On March 4, 2017, the Pro-Life Healthcare Alliance, in partnership with the Catholic Medical Guilds of Wisconsin, held the "Dignity at the End of Life: From Suffering to Hope" Conference in Fitchburg, Wisconsin (near Madison). The conference was a great success and feedback from conference attendees was overwhelmingly positive.
Julie Grimstad shared excellent information about patient advocacy, advance directives for healthcare, and POLST(Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment), as well as life-threatening issues facing patients in various healthcare settings. She also encouraged attendees to initiate a Befrienders group--a volunteer effort to ease loneliness among the elderly--in one's church or community. Conference attendees commented on how useful and informative Julie's presentation was.
Dr. Byron Calhoun, expert in Perinatology, a branch of obstetrics concerned with the care of mother and fetus and the handling of high-risk pregnancies, spoke about perinatal hospice. Perinatal hospice is part of the care for a baby with a prenatal diagnosis of a terminal condition. Dr. Calhoun offered a model of compassion and true caring for mother and child as opposed to the more common solution offered--abortion. The primary focus of perinatal hospice is on the family--not the baby's diagnosis. The family is placed in the center of the care and there is a continuum of support from diagnosis, through the child's death and the family's grieving process.
Cristen M. Krebs, DNP, ANP-BC, Catholic Hospice Founder/Executive Director, with twenty years of end-of-life care experience, illuminated the history and current trends in hospice. Attendees appreciated her humor and expertise as she shared a wealth of information about palliative care and hospice.
Ed and Nan Weber, founders of Holy Family Ministry and Loreto on the Plains Personal Care Home, an outreach of that ministry, shared how they were inspired by God to build and manage Loreto on the Plains. Loreto is a loving home for the sick and dying elderly. Ed and Nan explained how residents of Loreto are treated as valued members of a family, as indispensable lives worthy of the time, money and materials needed for them to live in comfort, protected from harm. It is Nan and Ed's hope that others will hear about Loreto on the Plains and be inspired to care for the sick and aged in their own homes or start care homes in their communities.
Ramon Luzarraga, Catholic Moral Theologian, spoke to the meaning in suffering. The conference concluded after his powerful and beautiful presentation, which left attendees with rich content for deep reflection.
Conference videos will be announced when available. For more information about the Pro-Life Healthcare Alliance, visit their webpage here https://www.prolifehealthcare.org
“Our once great western Christian civilization is dying. If this matters to followers of Jesus Christ, then we must set aside our denominational differences and work together to strengthen the things that remain and reclaim what has been lost. Evangelicals and Catholics must stand together to re-establish that former Christian culture and moral consensus. We have the numbers and the organization but the question is this: Do we have the will to win this present spiritual battle for Jesus Christ against secularism? Will we prayerfully and cooperatively work toward a new Christian spiritual revival ― or will we choose to hunker down in our churches and denominationalisms and watch everything sink into the spiritual and moral abyss of a New Dark Age?” - Mark Davis Pickup
Friday, March 24, 2017
Monday, March 20, 2017
Sunday, March 19, 2017
Sharon Kirkey, "'Take my name off the list, I can't do any more' some doctors backing out of assisted death", National Post, 26 February 2017.
It's been 9 months since Canada legalised medically assisted suicide (euphemistically and deceptively termed medical aid in dying). It seems many participating Canadian doctors are not comfortable
Could it be that deep within the human psyche there is a natural repugnance to killing people? Enforced 'progressive' groupthink still can't stifle every human conscience.
Support doctors who have lost their stomaches for killing human beings -- whether it be abortion or assisted suicide. Encourage them to return to Hippocratic medicine. Support conscience rights that are supposedly protected in the CANADIAN CHARTER OF RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS, Article 2, FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS:
"Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms (a) freedom of conscience and religion; (b) Freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression ..."
What is the point of having freedom of thought, belief or opinion without the ability to express it in word and behaviour? The freedom of choice to be put to death is not the only right in Canada's Brave New World of tax-funded assisted suicide.
There must also be an equal right for medical professionals not to participate. Choice goes two ways.
Sunday, March 12, 2017
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Be assured that the Culture of Life Studies Program is true to Catholic teachings. It can be used with absolute confidence for its quality, accuracy and adherence to the truth that the American Life League is known for. The CULTURE OF LIFE STUDIES PROGRAM is an invaluable teaching resource for North American educators (including Canada). I highly recommend it.
Mark Davis Pickup
Thursday, March 2, 2017
- I lost my ability to speak on a number of occasions. Noone could understand me.
- I have gone incontinent and dirtied myself;
- I have lost the use of my right arm and hand, so I could barely hold a pencil.
- I'd lose sensation;
- I'd go spastic (I still do);
- I'd have crippling fatigue (I still do).
I found a wonderful surprise: Through my Redeemer’s outstretched arms on the cross. He invited me -- and invites me still -- to unite my suffering with his suffering. Imagine that! Being invited into Christ’s redemptive suffering. He suffered in my place and here I was invited into His redemptive act. In this way, my pain began to take on meaning. Christ calls me to relinquish ownership of my pain to Him, and understand that I was truly poor in spirit.
If I carry my cross of suffering in union with Christ’s redemptive suffering it does not lead to a Golgotha: It led to a realization that Christ can use my human suffering to bring me closer to Him. The Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Roman 8.18.) His comment about the “glory that will be revealed in us” is a reference to the future resurrection of the body (v. 23) and the subsequent complete Christ-likeness which is every believer’s eternal glory.
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
“Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen."
Christ’s truth can (and does) set people free, even today. He said, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
To the end, he showed by his example, that Christ is always near, especially in what may seem like hopeless circumstances. The chronically ill and disabled people of the world took notice. I know I sure did. The Pontiff proclaimed through his faithful witness, Christ’s solidarity with the world’s disabled. His final witness was for a culture of life and inclusion – and that blessed witness continued to the last hours of his life. His unstated message that Christ stands in union with the world’s disabled, the chronically and terminally ill was (and is) of profound importance to us. In his last journey, Pope John Paul illustrated with poignant clarity that no matter how desperate life’s circumstances may become, no matter how close we may be to death’s door, Christ is there.
It has been in my suffering I have received a glimpse of the Truth and it is setting me free. Not even this wheelchair can take that freedom from me. Christ’s light is driving back my darkness. I live in His light and liberty. God gave me the answer to human suffering in the Cross of Jesus Christ. I can sit at his feet that still bear the scars of his pain. My lesser sufferings have been absorbed.
 John Scott, “FEAR AND FALSE PROMISES: The Challenge of Pain in the Terminally Ill” in EUTHANASIA AND ASSISTED SUICIDE: The Current Debate, Ed. Ian Gentles (Toronto: Stoddart Publishing Co., 1995) p. 96.