[ by Charles Cameron — on finding that the word hospital just might be related to the word hospitable ]
Note that the name of the medical group is Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare
The twenty-first century thinks in terms of optics; Christianity thinks in terms of the imitation of Christ. And it would seem from this ProPublica report that Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare isn’t doing terribly well on either count:
The thing is, there’s an ouroboric (snake-bites-tail-ish) quality to the situation. The same hospital group that is under-paying and under-insuring its workers is then over-suing them for their medical costs.
It wouldn’t be terribly good, from either a Christian or an optical perspective, if they were suing people who were too poor to pay, but who were employed by others. That would be simple thoughtless meanness, though, and since they’d not be responsible for the financial situation of their creditors, John Wesley, the Anglican pastor who founded Methodism as a revivalist movement in the English church, might shrug in his grave, knowing how things tend to be down or up here on earth, but not actually spin.
But Methodist Le Bonheur are the ones under-paying and under-insuring their own workers: they appear to control both ends of a vicious circle, and that’s why the headline above caught my eye.
See the vicious circle? That’s the snake biting its tail — that’s ouroboros.
The appearance is terrible — as, in these cases at least, is the fidelity to Christ’s teachings as reported in Matthew 25: 35-40 —
I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me .. Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
It’s pure speculation, of course, but my guess is that there’s a layer or three of bureaucracy atop the medical staff, inhospitable to hospital-ity. And that’s the ouroboric vicious serpent in its essence: being inhospitable to hospitality
Le Bonheur is French for happiness, welfare, by the way.
Here’s aother way of phrasing the problem: those whose focus is on quantity all too often blind themselves to quality.
I fully expect Methodists do a great many (quantity) of good works (quality). What ProPublica reports here would not appear to be among them.