The mission of Manchester’s Catholic Medical Center (CMC) is “to provide health, healing, and hope […] and respect for the human dignity of every individual.” Among their values is to “understand and believe Human Dignity with respect to the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death.” Yet for the third time, CMC is seeking to merge with another health care provider that does not share these fundamental pro-life values.
Recently, GraniteOne Health (of which CMC is the largest member) proposed merging with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC), which not only performs abortions but also trains doctors in how to do them. According to its own CEO, Dartmouth aborts up to 5% of the pregnancies that enter their doors. New Hampshire Right to Life believes this is a step in the wrong direction, as the merged entity, including budgets, would primarily be controlled by DHMC, which fundamentally differs on basics like who qualifies as a person and whether the Hippocratic oath (which prohibits abortion and euthanasia) should be followed. In addition, with less competition it is likely that healthcare costs in NH would go up, making more poor families choose between healthcare and other basic needs.
We are calling upon CMC to return to its stated core value, especially as it relates to unborn persons: “Treat others with compassion and to promote social justice and equality.”
There are a few ways we can fight this together.
Get the word out
Would your business or municipality be affected by higher healthcare costs? Do you know of others who would oppose this merger? Let them know! Encourage them to take action!
Contact the NH DOJ Charitable Trusts Unit
The Charitable Trusts Unit must approve of major charitable healthcare mergers like this. Please email or write your concern. Mention that you are a concerned citizen who cares about the cost of healthcare in NH. You worry about the monopoly effect that the combination will have on healthcare prices, and you are concerned about the charitable mission of CMC continuing to be met.
From the NH DOJ website:
“On December 30, 2019, GraniteOne Health filed a notice of a proposed transaction between GraniteOne Health, the corporate co-member of Catholic Medical Center, and the sole corporate member of Huggins Hospital and Monadnock Community Hospital, plus some related entities, and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health. Pursuant to RSA 7:19-b, the Charitable Trusts Unit must review the proposed transaction and issue a report by April 28, 2020. Persons interested in commenting on the transaction may do so by writing to or to Director of Charitable Trusts, 33 Capitol St, Concord, NH 03301. Please do so by April 2, 2020.”
Reasons to oppose
- Patients and taxpayers are likely to experience higher healthcare costs, making life-saving healthcare harder to access for many. There is also evidence that quality can be reduced.
- Budget and other resource control will be in the hands of Dartmouth, meaning that the priorities for future spending will be set without respect for unborn life, a core value of CMC. While the proposed ERD adherence and diocesan oversight might protect life at CMC itself, under the proposed merger GraniteOne’s proceeds could support efforts and organizations that are contrary to CMC’s Catholic mission and the beliefs of their pro-life donors, since DHMC would control the purse strings.
- GraniteOne is very strong financially and does not require a merger to stay strong. It was said in 2009, when the same merger was proposed with DHMC, that CMC would experience financial hardship without merging and yet CMC/GraniteOne is doing quite well today.
- If GraniteOne really believes a merger is necessary, healthcare alliances that respect CMC’s core values should be sought.
- DHMC policy currently forces any pro-life doctors who are OB/Gyn residents to violate their consciences by referring patients for abortions. With closer relations between DHMC and GraniteOne, it’s easy to see how this culture of ignoring one’s conscience could infect GraniteOne.
- CMC could lose patients who do not want their health dollars to be mingled with an abortion provider, reducing the financial stability of a wonderful, local Catholic hospital. Worse, CMC patients may be encouraged to seek abortions/abortifacient contraception at shared doctors’ “other offices.”
- Protection for the unborn would be lost at Huggins and Monadnock Community Hospitals, which could be forced to do abortions by DHMC. Under the proposed merger agreement, section 4(d), abortions could only be resisted within the walls of CMC through adherence to Catholic Ethical Religious Directives. This is in contrast to the current policy in GraniteOne’s current agreement (section 3.7), where these hospitals agreed to continue their practice of not providing abortion “Out of respect for CMC’s core values”.
We hope that GraniteOne will rethink trying to merge with entities that engage in atrocities like abortion. If GraniteOne does decide to pursue this merger, we believe that only an irrevocable, system-wide commitment to uphold GraniteOne’s closely held convictions to respect and protect life through a prohibition on abortion and abortion referrals would make sense. This has precedent, as it was done when Huggins & Monadnock Community hospitals joined CMC to form GraniteOne.
NHRTL Trustee & President
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14
VIDEO: Merger Discussion on Rock, Paper, Hand Grenades (2/20/19) w/ Rochelle Neveu, Barbara Hagan, Colleen McCormick