Monday, February 18, 2013

An Unannounced "Bail Out" of the Pharmaceutical Industry?

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has been a longstanding proponent of health care reform.  Yet because the revised HHS mandate would still force employers to pay for abortifacients/contraceptives and sterilizations, the USCCB remains one of the loudest voices of opposition.  Truth be told, the HHS mandate has nothing to do with sound health care; it thus appears to have everything to do with enriching those who profiteer from abortifacients/ contraceptives and sterilizations.

The "Catholic" brand of health care is popular in the United States, among both Catholics and non-Catholics.  One of every six patients receives care in a Catholic hospital, and countless patients in non Catholic settings receive care from individual Catholic professionals.  I believe Catholic health care remains popular to the extent that Catholic health care providers authentically follow Catholic medical ethics (i.e., See the USCCB’s Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services and the Vatican’s Dignitas Personae). These ethics can be summarized as saying that providers must treat each patient - particularly the most vulnerable - as that provider should treat God!  When a loved one is seriously ill, doesn't everyone want their provider to have such a perspective?    

Catholic medical ethics maintain that each human life deserves absolute respect and protection from the very first moment of fertilization, until natural death.
As such, it is completely consistent with the original wording of the Hippocratic Oath:  "I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy" (No, Hippocrates was not Catholic.).

Catholic medical ethics maintain that each human life has the right to originate in the loving embrace of a mom and dad, who are married.  Yet no matter how each human life came to be and no matter how small, each is owed absolute respect and protection.  Respect for how we originate and the sanctity of life is the gauge for evaluating reproductive technologies.  When employed by a married couple, Catholic medical ethics say that assistance to AID the "marital act" toward procreation (e.g., unblocking of fallopian tubes, surgical repair of fallopian tubes, surgery for endometriosis, hormonal treatment for infertility) can be moral, while methods REPLACING the marital act (eg., cloning, egg donation, In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) sperm donation, surrogacy) are to be excluded.  

In a day and age of enhanced awareness about chemicals and additives in our foods, it is ironic that so many people ingest chemicals or utilize foreign objects to "protect" themselves from their natural fertility.  The HHS mandate, forcing employers to pay for abortifacients/contraceptives and sterilizations, has nothing to do with good health care.  Thus, it appears to have everything to do with enriching those benefiting from proliferation of sterilizations and abortifacients/ contraceptives (i.e., Planned Parenthood identifies at least seven hormonal contraceptive manufacturers headquarted in the Philly suburbs and Central/North Jersey:
  • G.D. Searle / Pharmacia of North Peapack, NJ
  • Gynetics Inc of Lawrenceville, NJ
  • Merck of Whitehorse, NJ
  • Ortho-McNeil of Raritan, NJ
  • Pfizer of Morris Plains, NJ
  • Warner-Chilcott of Rockaway, NJ
  • Wyeth Pharmaceuticals of St Davids, PA)
While it steadfastly rejects abortifacient/contraceptives, NaPro Technology (See http://www.naprotechnology.com.) is tremendously successful in teaching fertility awareness - for achieving or postponing pregnancy. 

Incorporating fertility awareness and other morally acceptable aid, NaPro Technology is also far more successful in helping couples achieve pregnancy than IVF - and monumentally less expensive!   




A wholistic approach to health care, NaPro Technology has had phenomenal success in treating amenorrhea, chronic vaginal discharges, effects of stress, endometriosis, infertility (male and female), menstrual cramps, ovarian cysts, pelvic pain, PMS, polycystic ovarian disease, recurrent miscarriages, and unusual bleeding, as well as in the  prevention of pre-term birth.  Yet because it rejects contraceptives, you won't see any praise from the pharmaceutical industry! 

The HHS ignores evidence for NaPro Technology but seeks to - in effect - "bail out" the pharmaceutical industry by forcing employers to finance abortifacients/ contraceptives, as well as sterilizations.  The HHS mandate would also effectively nullify conscience protections.  Where is "Occupy Wall Street" on such favoritism for corporations over people?

