By Dan Haley
Rush Oak Park Hospital will continue to follow Catholic policies prohibiting abortions even after it completes the purchase of the hospital from a Wisconsin-based Catholic religious order, Crain's Chicago Business reported Monday.
For the past two decades, Rush University Medical Center has run day-to-day operations at Rush Oak Park Hospital under a joint venture with Wheaton Franciscan Services, the long-time owner of the hospital. With that agreement nearing its end, Rush University Medical had moved to purchase the hospital outright for $21.1 million. At the time of that April joint announcement Rush said that once the deal had closed that Rush would no longer be a Catholic hospital.
Subsequent talks, Crain's reported, led to an agreement that under Rush's ownership the hospital will not perform abortions. The newspaper cited a letter from Chicago Cardinal Francis George to the Vatican sent in June which spelled out the abortion ban. Abortion is one of six areas of Catholic teaching which Rush will reportedly adhere to after its purchase. Also included, according to Crain's, are a ban on the use of frozen embryos and on euthanasia, if it were to be legalized in the state. The pact also says Rush Oak Park will follow end-of-life care principles set out by the Catholic Church.