Thursday, December 2, 2021

Play

Michiganders mourn the loss of four students after this week's school shooting at Oxford High School, and SCOTUS Justices signal willingness to back a Mississippi abortion prohibition law.

Play

The Supreme Court debates abortion rights; Stacey Abrams will again run to be Georgia's governor; and Congress scrambles to avoid a shutdown.

Play

Seniors in non-urban areas struggle with hunger disproportionately; rural communities make a push for federal money; and Planned Parenthood takes a case to the Montana Supreme Court.

Upstate NY Hospital Merger Could Impact End-of-Life Care Options

Play

Wednesday, October 20, 2021   

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- A proposed merger between two hospital systems in upstate New York has some residents and health-care advocates concerned about the potential loss of certain types of medical care, including end-of-life options.

Albany's St. Peter's Health Partners and Ellis Medicine in Schenectady first announced their intent to merge a year ago. Ellis Medicine posted a $33 million loss last year.

Because St. Peter's is owned by Catholic system Trinity Health and is governed by certain ethical and religious directives, the merger could affect care options for people facing terminal illnesses.

Kim Callinan, president and CEO of Compassion and Choices, a group which advocates for medical aid in dying, worries about the impact of the merger on patients and their families.

"The fundamental principle is that they should preserve life at all costs," Callinan explained. "For some people, this may not be an issue at all; it may be in line with their values and priorities. But we know a large portion of people do not want to suffer at the end of life, and want to have the full breadth of options that are available."

Callinan pointed out the merger could limit choices for families of people with dementia or on ventilators. In a statement, the St. Peter's Health Partners system said it helps "countless patients and families navigate end-of-life decisions," but did not specifically address medical aid in dying.

Michelle Ostrelich, Schenectady County legislator and founding member of the Schenectady Coalition for Healthcare Access, which was created as a result of the proposed health-system merger, said the coalition has had private conversations about the merger with the health systems, but the groups have not welcomed public talks.

"Our community has supported Ellis for 100 years," Ostrelich emphasized. "Volunteers, taxpayer funds have all gone to support our community hospital. And they are obligated, frankly, to answer the questions from the public directly. They've refused to do that."

St. Peter's Health Partners said the New York State Department of Health is reviewing the Management Services Agreement for the merger, a two-year non-binding pact which allows the two systems to start working together. It said the two companies plan to update the community and share specifics in coming weeks, pending approval of the agreement.

Disclosure: Compassion and Choices contributes to our fund for reporting on Civic Engagement, Health Issues, Senior Issues, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
Civil rights groups are pushing Baltimore County to create a second majority Black council district to better represent its diverse population. (Flickr)

Social Issues

BALTIMORE, Md. -- Maryland civil rights groups are proposing a lawsuit against Baltimore County if it adopts its current redistricting plan, claiming …


Social Issues

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nearly seven in ten Americans say billionaires are not paying their fair share in taxes, according to a new survey. Among likely …

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. -- Over the coming weeks, North Dakotans will be clicking the "purchase" button as they order holiday gifts online, and fraud experts …


Front-line pandemic workers in Minnesota feel the state is failing them in recognizing them for their work during the crisis, as they were not allowed to work remotely. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

MINNEAPOLIS -- Several regional labor groups rallied in Minneapolis on Wednesday, demanding state leaders take action to reflect the sacrifices made …

Environment

GREENE, Iowa -- The proposed Build Back Better bill is getting attention for a host of funding possibilities, including one area flying under the …

The Republican-created legislative and congressional maps, passed by the Wisconsin Legislature in November, were quickly vetoed by Gov. Tony Evers, teeing up a legal battle. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

MADISON, Wis. -- In a four-three decision this week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court backed a "least-change" approach to redistricting in the state…

Social Issues

OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- Michiganders are mourning the loss of four students after this week's school shooting at Oxford High School, and advocates …

Social Issues

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- Labor protests and strikes are on the upswing this fall, compared with 2020 when everyone hunkered as the pandemic closed …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021