Authentically Pro Life Pharmacists: Good Job Guys!

Here in the Delaware Valley, we have probably grown accustomed to the estimate that 55 million pre born Americans have been aborted since the infamous Roe v Wade and Doe v Bolton Supreme Court decisions, but Pharmacists for Life International estimates 308,000,000 pre born babies have actually been "killed by all means: chemical, mechanical and surgical abortion since 1973."  By the way we act, it would be easy for others to get the impression that we think of this as no big deal....

Don't we have an acute responsibility with regard to chemical abortions?  Planned Parenthood itself identifies at least seven hormonal contraceptive manufacturers as headquarted in the Northern Philly suburbs and Central/North Jersey:

  • G.D. Searle / Pharmacia of North Peapack, NJ
  • Gynetics Inc of Lawrenceville, NJ
  • Merck of Whitehorse, NJ
  • Ortho-McNeil of Raritan, NJ
  • Pfizer of Morris Plains, NJ
  • Warner-Chilcott of Rockaway, NJ
  • Wyeth Pharmaceuticals of St Davids, PA

The Diocese of Trenton specifically alerts employees, retirees, and directors of Merck, Pfizer, and Wyeth, to check for matching gifts for the Bishop's Annual Appeal.  In material recently sent to my home for an Archdiocesan Appeal, Merck and Pfizer were again listed as providers of matching gifts. I suspect that the danger of scandal would preclude this from being done for Planned Parenthood associates, and I struggle to see the difference.

Of all physicians in  New Jersey and Pennsylvania, only eight in Jersey and only 38 in Pennsylvania have been identified as "NFP only."  That leaves LOTS of others to prescribe contraceptives.  The situation is even more dire with regard to pharmacists.  As per the testimony of pro life pharmacist Mike Koelzer:

  • "A few years after working in the business, I got a call one day from my cousin. She asked me if I was aware birth control pills could cause early abortions. I had been selling birth control pills daily and had never given this a thought....it became increasingly clear to me what I had to do....

  • "six years later, ...the Washington Post did an article on our pharmacy after finding our pharmacy on a website that listed a half dozen
    pharmacies across the nation that shared my views* [Emphasis and asterisk added. Yes, you read that correctly.  Only a "half dozen" [or so] in the entire nation do not provide hormonal contraceptives! See the below listing based on info from Pharmacists for Life International.] ....

    "
    I encourage you to give encouragement to others. You must be the whisper of God to others. You must give encouragement to someone who has taken a stand. If you see someone in the newspaper who has done something good with his or her business, it is up to you to e-mail that person or call and say 'Good Job'! Do you know that you might be the only person doing that?" (True Account of a Pharmacist Who Gave Up Selling BIRTH CONTROL Pills Because They Kill Human Life, Immaculate Heart Messenger, Jan - March 2009).

In what strikes me as an affront to authentically pro life pharmacies, I see lots of parish bulletins with ads for other pharmacies (including pharmacies in supermarkets and department stores).

*Bo, Patrick, David, Carmen, Mike, Lloyd, Dan, and Lane:  Good Job Guys! You are Inspirations!

Ave MarĂ­a Pharmacy, Patrick M. McNerney, RPh, (Prescott Valley, Arizona)
Lloyd's Remedies, Lloyd J DuPlantis, Jr, PD (Gray, Louisiana 70359-1780)
St Marys Pharmacy,  Dan Sutherland, RPh, (St Marys, Kansas 66536)
Superior Pharmacy, Lane L Hawley, RPh (Superior, Nebraska)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

re: "Bishops Press for Broader Birth Control Exemption" (BC Courier Times, 2/7/13)

The HHS mandates are draconian, nullifying conscience protections by forcing employers to pay for sterilizations and abortifacients/contraceptives.  The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is among the loudest opposition.  From what "heinous" ethics does the HHS want to "protect" Americans

 

Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (USCCB, 2009) consist of sections devoted to

  1. "The Social Responsibility of Catholic Health Care Services,"
  2. "The Pastoral and Spiritual Responsibility of Catholic Health Care,"
  3. "The Professional-Patient Relationship,"
  4. "Issues in Care for the Beginning of Life,"
  5. "Issues in Care for the Seriously Ill and Dying," and
  6. "Forming New Partnerships with Health Care Organizations and Providers."


