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The child is the beauty of God present in the world, that greatest gift to a family.
 
—Mother Teresa

KUDOS KORNER


Thank you, HALO, for faithfully serving our Lord Jesus in helping people to choose life, that you and your descendants may live as God has commanded for our good. May He bless and multiply your efforts to the saving of many lives for His glory.
—Donor from CA

May our Lord richly bless you as we thank you for your generous defense of the sacredness of all human life. We are grateful for the copies of “Making a Difference: A Guide for Defending the Medically Vulnerable” and of your HALO brochure. It will be used by our local superiors:
  1. In making healthcare decisions for those in their charge;
  2. When sound advice is needed in defending the medically vulnerable among family members;
  3. For guests and friends of the community who seek our advice on end-of-life and care for the medically vulnerable.
With deep, deep gratitude for your defense of the sacredness of all human life,
 
—A Mother Superior of a Roman Catholic religious order


from the desk of the EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

 


November 2020
By Anne O'Meara


Imagine this frightening scenario…
 
You are watching your grandchildren and find your 4-year old grandson lying face down in the backyard pool. You do CPR and he is rushed to the hospital. For the first couple of days, he breathes on his own. Then, he experiences brain swelling and is placed on a ventilator. 
Click here to read more.


EXECUTIVE ORDER PROTECTING VULNERABLE NEWBORNS

 



November 2020

On September 25, 2020, President Donald J. Trump issued the Executive Order on Protecting Vulnerable Newborn and Infant Children. We encourage everyone to read this life-affirming Executive Order and share it with anyone facing denial of wanted treatment for their premature or disabled infant. The order’s full text is available for download here.

Section 1, after citing several relevant federal statutes, in part declares,

Together, these laws help protect infants born alive from discrimination in the provision of medical treatment, including infants who require emergency medical treatment, who are premature, or who are born with disabilities. Such infants are entitled to meaningful and non-discriminatory access to medical examination and services, with the consent of a parent or guardian, when they present at hospitals receiving Federal funds.

Despite these laws, some hospitals refuse the required medical screening examination and stabilizing treatment or otherwise do not provide potentially lifesaving medical treatment to extremely premature or disabled infants, even when parents plead for such treatment. 

Section 2 states,

It is the policy of the United States to recognize the human dignity and inherent worth of every newborn or other infant child, regardless of prematurity or disability, and to ensure for each child due protection under the law.

And Section 3 directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to “ensure that individuals responsible for all programs and activities under his jurisdiction that receive Federal funding are aware of their obligations toward infants …” and to enforce this executive order.

HALO asked Mary Kellett, the president and founder of Prenatal Partners for Life (prenatalpartnersforlife.org), for her opinion regarding this Executive Order. She responded:

I think the order is a good thing. I especially like that it requires all federally funded hospitals to offer medical interventions for severely premature infants – including those “born alive before 24 weeks of gestation” – and to offer non-discriminatory access to medical care for newborns with severe disabilities.

Hospitals that have offered care to extreme preemies have seen good results, with many surviving. Families often face pressure not to treat when their children could be helped. This order hopefully will alleviate some of that pressure. Families can always refuse treatment, but this, again hopefully, will ensure it is at least offered. Right now, basic care that would be routinely done for other children is often denied to children who are severely premature or disabled.

If a baby is actively dying, then comfort care is appropriate. Many times, that is not the case in kids like Peter. [Mary’s son Peter had Trisomy 18.]  He would have died if they would have wrapped him up in a blanket and we would have just held him [as Peter’s doctors advised Mary to do]. He needed extra help in the beginning like many babies with these conditions. I hope this order will help the babies get the care they need to reach their full potential. *

*Read “Lies Have No Place in Medicine” by Mary Kellett in the January 2020 edition of the HALO Herald.


