Re: "On a mission to fight drunk driving," Huntington Beach Independent, June 13.
Micayla Vermeeren is taking steps to make a positive change. I believe her idea will help save lives because young people will be more inclined to call a peer than a parent.
Hoag's stand on abortions is disingenuous
I object to Hoag Hospital's decision to cease providing a full range of women's services, ostensibly because not enough procedures are performed.
The dilation and curettage (D&C) procedure, used to abort in the early stages of pregnancy, is the same procedure used for a miscarriage. These are common procedures, and it is disingenuous to claim that not enough are performed and thus they need to be eliminated.
If hospital officials followed their own logic, one might presume that they would shut down many of their surgical services performed less than their own stated standard of 100 times per year, but they have not.
Hoag has given the impression that St. Joseph Health did not require a cessation of abortion services, but a careful reading of Hoag President Robert Braithwaite's words indicate only that St. Joseph "did not pressure" Hoag to make this decision. However, the fact that he takes an intransigent stance ("the chances of reversing that decision aren't there") in the face of community outrage screams oversight by St. Joseph.
I find these actions reprehensible and regret that Hoag has decided to drag its own reputation through the mud.
Dr. Susan Skinner
Thank you, Hoag doctors
I applaud the eight doctors from Hoag Hospital who had the courage to refute the hospital's statement regarding its new policy banning abortion. It is clear that Hoag's publicly stated reason for changing its long-standing position is disingenuous, at best.
For those of us who live in Newport Beach, Hoag is the only practical option for hospital care, particularly in an emergency. As such, it is the de facto community hospital. Therefore, at a minimum, it owes the community complete honesty and transparency.
Moreover, as it purports to serve all the residents of Newport Beach, it should not follow one segment's religious doctrine but rather well-settled civil law, namely a woman's right to choose. Hoag should reverse its policy regarding abortion forthwith.
Mark B. David
Catholic healthcare is overreaching
I wish to thank the doctors who recently addressed Hoag Hospital's decision to cut abortion services in the wake of its partnership with the Catholic hospital group St. Joseph Health.
The doctors clearly articulated the reasons why this policy is unsound and Hoag's justifications disingenuous. However, I'd like to add that our concern as a community should extend beyond those who support access to abortions.
Catholic doctrine also prohibits contraception, including birth control pills, condoms, IUDs, vasectomies and tubal ligations. It also frowns upon fertility treatments, including artificial and in-vitro fertilization. The Catholic Church also has directives on end-of-life care that may limit treatment options to suffering patients that are otherwise legally available.
According to St. Joseph's website, its "Catholic healthcare delivery system" includes hospitals, home health agencies, hospice care, outpatient services, skilled nursing facilities, community clinics and physicians organizations.
Roughly one-third of all medical services provided in Orange County are now funneled through the gates of the Catholic healthcare system. This should be of concern to anyone who wants to make medical decisions in concert with their own physician and loved ones.
Medical options that are legal and desired should not be rendered unavailable because of the growing market share of the Catholic healthcare system.
Valerie Burchfield Rhodes
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