While divided into these six sections, the ERDs are not a pick and choose smorgasbord.


"The Social Responsibility of Catholic Health Care Services" says health care should be animated by a spirit of service, recognizing the sanctity of each human from the first moment of fertilization until natural death.  Health care providers are called to see God in each patient - particularly the most vulnerable.  When a loved one is seriously ill, doesn't everyone want their providers to have such a perspective?   




"The Pastoral and Spiritual Responsibility of Catholic Health Care" may initially seem sectarian. Yet while reminding providers of Catholics' sacramental needs, it is absolutely attentive to the pastoral needs of ALL.


"The Professional-Patient Relationship" sets a gold standard for personal autonomy and respectful treatment. It honors each patient's sanctity of life - so much that providers must "not honor an advance directive that is contrary to Catholic teaching."  The ERDs will not abide self-destructiveness. 


 
"Issues in Care for the Beginning of Life" and "Issues in Care for the Seriously Ill and Dying" are consistent with the original wording of the Hippocratic Oath:  "I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy." No, Hippocrates was not Catholic.


"Issues in Care for the Beginning of Life" reflects the Vatican's 2008 "Dignitas Personae," which maintains that each human has the right to originate in the loving embrace of a mom and dad, who are married.  Yet no matter how each human came to be and no matter how small, each is owed absolute respect and protection.  

Respect for how we originate and the sanctity of life constitutes Dignitas Personae's gauge for evaluating reproductive technologies.  When employed by a married couple, Dignitas Personae says that assistance to AID the "marital act" toward procreation (e.g., "hormonal treatments for infertility, surgery for endometriosis, unblocking of fallopian tubes or their surgical repair") can be moral, while methods REPLACING the marital act (eg., cloning, egg donation, In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) sperm donation, surrogacy) are to be excluded.  

Fully compatible with the ERDs and Dignitas Personae, "NaPro Technology" is also far more successful in helping achieve pregnancy than IVF - and monumentally less expensive!  From an OBGYN approach rejecting contraceptives, it incorporates fertility awareness (for achieving or postponing pregnancy) and other morally acceptable aid.  It is a wholistic approach with phenomenal success in treating amenorrhea, chronic vaginal discharges, effects of stress, endometriosis, infertility (male and female), menstrual cramps, ovarian cysts, pelvic pain, PMS, polycystic ovarian disease, recurrent miscarriages, and unusual bleeding, as well as prevention of pre-term birth.  Yet because it rejects contraceptives, you won't see praise from the pharmaceutical industry!  

The HHS ignores evidence for NaPro Technology but seeks to - in effect - "bail out" the pharmaceutical industry by forcing employers to finance abortifacients/contraceptives, as well as sterilizations.  Where is "Occupy Wall Street" on this clear favoritism for corporations over people?
 

"Issues in Care for the Seriously Ill and Dying" mandates absolute respect for the sanctity of life till natural death.   


"Forming New Partnerships with Health Care Organizations and Providers" recognizes current realities and calls for collaboration "in ways that do not compromise Catholic social and moral teaching."  


The ERDs can be summarized as saying that a provider must treat each patient as that provider should treat God!  The HHS mandates have nothing to do with good health care and everything to do with enriching those who benefit from abortifacients/contraceptives and sterilizations.

The Beatitudes from "Jesus of Nazareth"

 

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

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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

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