PERINATAL PALLIATIVE CARE

 

By Julie Grimstad

November 2020

When preborn babies are diagnosed with serious disabling and sometimes life-threatening conditions, parents routinely are pressured to choose abortion. When they refuse to have their babies killed, perinatal (perinatal means around the time of birth) palliative care may be offered to them. This specialized support is also available for children with disorders that are not detected until after birth. Perinatal palliative care (a.k.a. perinatal hospice) is provided from the time of diagnosis through the baby's birth and death. Perinatal palliative care is akin to hospice services provided to older patients and their families.

An idealistic picture

The professed goal of the specialty called Hospice and Palliative Medicine (HPM) is to relieve symptoms—including pain and stress. Palliative care can be initiated at any stage in a serious illness and provided in conjunction with curative or life-prolonging treatment. Hospice care is a subset of palliative care. Hospice is focused on providing comfort care when a patient no longer has curative options or has chosen to forgo treatment because the burdens of treatment outweigh the benefits.

When palliative care is provided by medical professionals who genuinely respect and protect the life of every person committed to their care, it can be a blessing that improves the quality of life for both the patient and the family. Unfortunately, not all HPM providers believe that every human life has equal worth.

Organizations that promote hospice present an idealistic picture of compassionate “end-of-life” care, but the realistic picture is that palliative care often is a pathway to imposed (intentionally caused) death for vulnerable patients who cannot protect themselves. [1] Therefore, when a loved one is receiving palliative care, families must be vigilant, and that includes families of newborns with serious but not necessarily fatal conditions.

The pros and cons of perinatal palliative care

The website Perinatal Hospice & Palliative Care states, “Perinatal palliative care helps parents embrace whatever life their baby might be able to have, before and after birth.” [2] Providing comfort care is compassionate and appropriate when a baby is close to death and there is no way to preserve their life. But, what if medical treatment might extend or save a baby’s life?

Families are not always told the whole truth, which may lead them to choose death for their sick or disabled child. Mary Kellett, the president and founder of Prenatal Partners for Life, explains, “Predicting the future in only a negative light is a common experience for families who receive a diagnosis. Families are told all the things their child will never do. Families are sometimes made to feel guilty for wanting to embrace the life of their child and help their child reach their full potential.” [3]

Sometimes, families are told their child’s condition is “incompatible with life” when timely and appropriate medical treatment could save their baby’s life. When parents then accept the offer of perinatal hospice, it is a death sentence for their baby. Perinatal hospice provides comfort care, which means pain medication and sedation, but no life-support or life-saving treatment. Although perinatal hospice providers will deny it, they often hasten their little patients’ deaths.

Sara Buscher, Esq., a member of HALO’s Advisory Board, provides evidence to support this assertion.
Remember when Governor Ralph Northam said a baby born alive after an abortion would be kept comfortable. Then, the doctor would discuss withholding life-sustaining treatment (i.e. food and liquids) from the baby with its parents. Recall the outrage? Everyone recognized this was infanticide. Well, Governor Northam is a pediatrician who spent 19 years as a children's' hospice medical director.
Judie Brown, the president of American Life League and another member of HALO’s Advisory Board, sums up the situation.
And so once again society is left with two choices.
 
Shall we choose to listen to those who believe that imposed death is best or those who respect the vulnerable life of someone who may well die, but only in God’s time without outside interference.

Respect for life does not embrace exceptions.

[1] “Palliative Care: A Pathway to Imposed Death,” by Ioana Caranica and Julie Grimstad, Celebrate Life Magazine, Winter 2020.
[2] https://www.perinatalhospice.org/list-of-programs
[3] “Lies Have No Place in Medicine,” by Mary Kellett, HALO Herald, January 21, 2020, https://newsletter.halovoice.org/2020/01/lies-have-no-place-in-medicine.html 


EUTHANASIA FOR CHILDREN

November 2020


The legalization of euthanasia is incredibly evil. It transforms healers into killers. The expansion of euthanasia laws to permit killing sick children by lethal injection is yet another symptom of the culture of death’s profound influence on law and medicine throughout the world.

Belgium: This country extended euthanasia to children in February 2014 by eliminating the age limit for lethal injection. For more information: Alex Schadenberg, “Belgium euthanized 3 children aged 9, 11 and 17,” 8/8/2018.

