Breaking trust

Mercy Hospital’s decision to stop offering sterilizations in 2023 is a violation of community trust. It will lay an unnecessary burden of travel on people who do not want to be pregnant and compromise health care for anyone who needs a sterilizing surgery.

I am one such person. I suffered from severe gynecological pain for years longer than I should have because of policies like this. Because it was considered “immoral” to sterilize a young person who did not want children, I had to withstand the pain until I could get a doctor’s approval to remove organs that would never function correctly.

When I say severe pain, I mean that it was significantly worse than a broken bone. I had less pain directly after I was released than I did in the hour before surgery. It is not an exaggeration to say that the sterilization procedure saved my life.

I am not a Catholic (and with this blatant disregard for my suffering, I never will be). It is absolutely unreasonable that the director of “mission integration” should be permitted to make decisions about what procedures are permissible when there is no other hospital within an hour’s drive. This policy is an unwanted imposition of someone else’s religious beliefs.

There is not, and cannot be, moral value in forcing me and others like me to suffer.

?– Sylvia Killinen, Bayfield