This one is tricky, for a couple of reasons. First, I really like to double- or even triple-source stories that might be questionable. While there are multiple references to this story, the only mainstream mention is from Fox news; the others come from websites that are either explicitly religious or ideological (seriously, I’d welcome any other mainstream sources). Second, because it involves a hospital that doesn’t want to get sued, the lack of detailed comment from the other side makes it tough to judge the veracity of the aggrieved individual’s complaints. And third, this swirls around a very controversial topic for a lot of people.
According to urologist Dr. Paul Church, he was fired by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for his opposition to “a social agenda [the hospital] wanted to promote.” Church cited the hospital policy of promoting “such events as Gay Pride Week and “LGBT Achievement” awards ceremonies.” “The hospital’s stance ignored overwhelming evidence that practices common in the LGBT increase the risk of disease and mental illness, according to Church.”
The hospital’s 25-member medical executive committee voted to expel him, and the hospital stated, “that Church’s behavior was “inconsistent with BIDMC’s established standards of professional conduct…Because this is a medical staff credentialing matter, we do not plan to comment further.”
“Church said he asked the hospital to stop sending him emails promoting LGBT culture and events, but he continued to receive them.
Some members of the hospital staff were apparently offended by Church’s remarks, some of which cited Bible verses, and an investigation into Church was conducted.”
What we are left with are questions. Is Church a sincere man of faith who sees his medical practice as an extension of his beliefs? That certainly could describe a great many physicians from all sorts of different faiths and ideologies that I have known. Or is Church just a proselytizing jerk? And if so, did he exhibit actual disruption? There is no mention of any claim of poor patient treatment or poor quality work, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t occur. Again, we can’t tell.
But in an era when the hospitals push physicians into all sorts of unwarranted, or even objectionable behavior, the larger question for me is, was the hospital actually promoting specific LGBT events? And if they were, is that an appropriate function of the hospital? And in either case, should a hospital be allowed to enforce policies that interfere with the medical judgment, or religious beliefs of their physicians? Am I missing any important questions on this? What do you think?Tweet