Hospitals resolve complaints of clergy access amid pandemic

CLINTON, Md. (AP) — Hospitals in Maryland and Virginia have resolved religious discrimination complaints with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The federal agency’s Office for Civil Rights announced resolutions Tuesday over the hospitals decisions to block clergy access to patients during the coronavirus pandemic.

The agency said MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center in Clinton, Maryland, and Mary Washington Healthcare in Fredericksburg, Virginia, have revised their visitation policies.

The new policies will allow patients to receive religious services as long as clergy members follow infection prevention practices.

The complaint against Medstar was filed in July by a patient, while two complaints against Mary Washington were brought by the Catholic Diocese of Arlington.

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