I was absolutely bowled over by an article in the August 2003 issue of Shape magazine. I always read Shape because it is health-oriented and typically has many success stories about real women who went from being couch potatoes with no self-esteem to highly motivating personal trainers. It’s always a lot of fun, very upbeat.
So after reading the tips and recipes and making a mental note to try belly-blasting crunches, I found an article entitled, “Who controls your health care?” Underneath it read, “You might be shocked to discover what your hospital has already decided for you.”
This got my attention. In between features on how to beat rebound pounds and de-flabbing your arms, the magazine occasionally runs an informative service piece about breast-cancer screening or coping with various health problems. So I thought the article would be about one of two things:
1) how many women complain that they are not taken seriously by the medical community–a topic I am researching myself after two close friends brought this up to me before they succumbed to cancer.
Or, 2) the influence of pharmaceutical companies on providers.
I started to read about a pregnant woman whose water broke at 13 weeks and it seemed the baby would be lost; the doctor persuaded her to have an immediate termination because her life was at risk but she couldn’t because the hospital had merged with a CATHOLIC hospital.
Basically, the piece goes on to suggest that Catholic hospitals are in business to watch pregnant women die because they won’t provide an abortion when medically necessary and also to torment rape victims by withholding emergency contraception.
There was no other side to the coin. Even the helpful Internet sources sidebar links to mergerwatch.org which can tell you if there’s been a “faith-based hospital union” in your area and asks, “Want to fight a merger?”
Shape founder Joe Weider, the former bodybuilder, sold his magazine group to American Media a few months ago. Now Catholic-bashing is mixed in with the “Get the Best Butt on the Beach Plan”?
What the heck is going on here?