The bioethics of reproductive health care in Catholic-affiliated hospitals and clinics
Abortion, Contraception
Awarded 2012
Junior Investigator Grants
Lori Freedman, PhD
University of California, San Francisco

Objectives: To gain training and expertise in bioethics to inform scholarship and further ongoing bioethical research about Catholic hospital obstetric care. To develop a bioethical framework regarding restrictions on reproductive health care in religious hospitals to inform a sociological crossover book about Catholic health care in the US. Methods: Training was gained through an intensive course in bioethics at the Kennedy Institute of Georgetown University, through coursework, and through one-on-one mentorship with Drs. Jodi Halpern (UC Berkeley) and Elena Gates (UCSF). Ongoing research involves qualitative interviews with Catholic hospital physicians and patients. Results: Training was completed. Research and writing have been disseminated through both peer reviewed and lay publications. Bioethical framework development is ongoing, many components of which have been presented at conferences to be used in book. Conclusion: Beneficiary is incredibly grateful for this opportunity for professional growth and help in the advancement of this timely research. Catholic hospitals have grown tremendously in recent years, and ob-gyn care under Catholic doctrine is highly constrained, in some cases substandard. This award has been essential to help generate publications and take advantage of media opportunities at a critical time in the evolution of US health care.