are receiving it. It behooves the commission to take a close look at the concerns identified in this report during the final phase of this hospital proposal comparison. Adventist Hospital would offer the full range of services at its proposed facility. Holy Cross, as a Catholic health-care facility, would deny its patients access to services including contraception, emergency contraception for rape victims, sterilization services for women and men, and abortion care even when the health or life of the woman is at risk.

Montgomery County residents deserve a new hospital that will provide the full range of health-care services we know this community needs. A hospital operated by Adventist can provide such care, while one operated by Holy Cross can not.

The writers are, respectively, director of the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health at George Washington University and president and chief executive of Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington.

By Susan F. Wood and Laura Meyers, Washington  | January 12, 2011; 7:10 PM ET
Categories:  Maryland, health care, public health  
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Posted by: jovaugh | January 13, 2011 5:12 AM | Report abuse

Where are the Montgomery County elected officials on this issue? County Executive Leggett, Councilwoman Nancy Floreen, Councilman George Leventhal and the rest, how can you let county public land be used by a private institution that limits care? It's public land. Why are you so quiet on this issue?

Posted by: kensingland | January 13, 2011 6:46 AM | Report abuse

At some point, someone needs to ask the question, did the state reviewer really do her job as she was supposed to do or did she just ask for a copy of the Holy Cross proposal and put a fresh cover page on it? How could there be so many flaws in one report and how can they all ignore what is best for Montgomery County? Who gets to decide the best health care plan for upper Montgomery County? The community or the Baltimore insiders? Remember, the Baltimore insiders did not want an emergency center for Germantown and the community had to fight for that. Looks like the community needs to step up again and help ourselves by pushing for the Clarksburg Hospital. No one else is.

Posted by: uppermonty | January 13, 2011 6:55 AM | Report abuse

Kensingland, while the County Council has let down upper Montgomery County (again), 11 of the state legislators who represent Rockville, Gaithersburg, Germantown, Clarksburg, Montgomery Village and Damascus have strongly weighed in for the Clarksburg hospital plan several times. They know using public land on the Montgomery College site for a hospital is the wrong idea. They know the community has been working on the Clarksburg plan for years.

Posted by: mford00 | January 13, 2011 7:16 AM | Report abuse

One of the other aspects of a Catholic hospital is the imposition of their beliefs on patients. If there are delivery difficulties, the Catholic model requires them to save the baby at the expense of the mother; the Jewish rules require the opposite. Adventist gives the choice to the patient... Holy Cross follows their religious guidance. For this reason, both my niece and nephew were born at Shady Grove, and everything possible was done to ensure they would NOT have to go to Holy Cross.

How many other people face that same choice? How many would refuse to use Holy Cross due to their requirement that Catholic doctrine take precedence over doctors and patients? Do you really want your medical treatment dictated by the Pope?

Posted by: mcrochip | January 13, 2011 8:42 AM | Report abuse

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