Vatican     HOLY SEE BANS TUBAL LIGATION IN CATHOLIC HOSPITAL
The Vatican has directed diocesan authorities in the state of Arkansas to ban doctors sterilising women in a medical centre acquired last year by a Catholic hospital.
    The procedure in question is a tubal ligation, in which a surgeon cuts, ties or burns a woman's fallopian tubes to prevent passage of eggs. It is often done immediately after childbirth to save the woman a return trip to the hospital.
    Little Rock's St Vincent Infirmary Medical Center purchased Columbia Doctors Hospital in 1998 and ordered an end to abortions and sterilisations. But the hospital said it had to offer tubal ligation to qualify for reimbursements from some health maintenance organisations. So it asked Bishop Andrew J. McDonald to let doctors from the independent Arkansas Women's Health Center perform the procedure in the hospital.
    Bishop McDonald sought Vatican dispensation for the sterilisation, which he said was an objective evil justified by moral circumstances. Hospital spokesman Scott Mosley saidon Tuesday that the hospital would comply.
   
    AP 9:56am 30/9/99

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