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U of California strengthens oversight on affiliations with religious hospitals

The University of California Board of Regents voted to adopt a new policy June 24 that may phase out the partnerships and affiliations it has with hospitals that impose religious restrictions on care, according to The Sacramento Bee

The policy aims to give UC physicians practicing at sectarian hospitals more say in the care delivered and places greater limits on interference by religious hospitals in medical decisions.

Under the policy, University of California physicians and religious hospitals that restrict care must discuss all available care options with patients and provide a referral if the hospital does not offer that care because of religious restrictions. 

Additionally, if the patient is unable to be safely transferred to another facility, University of California physicians will be able to perform the procedure at the sectarian hospital, according to the Bee

All UC-affiliated hospitals with religious-based restrictions have until Dec. 31, 2023, to adjust their services and policies to comply with the new guidelines, or UC will phase out the partnership or affiliation, according to the Bee. 

Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, told the Bee that the new policy is a positive step forward as it allows UC physicians to use their judgment in providing care rather than following a hospital's religious policy guidelines.

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