From: Subject: Date: April 21, 2005 3:53:51 PM CDT Hankblog

Thursday, April 22, 2004

And to the MCC

To Whom It Concerns:

I am writing, as a former resident of Michigan and as a Catholic, to express my extreme disappointment at your support of the above referenced legislation. Your vice president for public policy, Paul A. Long, is on record as stating "Individual and institutional health care providers can and should maintain their mission and their services without compromising faith-based teaching..."

May I ask exactly which selective faith-based teaching you are referring to? How could this law possibly be in harmony with the themes of Catholic social teaching articulated throughout this century by papal encyclicals and conciliar documents, especially those of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops? I am referring particularly to The Life and Dignity of the Human Person, the Option for the Poor and Vulnerable and Solidarity. My Catholic faith exhorts me to "love God with all my heart, all my soul and my neighbor as myself," and to follow in the all-inclusive footsteps of Christ. How can one love thy neighbor as thyself if you are denying them necessary medical care under any circumstances, much less based upon a private criterium that NO health care provider has any business asking?

I am not arguing that it is inappropriate for physicians to ask questions about a patient's risky behaviors (this includes smoking, drinking, and use of ANY controlled substances), it is indeed appropriate and in many cases necessary. It is, however, utterly inappropriate, irrelevant and I would venture to say illegal to question a patient about their sexual identity. Therefore this law also begs the question of how it could possibly be enforced without the the most heinous violations of patients' legal rights to confidentiality? Please remember that the doctor-patient relationship is every bit as sacrosanct as the penitent-confessor relationship.

We are Catholics, we are Christians, we are not God. We do not judge, lest we be judged. And I personally do not wish to be judged by such acts of hatred, cruelty and inhumanity. I will pray for all of you, that you may come to know the God who is Love for all living creatures, and to know his son Jesus Christ who brought the good news of God's love to the world. The entire world, ladies and gentlemen, not just those pockets of humanity here and there that He was not entirely comfortable with.

In Fellowship,
Austin, Texas