CHA Statement on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' decision to revise the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                     
June 16, 2023

Contact: Brian Reardon

Statement by Sr. Mary Haddad, RSM, President and CEO

[WASHINGTON DC] – "Catholic health care welcomes and cares for transgender patients, or those experiencing gender dysphoria, with the same care and respect as any patient in our facilities. As a Catholic health ministry, our mission and ethical standards in health care are rooted in and inseparable from the Catholic Church's teachings about the dignity of each and every human person, created in the image of God.

"These values form the basis for our steadfast commitment to the compelling moral implications of our health care ministry and for CHA’s long history of advocating for the right of everyone to affordable, accessible health care. Our members are committed to the provision of quality health care services to any person in need of care, without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability, or any other category, including gender identity, sexual orientation, financial means, or immigration status.

There is still much to learn about the complex factors that cause gender dysphoria, as well as the outcomes of therapeutic treatments for transgender patients. As part of the revision process, we encourage the USCCB to engage in broad consultation with patients suffering from gender dysphoria and providers who care for them to ensure the health of the whole person. Through this effort, I hope we can reach an outcome which reflects a deeper clinical, theological, and pastoral understanding of caring for transgender individuals. Establishing trust with marginalized patients is vital to their health and well-being, and it is our hope that the ERD revision will communicate this pastorally and clearly.

"We look forward to the opportunity to work with the USCCB to ensure that revisions of the ERDs allow Catholic health care to continue to provide high-quality patient care which respects church teaching and federal and state laws, including those respecting the free exercise of religion while respecting the dignity of all. We understand the challenges and complexities this dialogue will entail, but we stand ready to find ways to care for all our patients with the dignity of those made in the image and likeness of God."

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The Catholic Health Association of the United States is the national leadership organization of the Catholic health ministry, representing the largest nonprofit provider of health care services in the nation.

  • 1 in 7 patients in the U.S. is cared for in a Catholic hospital each day.
  • Catholic health care, which includes more than 2,200 hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, systems, sponsors, and related organizations, serves the full continuum of health care across our nation.

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