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At the Crossroads of Compassion and Controversy: Notes on the Catholic Church and Health Care

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KWGS News file photo
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Aired on Tuesday, January 6th.

From pharmacists who refuse to dispense Plan B drugs (which prevent ovulation) to legislation designed to limit a patient's end-of-life or euthanasia options, there's no shortage of controversial topics in America today when it comes to religion/morality overlapping with science/medicine. On this edition of ST, we discuss such a topic as we confront certain practices of some Catholic hospitals. Our guess is Monica Harrington, an ardent critic of such hospitals who thinks they are unfairly -- and illegally -- imposing their moral values upon their patients (and are doing so in institutions that, while private, are also heavily financed with taxpayer dollars). Harrington, a former technology executive turned health care activist, is also the editor of a website called CatholicWatch, which is "committed to safeguarding patient and taxpayer rights and protecting our health care system from theocracy-based medicine." Harrington was a guest back in October of the Tulsa Interfaith Alliance, when she participated in a forum called "The Role of Faith in Health Care Decisions: Individuals, Groups, and Government." (This event, co-presented with Phillips Theological Seminary and the Women's & Gender Studies Department at the University of Tulsa, happened on the TU campus.)

Rich Fisher passed through KWGS about thirty years ago, and just never left. Today, he is the general manager of Public Radio Tulsa, and the host of KWGS’s public affairs program, StudioTulsa, which celebrated its twentieth anniversary in August 2012 . As host of StudioTulsa, Rich has conducted roughly four thousand long-form interviews with local, national, and international figures in the arts, humanities, sciences, and government. Very few interviews have gone smoothly. Despite this, he has been honored for his work by several organizations including the Governor's Arts Award for Media by the State Arts Council, a Harwelden Award from the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa, and was named one of the “99 Great Things About Oklahoma” in 2000 by Oklahoma Today magazine.
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