Tag Archives: religious

University of California Sets Rules for Religious Hospitals

The University of California’s governing board has adopted a new policy that tightens the rules on affiliations with hospitals that impose religious restrictions on health care.

The new policy follows criticism the UC system has faced for contracts with religious hospitals that refuse to provide services such as abortions, sterilizations or transgender surgery. The UC is fighting legislation by Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat from San Francisco, that would require it to end contracts with religious health facilities unless the hospitals changed their policies or did not apply them to UC physicians and students working there.

The vote Wednesday by the UC Board of Regents moved in that direction, but did not require termination of any of the contracts the university says it has with 77 hospitals and other health facilities in California, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. UC officials say the contracts with large chains like Dignity Health, formerly Catholic Healthcare West, allow its medical staff to provide care for 35,000 patients, many of them low-income Californians with little access to hospitals.

“We should have greater ability to serve more patients, but in a way that is in compliance with the policy we adopt today. We’re against discrimination,” said regents Chair John Pérez, author of the resolution the board approved by a 22-0 vote.

The policy allows new contracts only with health care providers that offer their services to all patients, without discrimination, Pérez said.

It would not require a sectarian hospital’s own staff to perform all medical procedures, but it would allow UC personnel at the facilities to do so. And if a patient needed a procedure, such as a hysterectomy or delivery of an ectopic pregnancy, and could not be safely transferred, UC staff would be allowed to perform it at the hospital.

An initial recommended proposal, sent to the regents by UC President Michael Drake’s office, did not create a clear pathway for the UC to phase out hospitals that choose not to comply with the changes.

An amended policy, proposed by Pérez, gives UC-affiliated hospitals with policy-based restrictions until the end of 2023 to comply with the policy, or the affiliation agreement must be canceled.

Drake and Sen. Wiener endorsed Pérez’s amendments.

“It has the potential to significantly expand access to reproductive and gender-affirming care and to ensure UC physicians can exercise their own professional judgment in providing care,” Wiener said in a statement.

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This post originally appeared on Medscape Medical News Headlines

Ann Widdecombe hit out at 'politically correct' BBC after show removed religious word

The 73-year-old returns to screens today as she joins a panel of special guests on an edition of BBC One’s Celebrity Mastermind, which was chaired by the outgoing host John Humphrys. Ann, who has represented both the Conservative Party and Brexit Party during her long career in politics, is known for her outspoken manner, often sparking fierce debate on both sides of the political spectrum. She spent 23 years representing the constituents of Maidstone, Kent, and was once part of Sir John Major’s Cabinet, until his Government lost its grip on power to Tony Blair’s Labour in 1997.

Her position at the forefront of politics has remained, and in the years since resigning from her position as MP, Ann has remained firmly in the public spotlight thanks to appearances on shows like Celebrity Big Brother and Strictly Come Dancing.

But two years ago, Ann was on the attack after reacting furiously to BBC show University Challenge, and its decision to drop the term Anno Domini or AD from a question regarding Christianity.

It was decided that as opposed to using AD, the politically correct term of CE – meaning Common Era – would be used instead during the programme’s Christmas broadcast in 2019.

The debate regarding the use of AD or CE comes after concern was raised that using the Latin term – in reference to historic events coming after the birth of Christ – could upset those who come from non-Christian backgrounds.

The celebrity edition of the programme included guests such as ex-Conservative Party leader Michael Howard – who Ann served under – screenwriter Dan Mazer and BBC’s Coast series presenter Mark Horton.

The question host Jeremy Paxman asked both teams was: “In about 300 CE which country in the Caucasus region became the first to adopt Christianity as a state religion?”

The BBC then came under heavy scrutiny not just from Ann – but also church leaders and other politicians.

Speaking to The Mail on Sunday at the time of the row, Ann – a devout Catholic – said: “The term CE or Common Era is complete nonsense and isn’t even politically correct.

JUST IN: BBC bias row: Any Questions host forced to intervene during live show

He said: “I think this amounts to the dumbing down of the Christian basis of our culture, language and history.

“These changes are unnecessary and they don’t achieve what the BBC wants them to achieve.

“Whether you use Common Era or Anno Domini, the date is actually still the same and the reference point is still the birth of Christ.”

According to the Daily Mail, Marie Clair of the Plain English Campaign added: “As with most politically correct innovations, I am sure this was done with the best of intentions.

“But it is difficult to see what the point of the changes are if people do not understand the new terms. It sounds like change just for the sake of change.”

Celebrity Mastermind airs today on BBC One from 5.50pm.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Celebrity News Feed

Israel bonfire disaster: At least 38 killed in stampede at religious festival – updates

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: World Feed

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Israeli medic: Nearly 40 people killed in stampede at religious festival

JERUSALEM — The director of an Israeli ambulance service has confirmed that nearly 40 people died in a stampede at a religious festival in northern Israel.

Eli Beer, director of Hatzalah, said he was shocked by the size of the crowd at the Lag BaOmer celebrations at Mount Meron. Police were quoted as saying some 100,000 people were there.

He told Army Radio that there were four to five times the number of people that should have entered a location like this. “Close to 40 people died as a result of this tragedy,” he said.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS EVENT. AP’s earlier story is below.

A stampede broke out early Friday at a Jewish religious gathering attended by tens of thousands of people in northern Israel, leaving 150 hospitalized, authorities said. Israeli media reported that as many as 44 people were killed and published photos of rows of bodies.

The disaster occurred at Mount Meron at the main celebrations of Lag BaOmer, a holiday when tens of thousands of people, mostly ultra-Orthodox Jews, gather to honor Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, a 2nd century sage and mystic who is buried there. Large crowds traditionally light bonfires, pray and dance as part of the celebrations.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it a “great tragedy,” and said everyone was praying for the victims.

The incident happened after midnight, and the cause of the stampede was not immediately clear. Videos circulating on social media showed large numbers of ultra-Orthodox Jews packed together in tight spaces.

A 24-year-old witness, identified only by his first name Dvir, told the Army Radio station that “masses of people were pushed into the same corner and a vortex was created.” He said a first row of people fell down, and then a second row, where he was standing, also began to fall down from the pressure of the stampede.

“I felt like I was about to die,” he said.

Zaki Heller, spokesman for the Magen David Adom rescue service, said 150 people had been hospitalized and confirmed there had been some deaths. Army Radio, citing anonymous medical officials, said the death toll had risen to 44.

Heller told the station “no one had ever dreamed” something like this could happen. “In one moment, we went from a happy event to an immense tragedy,” he said.

Photos from the scene showed rows of wrapped bodies.

The Israeli military said it had dispatched medics and search and rescue teams along with helicopters to assist with a “mass casualty incident” in the area. It did not provide details on the nature of the disaster.

It was the first huge religious gathering to be held legally since Israel lifted nearly all restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic. The country has seen cases plummet since launching one of the world’s most successful vaccination campaigns late last year.

Health authorities had nevertheless warned against holding such a large gathering.

But when the celebrations started, the Public Security Minister Amir Ohana, police chief Yaakov Shabtai and other top officials visited the event and met with police, who had deployed 5,000 extra forces to maintain order.

Ohana, a close ally of Netanyahu, thanked police for their hard work and dedication “for protecting the well-being and security for the many participants” as he wished the country a happy holiday.

Netanyahu is struggling to form a governing coalition ahead of a Tuesday deadline, and the national tragedy is sure to complicate those efforts.

Copyright © 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

Author: AP

This post originally appeared on ABC13 RSS Feed

Texas prisons reverse course will allow religious advisers in execution chamber

Author Jolie McCullough
This post originally appeared on The Texas Tribune: Main Feed