Faculty Scholars Program

Lori Freedman, PhD

Class of 2017
  • Associate Professor
University of California, San Francisco
Scholar Project

Lori Freedman is a Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco. She conducts sociological and bioethical research with Advancing New Standards In Reproductive Health (ANSIRH), a program of the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health at UCSF. Professor Freedman investigates the ways in which reproductive health care is shaped by our social structure and medical culture. Her book, Willing and Unable: Doctors’ Constraints in Abortion Care (2010), is a qualitative study of the challenges to integrating abortion into physician practice. Unexpected findings from those physician interviews led her to research and write about the intersection of religion and health care, especially in the case of Catholic hospitals, with an interest in how conscientious objection in medical practice operates at the institutional level. Through qualitative interviews with Catholic hospital physicians and patients as well as national surveys of American women, her newest book, Bishops and Bodies: Reproductive Care in American Catholic Hospitals (2023), lends insight into how institutional policies for reproductive care can be hidden from view, malleable, and/or obstructive to patient autonomy and wellbeing.

For more information, visit: https://www.ansirh.org/staff-members/lori-freedman

Informed Consent for Catholic Hospital Patients Regarding Effects of Doctrine on Care

Grant Cycle: 2013- 2014

While there is much debate regarding religion and the beginning of life, the patient’s perspective on the treatment of miscarriages has largely been absent. With expanding Catholic health network ownership and a potentially restricted provider list in light of ACA, how Catholic doctrine affects the treatment and care of women during a miscarriage will be an important issue. One of the goals of Prof. Freedman’s project is to develop and validate a meaningful informed consent tool that can convey specific differences of Catholic hospital ob-gyn care to prenatal patients.


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