At a January meeting held to explain how SMDC's merger with Miller-Dwan would be conducted, Dr. Peter Persons, chief executive officer of SMDC, explained that St. Mary's emergency room does indeed provide emergency contraception to rape victims, provided certain Catholic guidelines are met.He
was unable to comment when members of the audience relayed contrary experiences.
Calls to Nurse On-Line, a St. Mary's
in-house phone referral system, inquiring about emergency contraception in the case of rape, are greeted with statements explaining that the caller has reached a Catholic facility.When pushed for more detail, one nurse responded, "I really don't know what the [emergency room] policies are."
A St. Mary's
emergency-room physician who asked not to be identified said that he's
never been briefed about the use of emergency contraception in regard to hospital policy.He
assumes that the administration would rather that it not be prescribed, since it's not available through the pharmacy.He
said the doctors can write a prescription for emergency contraception, but then women have to find it on their own.
"I do what I think is right behind closed doors. [Emergency contraception] is a woman's decision, rape or not," he