March 21, 2012 - The irrepressibly effervescent personality of Cardinal Timothy Dolan may tempt some to think of the archbishop of New York and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops as the latest in a line of glad-handing Irish-American prelates, long on blarney and short on depth.
Succumbing to that temptation would be a very serious mistake. For Cardinal Dolan is a man of formidable intelligence, a historian trained in the school of the late John Tracy Ellis, dean of the classic historians of Catholicism in the United States ... [read more]
"The pope in Mexico and Cuba: ‘Viva Cristo Rey!’"
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
An Open Letter:
From the Denver Guild of the Catholic Medical Association
President Obama’s new mandate to force religious institutions to pay for oral contraceptives, sterilizations and abortifacients is first and foremost a violation of religious freedom; but as physicians, we think it is also bad for women’s health and bad medicine for the following reasons.
Human life is not a disorder that requires prevention. Birth control is NOT preventive medical care like performing breast exams and pap smears to prevent cancer or immunizations to prevent pneumonia and influenza. Simply put, children, fertility and pregnancy are NOT diseases.
Second, oral contraceptives (OCPs) can contribute to significant disease and dysfunction, including blood clots, strokes and heart attacks, increased rates of HPV transmission, and increased incidence of cervical, liver and breast cancer. Also, contraceptive procedures can cause infections and punctures of internal organs. Male sterilization is possibly associated with higher rates of prostate cancer and kidney stones.
There are only two FDA-approved indications for oral contraceptives: contraception and acne. All other uses are considered “off-label” by the FDA. Some medical providers and lay people claim that oral contraceptives can be used for other medical conditions specific to women. The deception in that claim is that a thorough diagnostic work-up is often not done by medical providers, and better and safer therapies are not usually considered.
In summary, this mandate represents an assault on religious freedom and conscience rights. It is also a novel form of government coercion that should be a concern for all Americans, regardless of religious affiliation. This action by the government could lead to the promotion of potentially harmful and possibly inappropriate medical care to patients who are otherwise healthy.
We urge you to contact your legislator to rescind this ruling.
Michelle Stanford, M.D.
Arthur A. Burroughs, M.D.
Robert Domaleski, M.D.
Megan Woodman, M.D.