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Role of Jewish Hospital in Kentucky's Catholic Merger Questioned

Members of the Jewish community in Louisville, Ky., are questioning the implications of Jewish Hospital's participation in a merger that would create a new statewide Catholic health system, according to a Courier-Journal report.

Under the merger, Jewish Hospital would abide by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services — restrictions and guidelines set by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Hospital officials have said Jewish will maintain its identity and heritage, but others are concerned about Catholic restrictions at the hospital that has been a pillar of Louisville's small but active Jewish community since the early 1900s.

Some residents are particularly concerned about issues such as reproductive and end-of-life care. Reproductive procedures like tubal ligations are already rare at Jewish Hospital, but under ERDs, they would no longer be permitted.

Jewish merged with the former Caritas Health Services in 2005 to create Jewish Hospital & St. Mary's HealthCare. Jewish Hospital HealthCare Services maintained a 75 percent ownership share, with Catholic Health Initiatives owning 25 percent. The hospital has since honored many of the Catholic ERDs but was not subject to them.

Related Articles on Jewish Hospital:

Kentucky's Baptist Hospital East to Take Over Tubal Ligations so University Hospital Can Abide by Catholic Directives
FTC Clears Pending 3-System Merger in Kentucky
Jewish Hospital in Kentucky Announces 155 Job Cuts




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