The Roman Catholic Church prohibits sterilization. Many women, particularly those who have just had a baby, choose sterilization (also known as a tubal ligation) as a permanent form of birth control after they have decided not to have more children. This procedure is also very commonly performed immediately after a c-section (which accounts for 30% of all births these days) when a woman chooses it.
Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in Southeastern Arizona has recently partnered with Carondelet Health Network, a Catholic not-for-profit health care system that follows the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church. Therefore, as a condition of the partnership, the hospital will stop performing sterilization procedures. The CEO of Sierra Vista insists that ‘we are not taking away anyone’s rights,” and states that these procedures can be done in a doctor’s office.
Stats from 2006 and 2007 on hospital birth, outcomes and payment are out.
I will pull some interesting figures:
-In 2007, there were more than 4.3 million births — the largest number ever registered — in the United States.
-Cesarean section was the most common operating room procedure in the country in 2007, with a cumulative increase from 1997-2007 of 85%.
-The rate of vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) within childbirth-related hospitalizations was 9.7% in 2006, a decline of 73% from 1997, when the VBAC rate was 35.3%
-In 2006, combined facility charges billed for “mother’s pregnancy and delivery” and “newborn infants” ($86 billion) far exceeded charges for any other hospital condition in the United States.
I’m so pleased that CNN decided to post a follow up to the Szabo story. The Szabos had to relocate so that they could have a VBAC because their local hospital changed their policy and refused to let them deliver vaginally.
On December 5, their son Marcus Anthony was born in Phoenix via an uncomplicated vaginal delivery, weighing seven pounds and 13 ounces. YAY!
The Health Day Reporter posted an article today citing statistics from the report: Born A Bit Too Early: Recent Trends in Late Preterm Births, issued by the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, stating that “The percentage of babies born preterm in the United States rose by more than 20 percent from 1990 to 2006, most delivered at the end of the preterm period, federal health officials report.”
This is a great New York Times magazine article about healthcare. Well, really it’s an article about one man (Brent James) who is trying to change health care by trying to standardize doctors approaches to certain health issues based on evidence. Apparently doctors don’t particularly care to be ‘standardized’ and his approach actually loses hospitals money but, patient outcomes are significantly better and his approaches eliminate waste in the form of needless tests and procedures.
Joy and Jeff Szabo will need to be separated by 300 miles, and most likely he won’t be at the birth of their child. Neither Jeff or Joy is in the military. The Szabo’s live in a town whose hospital has decided to ban VBAC. (Vaginal Delivery after C-Section) This town is PAGE, ARIZONA. (sorry, had to put it in caps as a warning) but it could also be basically the entire southern half of New Mexico, and half the other places around the country. Joy has had a successful VBAC already at this same hospital. Joy was threatened with a court order, by the hospital’s CEO if she attempted to enter that hospital and refuse a c-section. Although grateful for the c-section that saved her son Michael’s life, she refused to be forced to have a c-section and has instead elected to deliver vaginally at a hospital 300 miles away.
The Bulletin of the World Health Organization published a white paper on Oct. 4th 2009, addressing the concerns of the increase in preterm births worldwide. According to the paper, over ONE MILLION babies die each year from causes related to preterm birth.
Preterm birth is defined as a baby born before 37 weeks gestation. In the United States alone, the cost of caring for preterm babies and their associated health problems tops $26 billion annually. Second only to Africa, North America (US and Canada) has the highest instance of preterm births in the world!