Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ethical Treatment of People with Significant Cognitive or Psychiatric Impairments: Two Issues

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued an August 17th ruling, In Re: D.L.H, An Incapacitated Person. As reported in the Philadelphia Bulletin, it "determined that state law requires life-preserving treatment for people who are not near death and have not refused treatment." As per the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania, the ruling assures

  • "that individuals with disabilities are not denied necessary life-preserving medical treatment. In Re: D.L.H. involved a 53-year-old man with an intellectual disability who has resided at Ebensburg Center, a state institution, for most of his life....[As per] the Pennsylvania Supreme Court...Act 169 explicitly allows only competent individuals or health care agents appointed pursuant to valid health care advance directives (made by a person when s/he was competent to do so) to refuse life-preserving treatment. Act 169 does not permit guardians to make those decisions.... In sum, the Court unanimously held that 'where, as here, life-preserving treatment is at issue for an incompetent person who is not suffering from an end-stage condition or permanent unconsciousness, and that person has no health care agent, the Act [169] mandates that care must be provided.' In reaching this holding, the Court appears to have implicitly rejected the Superior Court's suggestion that, under some circumstances, courts might authorize guardians to refuse life-preserving treatment."

The teaching of the Charter for Health Care Workers goes further. While there is no obligation for a dying person to consent to disproportionate treatment, there is no "right to die," just as there is no right to euthanasia! and no right to suicide! This is an expression of belief in each person's human dignity - the sacredness of her/his life.

As per the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "Chastity means the successful integration of sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being." As stated in the Principle of Personalized Sexuality, "Sexual acts have 'unitive' & 'procreative' dimensions. Reserved for marriage, they unite a couple. Each act is to be open to the transmission of new life." Hence, Chastity is a call/challenge for everyone - man or woman, married or single, young or old, disabled or not disabled.

As per The Truth & Meaning of Human Sexuality, there are certainly challenges to teaching & promoting chastity in our day & time - but these challenges are far from insurmountable. On a very human, very practical level, the teaching of chastity is the absolute best way to combat STDs; it also helps in safeguarding against adultery, divorce, sexual exploitation and unmarried childbearing. Teaching chastity to individuals attests to our belief in their human dignity - the sacredness of their lives.

Teaching natural family planning - particularly NaPro Technology - is aimed at married couples and those who will marry. Be that said, there are certainly a limitless array of way to adapt teaching strategies to meet individuals' particular needs.

Dietrich & Alice von Hildebrand

Sunday, August 29, 2010

letter to the CHAUSA, re: "28 Days on the Pill"

letter to CHAUSA -

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

Casti Connubii, excerpts from

Casti Connubii, excerpts from

Catholic Pharmacists Have A Tougher Job Ahead

Mr. Thomas G. Rice, Publisher
The Bulletin - Philadelphia's Family Newspaper
1500 Walnut Street, Suite 300,
Philadelphia, PA

Dear Mr. Rice,

During this past week, the FDA approved the abortifacient "ella", which some are calling the "week after" pill. Up until now, even some in the pro life movement have failed to recognize the abortifacient nature of many so-called contraceptives. Your publication has long stood nearly alone, in recognizing that the battle line to protect the sanctity of human life has been extended from "traditional" abortion facilities to local pharmacies. As per your excellent article by Father Matthew Habiger:

  • “A Catholic pharmacist should not be forced to violate his or her conscience by selling condoms, contraceptives or abortifacients….simply because something is legal does not mean it is moral....An immoral law has no moral authority. It should be resisted and changed....
  • “A conscientious pharmacist knows that condoms, contraceptives, and abortifacients are very harmful....All chemical contraceptives have potential for abortifacient effects. If a pharmacist cannot convince the chain for which he works to honor his conscience with a conscience clause in his contract, then he should consider starting up his own business. I encourage them to contact Pharmacists for Life International (http://www.pfli.org/, and pfli@pfli.org) ....
  • “Since a Catholic pharmacist is a public person, like a doctor or politician, he must be conscious of the real possibility of public scandal. If he sells condoms or oral contraceptives, then he should not accept positions in his parish like catechist, extraordinary minister of Communion, lector, etc. There is a serious conflict between his Faith and his business.
  • “There are some evils in our society that will only change when enough conscientious people refuse to participate in them. Abortion and contraception are two of these. Speaking for myself, I cannot see how a Catholic pharmacist can justify staying in an offending pharmacy if there are other employment options available. And they are available....
  • “Pro-life customers can help by refusing to patronize offending pharmacies, and by writing letters to the management explaining why they are taking their business elsewhere, and describing what kind of pharmacist they will patronize, viz., one with good morals and character, including a properly formed conscience.”

Clearly, Catholics and all people of good will must stand behind pharmacists of conscience. That means doing our business with them, even when it is inconvenient. Up until now, we have been doing an extremely poor job. Though there are only a handful of pharmacies in the country which refuse to market in so-called contraceptives / abortifacients (See the web site of Pharmacists for Life (http://www.pfli.org/).), the geographically closest one needed to close for lack of business (See http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2910118/divine_mercy_care_pharmacy_business.html).

As Father Habiger reminds us, "There are some evils in our society that will only change when enough conscientious people refuse to participate in them." Shouldn't we be refusing to do business with marketers of abortionfacients and contraceptives? Shouldn't our parishes be refusing bulletin ads from pharmacies which sell them (And don't forget that some of those offending pharmacies are housed in local supermarkets and department stores!).

Please keep up your wonderful work.

God bless you and your staff,

The Beatitudes from "Jesus of Nazareth"


Use of Emergency So-Called Contraceptives in Catholic Hospitals for Those Reporting Rape

Book & Film Reviews, pt 1

Book & Film Reviews, pt 2

Blog Archive

And yup, that's me!

And yup, that's me!
(from page 1 of the NY Sun, 3/22/04)

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12/12/08 Interview with Rev. Tad Pacholczyk, Ph.D. of the National Catholic Bioethics Center

March for Life 2010