NYU Langone has set forth today to set the record straight on its extensive Bikur Cholim services and policies.
“First and foremost, NYU Langone Health’s Bikur Cholim program is as extensive as any hospital system in the city, if not the country,” declared Dr. Andrew Brotman, NYU Langone’s senior vice president and vice dean for clinical affairs and strategy. “Fulfilling the religious and cultural needs of everyone who comes to our hospitals is integral to ensuring the welfare and well-being of our patients and the communities we serve. It is fundamental to our very mission.”
To that end, the contention by the Satmar Bikur Cholim that it is being barred from NYU hospitals, is “an outright falsehood,” Dr. Brotman said, explaining that the organization is always welcome to bring food to the designated Bikur Cholim rooms, where it can be distributed by the hospital’s volunteer teams to patients and families.
For the safety and privacy of patients, however, there is a policy limiting who has access to patient floors and rooms. For example, it would be chaotic, counterproductive and outright harmful if medical staff working to save lives had to maneuver through a food delivery.
Every outside vendor and community organization understands, agrees and adheres to NYU Langone’s policy in this matter, other than the Satmar Bikur Cholim, which wants fully unsupervised access to patients. That organization is not interested in the patient’s best interest, only its own relevancy, Brotman said.
And that is the real heart of the matter. Satmar Bikur Cholim is making a “misguided and irrational attempt to grossly inflate its role,” he said. “It wants to position itself as the ultimate authority on all aspects of healthcare, including choosing what treatments and doctors patients and their families should ask for, and which services doctors should accept or refuse, especially when it comes to end-of-life decisions.”
“Conflating this bigger issue with the unsupervised delivery of food to patient floors is dishonest and deceitful, and intended solely as fear mongering to vulnerable populations for suspicious personal gains,” Dr. Brotman stressed. “In fact, the group has gone out of its way to distort the truth by spreading outright falsehoods and misleading innuendo, and Lashon Hara – which is antithetical to the very ethics and values of the Jewish community.”
Nevertheless, he said, “we are committed to serving the Satmar community the same way we serve every community and have done from our very founding — with respect, privacy, and most importantly the highest quality medical care.”