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Re: Matt Bowman’s May 18 column “The ACLU’s war on Catholic hospitals”: Bowman misunderstands the issue at hand. No one takes issue with Christians running a hospital.

The grave concern we have is when religion governs hospital policy, resulting in real-life harm for the women in their care. How can denying a procedure that could prevent a woman’s death be Christian or morally right? A bedrock religious value is caring about people, the whole person — mind, body and soul. Part of that caring includes respecting an individual’s decision-making about their physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. Doctors should be able to provide their patients with the best options for their health so that they can make these decisions.

Religious doctrine that contradicts best practices of modern medicine and threatens patient well-being has no place governing hospital policy. As a Christian leader, my expertise falls short of medical advice because I am not a trained medical professional. Who are we as Christians to say that someone should not be able to make a decision about their own body with their doctor, especially one that could help save their life? We would all be truer to our faith if we respect the patient’s decisions regarding their well-being, rather than unnecessarily put their lives at risk.

The Rev. Douglas

Van Doren, Plymouth

United Church of Christ

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