What is the Role for Catholic Healthcare?
I think, however, there is a tangential and deeper issue. What is the role of Catholic hospitals in a pluralistic society? That’s going to affect the lens through which one views the health care reform proposal. Some people–such as the philosopher Germain Grisez — think they should consider going out of the acute care business entirely rather than accept the inevitable material cooperate with evil that goes along with participating in a broadly secular health care system. He doesn’t really see the point in Catholic health care at the acute level. I myself think his approach is the wrong approach on two counts. First, I think Catholic health care still provides an important witness that acute health care is not simply a service like any other, but always is also a work of mercy. Second, I also think that ability to bring about real change depends upon having an ongoing stake in the system. You can only quit once.
But I do wonder: How prevalent is Grisez’s attitude in the Church, and at the bishops’ conference in particular? I also wonder: What do Peter Nixon and Unigidon think, since they’re in the industry? What is the role of Catholic health care in a post-health-care reform society?