Coming Soon: “Hospital Mergers & Religious Restrictions on Health Care”

Friday, October 25, 2013

On this coming Wednesday, October 30th from 7-9 pm the ACLU-WA and four allies are presenting an important Community Forum at Town Hall Seattle (1119 8th Ave.).  “Hospital Mergers & Religious Restrictions on Health Care” will explore how mergers of religiously affiliated and secular health care systems  can affect patient access to lawful and medically appropriate care.  

As religious health corporations take over secular health facilities at an unprecedented pace in Washington, patients are at risk of being denied access to important medical services, including end-of life services and reproductive care.  Discrimination toward LGBT individuals and families is also a significant concern.   If all the proposed religious-secular health facility mergers go through this year, nearly half, if not more, of all hospital beds in Washington will be in religiously affiliated hospitals. 

The Community Forum will be an educational event where a panel of experts will discuss how these mergers affect patient access.  Panelists include:

  • Sheila Reynertson, Merger Watch
  • Aaron Katz, UW School of Public Health
  • Mary Kay Barbieri, People for Healthcare Freedom
  • Mauricio Ayon, WA Community Action Network
  • Sarah Shannon, UW  School of Nursing
  • Moderated by Erica Barnett, Publicola

A question-and-answer period will follow the panel.  The Forum will also include tools to allow community members to take action and to share their stories.  

The event is free and co-sponsored by the ACLU of Washington, Compassion & Choices of Washington, Legal Voice, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, and Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest.

Learn more here