Phoenix Hospital Controversy Continues

Rowen K. Zetterman, M.D., dean of Creighton University School of Medicine, in Omaha, responded to criticism of the university’s expanding affiliation with a Phoenix hospital whose Catholic identity was revoked by the local bishop. Zetterman said that Creighton’s School of Medicine remains “confident it can maintain the Catholic and Jesuit values” among students training in Phoenix. In late 2010 Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of Phoenix revoked the Catholic affiliation of St. Joseph’s Hospital after hospital officials acknowledged that in 2009, in response to an imminent medical threat, a woman’s placenta was removed and her child died as a result. After the Creighton students arrived, Bishop Olmsted reiterated on July 23 that St. Joseph’s “is not a Catholic institution,” advising that at St. Joseph’s “Catholics, and all people of good will...cannot be guaranteed authentic Catholic health care.” Zetterman said St. Joseph’s officials have assured him that they “continue to operate the hospital in the Catholic tradition.” He also pointed out that medical students frequently train at institutions without any Catholic connections.

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