The Netherlands: On October 13, 2020, the Dutch government approved euthanasia for terminally ill children aged 1 to 12. Currently it is legal for babies up to a year old to be killed with parental consent, and for children older than 12 to be euthanized with consent of both the patient and his or her parents. Until now, there has been no such proviso for children aged 1 to 12. Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said he would draft regulations for the practice. The new rules are expected to be implemented within the next few months. Source: “Netherlands backs euthanasia for terminally ill children under-12,” 10/14/2020, BBC News.

Canada: Will Canada be the next country to permit pediatric euthanasia? A paper published in the September 2018 Journal of Medical Ethics, titled “Medical Assistance in Dying at a pediatric hospital,” tested the water. This article addressed a proposal to implement euthanasia for children, a policy developed by a committee at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. The paper states it “is intended as a road map through the still-emerging legal and ethical landscape of paediatric MAID.” MAID stands for “medical assistance in dying” – a cleaned up name for killing vulnerable patients with (and sometimes without) their permission. Would a change in the law to permit euthanasia for “mature minors” allow Canadian children to die by euthanasia without the consent of their parents? For more information click here.

Professor Margaret Somerville taught medical law and ethics for nearly 40 years at McGill University in Canada. Professor Somerville predicts, “Canada is already considering whether to allow access to euthanasia to children, to people with serious mental illness but no physical illness, and to people with dementia through their advance directives. In light of the widespread normalization of euthanasia and the large number of people accessing it, I believe all of these expansions are likely to be allowed.” For more read "Patients Should Beware of Canada’s Euthanasia Philosophy."

Could this Happen in the United States?

Belgium and the Netherlands bear the dubious distinction of being leaders when it comes to having the most liberal euthanasia laws in the world.

In an article titled “Netherlands backs euthanasia for terminally ill children under-12,” a doctor is quoted: “I don’t feel like I’m killing the patient.” He is pictured holding a lethal injection that ironically looks like a bullet.

The culture of death is spreading rapidly. Could killing people, even children, by lethal injection be legalized in the United States? When will people of every nation raise their voices and demand, “Stop! Enough! Never again!”?


USE YOUR VOICE TO KEEP 
THE CHURCH DOORS OPEN!

Appeal to bishops, pastors of all faiths, and rabbis
 
In March of 2020, religious leaders around the world started closing churches and stopping public worship due to the fear of spreading Covid-19. As a result, multitudes of people were unable to practice their faith. Even the dying were denied the sacraments and the consolation of visits from the clergy of their choice. Denying the faithful the ability to practice their faith resulted in the removal of the primary means of the salvation of souls. Now, as fear of a second wave of coronavirus infections is spreading across the world, leaders are once again starting to close churches.  
  
LET’S DO ALL WE CAN TO KEEP OUR CHURCHES OPEN!




 




Killing For Profit: The Dark Side of Hospice 
– Added November 2020

This book compassionately deals with a difficult subject that most people don’t want to talk about, much less think about. It tells how Hospice, which was started for a laudable purpose, is today beset by greed and leaders who have lost their way.  The author, Michelle Young Doers, doesn’t mince her words and shares real life stories about the dark side of Hospice. This is a must read, whether you are an affected loved one, hospice worker or medical administrator.

Reviewed by Anne O'Meara
Image: Michelle Young Doers

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Healthcare Advocacy and Leadership Organization is a 501 (c)(3) organization. Donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

HALO MISSION STATEMENT


The mission of the Healthcare Advocacy and Leadership Organization is to promote, protect, and advocate for the rights of the medically vulnerable through direct patient and family interactions; through community education and awareness programs; and through promotion and development of concrete *"life-affirming healthcare"* alternatives for those facing the grave consequences of healthcare rationing and unethical practices, especially those at risk of euthanasia and assisted suicide.
*"Life-affirming healthcare" is defined as medical care in which the paramount principle is the sanctity of life, which means that the life and safety of each person come first and each person receives medical care across their lifespan based on their need for care and never with an intention to hasten death, regardless of their abilities or perceived "quality of life."

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