PeaceHealth is pursuing a partnership with the Catholic Health Initiative (CHI). While PeaceHealth officials continue to stress this is not a merger, evidence from other "affiliations" that have taken effect recently are disturbing. CHI provides healthcare in strict adherence to the Bishops Ethical and Religious Directives.
Catholicwatch.org has posted a series of articles covering the healthcare restrictions. Islanders face the same limitations on healthcare. islanders face. PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center, the new hospital on San Juan Island, is a part of PeaceHealth, a Catholic hospital or the new preferred term - Catholic Health Ministries.
Those who think this is an abortion issue, may be surprised to learn - the restrictions do not allow new treatments (e.g., for Parkinsons or Juvenile Diabetes) that make use of embryonic stem cells; any participation or referrals for patients who want to exercise their legal rights under Death with Dignity laws. Those are just two examples.
Assurances that care won't be restricted have been given, though nothing in writing has been produced. "The fiesty nuns" will protect us was one of the first such assurances. The primary reassurance has been the sanctity of the doctor/patient relationship. The articles detail how those assurances are meaningless.
While some islanders may believe these problems only affect San Juan Island residents. Monica Harrington of the Coalition for Transparency in Healthcare said Island Hospital in Anacortes is actively seeking a Request for Proposals from PeaceHealth - soon to be CHI/PeaceHealth.