Landmark Medical Center, Woonsocket, R.I., will operate under Catholic Church dictates should the 214-bed hospital be bought by the Boston-based Caritas Christi Health Care system, according to a news statement.
Landmark Medical says amen to Catholic guidelines
“If Landmark Medical Center is acquired by Caritas Christi or by any company owning the Caritas Christi hospitals, the Landmark Medical Center will function within and abide by the Ethical and Religious Directives” for Catholic healthcare, said Ralph de la Torre, CEO of the Boston-based, six-hospital Caritas Christi system, in the statement. The comment was made, according to the statement, to quash rumors that Landmark would not be required to adopt the Catholic Church's directives, which include a ban on procedures such as tubal ligation and vasectomy.
The two hospitals have been in talks about a possible acquisition since June 2009, and a Rhode Island Superior Court judge is currently reviewing the proposal. But the potential acquisition comes at a time when Caritas is also in the process of being purchased. This past March, Caritas reached an agreement that calls for the New York-based private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management to pay $830 million for the system. As a part of the deal, Cerberus has agreed to allow Caritas to continue operating under Catholic healthcare ethical dictates. But the deal also has an out clause that would allow Cerberus to strip Caritas of its Catholic identity in exchange for an additional $25 million payment to a Catholic charity. Opponents of the deal are appealing to Pope Benedict XVI to put a halt to the acquisition, which, if ceased, would likely jeopardize Caritas' deal with Landmark.
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