Tuesday, December 4, 2012

ERD # 36, Removal of Vital Organs, Abortions, & other goings-on at Catholic hospitals

In my opinion, the USCCB's Ethical and Religious Directives, 5th ed (2009) could have done a superior job of incorporating the truth so beautifully explained by the Vatican, in its Charter for Health Care Workers (1995), Responses to Certain Questions of the USCCB Concerning Artificial Nutrition and Hydration (2007), and Dignitas Personae (2008), as well as by Pope John Paul II's Address to the International Transplantation Society (2000) and Pope Benedict XVI's Address to Pharmacists (2007).  Just in the areas of Catholic hospitals' 1) current treatment for for those reporting themselves to be victims of sexual assault and 2) removal of vital organs from those who are described as "brain dead," there should be monumental concerns:
  • From what I can tell, a search for anything from the Vatican approximating Directive 36 of the USCCB's Ethical and Religious Directives is in vane. 

  • As per the Holy Father, "Tissue and organ transplants represent a great victory for medical science and are certainly a sign of hope for many patients....As regards the practice of organ transplants,...someone can give only if he/she is not placing his/her own health and identity in serious danger, and only for a morally valid and proportional reason....the individual vital organs cannot be extracted except ex cadavere, which, moreover, possesses its own dignity that must be respected. In these years science has accomplished further progress in certifying the death of the patient. It is good, therefore, that the results attained receive the consent of the entire scientific community in order to further research for solutions that give certainty to all. In an area such as this, in fact, there cannot be the slightest suspicion of arbitration and where certainty has not been attained the principle of precaution must prevail....the principal criteria of respect for the life of the donator must always prevail so that the extraction of organs be performed only in the case of his/her true death" [emphasis added] (Address to the Pontifical Academy for Life, 2008).

  • Subsequent to the Holy Father's address, members of the Pontifical Academy for Life have indicated that "brain death" criteria do NOT establish "true death"! (cf., Conference may Begin to Sway Vatican Opinion Against Brain Death: Eminent Philosopher (2009), Save The "Brain Dead" Victims (2009), When you're dead, you're dead; when you're'brain dead,' you're alive (2012), Why are Pastoral Care Workers ignorant of the realities of "brain death"? (2012)). 
As reported by the Catholic News Service, a revised/updated Charter for Health Care Workers with a new section on solidarity and subsidiarity is expected to be released on June 16, 2003. 
  • "The current charter lists its directives under three categories: procreation, life and death....based largely on the teachings of Blessed John Paul II and his 1995 encyclical 'Evangelium Vitae,' as well as Pope Paul VI's 1968 encyclical 'Humanae Vitae' ('Of Human Life') and the doctrinal congregation's 1987 instruction, 'Donum Vitae' ('The Gift of Life'), which rejected in vitro fertilization, human cloning, surrogate motherhood and nontherapeutic experiments with human embryos. The new charter will expand on those teachings by including several notes and instructions released by the doctrinal congregation, such as:
  • -- The 'Doctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life,' published in 2003. The document said while Catholics are free to choose among political parties and strategies for promoting the common good, they cannot claim that freedom allows them to support abortion, euthanasia or other attacks on human life.
    -- The 2007 text on artificial nutrition and hydration for patients in a persistent vegetative state, which states that such care cannot simply be terminated because doctors have determined that a person will never recover consciousness.
    -- The 2008 instruction 'Dignitas Personae' ('The Dignity of a Person'), which highlighted how scientific progress should be guided by the concern to defend the sacred nature of human life, and prohibited embryo stem-cell research, human cloning, gene therapy and embryo experimentation" (11/13/12).
In a conference last month, the CNS also reported that the Pontifical Council for Health Care would address "the problem of abortion and other practices against Church teaching at some Catholic hospitals around the world."  As per Jose Maria Simon Castellvi of the Council, “If the head obstetrician is not pro-life and family care is not offered, either abortions are performed there or patients are referred to other places to obtain them” (11/15/12).

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

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Book & Film Reviews, pt 2

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About Me

I am an enormously blessed husband and dad. In regard to my Catholic theological background, I have a certificate in social ministry & a master's degree (moral theology concentration), as well as a catechetical diploma from the Vatican's Sacred Congregation for the Clergy (Nope, I am not now - nor have I have ever been - a seminarian, deacon, or priest.). I feel particularly proud to have a mandatum. I also have a doctorate in Christian counseling psychology.

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