IVF attack a "beat-up": Bishop Fisher
Most hospitals in Australia do not offer IVF services, says Sydney Bishop Anthony Fisher, and criticisms of Catholic hospitals for not doing so are a bit of a "beat-up".
Bishop Fisher was commenting on the decision of Little Company of Mary (LCM) Health Care not to allow a fertility clinic to use the operating theatre of Canberra's John James Hospital, which LCM Health Care recently took over.
The Canberra Fertility Centre, which had access to the hospital operating theatre under an arrangement with the previous owners, is now seeking other premises in which to provide IVF treatment.
"The fact is that most hospitals in Australia - including state hospitals, Catholic public hospitals, and private hospitals - do not offer IVF services," Bishop Fisher told the Catholic Weekly.
"People know very well that no hospital offers every possible service, let alone the ones that are morally controversial.
The Bishop who is Sydney archdiocese's Episcopal Vicar for Life and Health says that people looking for abortion, sterilisation or IVF do not go to Catholics hospitals.
"Better still, they might be challenged to ask themselves: why don't Catholic hospitals offer those services? What's the problem with them?
"And then they might start to reflect upon the dignity of human life and love and the lack of reverence for those things in some other places or treatments," he said.
Bishop Max Davis, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference delegate for health, agreed that it is "unfair and inaccurate" to accuse the Church of only providing some services in public hospitals because of the Church's teachings.
The bishop said: "Not every public hospital, let alone private hospitals, does or can provide the full range of services.
"The Church has been very upfront about that in negotiations with what they will or won't provide."
Attack over IVF rebuff 'a beat-up'
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Bishop Anthony Fisher (Sydney Archdiocese)
Anthony Fisher (Wikipedia)
Expect more clashes over IVF: health expert (CathNews, 15/1/07)
Canberra Catholic hospital under new attack over IVF (CathNews, 9/1/07)
Canberra Calvary courts controversy over hospital purchase (CathNews, 29/12/06)
18 Jan 2007