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This is for Dr. Anthony Dardano
Question from karen on 1/24/2014:

If there are no Doc's in my area who practice according the the Church's teachings, can I get a dispensation to go to one who does not?--especially when the Doc's who don't are the only ones available? I checked One More Soul just a few weeks ago. The closest are 1 in Downers Grove and another one on the NW side of Chicago. I'm in Park Forest. Both of these are at least 1 hour away. I'm concerned about driving that far when I'm sick. Yes, there is a Catholic hospital a lot closer. That facility rented space to a doc who advertises that he does endometrial ablation. When I talked to the receptionist at there, she said that they do everything except abortion. I also contacted the archdiocese respect life office about a doc who practices like s/he is supposed to. I have not heard back from them. I called the doc on Downers Grove to see if he has any colleagues closer to me. I'm still waiting for his reply. I'm grateful for the fact that I'm not sick; but what if I was? I have not been to a doc since the early 90's when I learned that the Church has rules covering health care--especially women's reproductive health care. Thanks in advance. :)

Answer by Judie Brown on 1/27/2014:

Karen

Here is his response:

Let me start by saying that there is another organization called the American Association of Prolife Obstetricians and Gynecologists which you can try. Google AAPLOG and under the physician locator select Illinois. There were 5 in Chicago and quite a few in the surrounding areas. While I do not know your history it is safe to say that the prolife physician is important in matters which involve prolife issues. If one cannot find such a physician then one is bound to refuse any treatment which is contrary to Catholic teachings. Become informed about the issues and request alternate treatments. There are ethical solutions to all the issues and it is well within your rights to request them. There is no such thing as a "dispensation" to see a physician who does not share your ethics. One cannot accept immoral treatment because that is all that is available.

I must add that some procedures can be both permitted or forbidden depending upon the circumstances. Your example of endometrial ablation is just that. When performed on a permanently infertile or celibate woman to control bleeding instead of the more radical hysterectomy, the procedure is acceptable. When performed on the sexually active, fertile female, it is not. Therefore one cannot judge a physician based solely on what they see in ads or hear second hand without knowing the whole story.

Not seeing a physician in the last twenty or so years is not a prudent decision on your part. Ethical principles governing reproductive health have no bearing on good general health screening procedures such as the Pap smear, mammography, bone densities, colonoscopy, blood pressure screening, etc. Thank God you have enjoyed good health up until now but things change and you must be prepared. Continue to seek advice for referrals from the sources mentioned but do get seen soon for some long overdue healthcare screening. Remember that the ethics of the physician are important mainly in the prolife arena. I realize this is a generic response and if you have some specific health issue you are concerned about, please do not hesitate to ask.

May God bless you.

Anthony N Dardano, MD, FACS, FACOG

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