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 “Brain death” is not a settled issue, but continues to be the subject of intense international debate. HALO's position on this important issue aligns with the below statement by Dr. David W. Evans.
This debate should raise serious doubts concerning whether brain dead people are dead and lead to a rethinking of the entire enterprise of removing vital organs from such patients. A fundamental goal of medicine is to do no harm (non-maleficence). Any action that directly causes the death of a patient, even if it is for the good of others, opposes the goal of medicine not to harm that individual patient. Any attempt to downplay the importance of the brain death debate in the interests of organ transplantation is therefore fundamentally wrong. It is precisely whether transplantation kills the donor that is the key issue that cuts to the heart of the goals of medicine.
David W Evans, Brain death: Brain death is a recent invention,” BMJ, 9-14-2002, web.

KUDOS KORNER


You have no idea. You just gave me the biggest personal hug.
—HALO Helpline caller

Thank you for praying with me and thank you for praying for my father-in-law. You have no idea how much difference your warm and compassionate voice made.
—HALO Helpline caller

from the desk of the EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

 


October 2020
By Anne O'Meara


Some of you might remember the social media challenge HALO conducted a couple of months back. The challenge was based on a conversation I had with my teenage son, Tommy, about serious issues like organ donation and assisted suicide. I learned in that conversation that being raised in pro-life households where the basic issues are discussed frequently does not guarantee our children will be convinced that all life is sacred.
 
When I talked with Tommy about organ donation, I was shocked at his impression and answers. I had explained to him that, to transplant a human heart, the transplant surgeon must take it from a person with a beating heart. He had responded, “So?” Thinking he didn’t fully understand what I had just said, I explained further that the organ donor’s life would be ended by removing their heart. My son replied,” I don’t know that is a bad thing. Maybe someone younger would need the heart.”  We then talked about whether it is okay to play God by choosing to end someone’s life.
 
A few months after this conversation, Tommy turned 15 and was eligible for his driver’s permit in Minnesota. To qualify for the permit, he needed to complete 30 hours of classroom training. Due to Covid-19, most of these hours were spent in Zoom calls where they frequently watched educational videos. One evening my son came to me and said, “Mom, I have a video from my class that I want you to watch. It’s about organ donation.”
 
The video portrayed organ donation as heroic and compassionate. As I watched, I thought to myself, “Who wouldn’t want to sign up as an organ donor after viewing that?” As the video ended, my son leaned over and said, “Mom, I know you are right. If I am pro-life, I shouldn’t sign up to be an organ donor when I get my permit - but I am going to feel like a big jerk standing at the DMV counter and saying no.” He added, “Can’t I sign up to be an organ donor, but limit the organs I would be willing to donate?”  “That’s not how it works,” I explained. If you sign up to be an organ donor on your license/permit, you can’t restrict what organs they will take. I also reminded him that organ donation by a healthy person to save the life of another is a generous act of charity. However, this gift should never significantly risk causing permanent harm or death to the donor.
 
If you have a child or grandchild who will soon be getting their driver’s permit or license, know that signing up as an organ donor will most likely be positioned as a heroic and compassionate thing to do. Make sure your loved one is prepared for what they will hear so they can make a life-affirming decision to not be listed as an organ donor on their permit/license.
 
It is also important to note that every state maintains an Orgon Donor Registry listing people who have agreed to be organ donors, either on a driver’s license application or by signing an organ donor card. These state registries are readily accessed by Orgon Procurement Organizations. However, NO STATE has a registry for those who do not want to be organ donors. Therefore, it is up to you to protect yourself. Refuse to be an organ donor in writing.
To order HALO’s organ donation refusal cards

E-mail us at:
feedback@halovoice.org or call us at 
1-888-221-4256 (HALO)


ORGAN DONATION ON TRIAL

 

 

ORGAN DONATION ON TRIAL

October 2020
By Julie Grimstad

Imagine we are in a courtroom. You are the jury. The question you are asked to consider is: Are organ donors, who have been declared “dead,” certainly dead before their organs are removed? As all jurors are asked to do, please keep an open mind. Do not pre-judge the case.

 

Read the case

Denial of Treatment Becomes Euthanasia




DENIED PROPER MEDICAL TREATMENT,
MOM’S LIFE WAS SNATCHED AWAY

Editor’s note: In the Bible – John 19:25 – Jesus hung from his “deathbed.” He told his beloved disciple, which many believe to be John the Evangelist, to “behold your mother.” Scripture tells as that John took Jesus’s mother Mary into his own home, as his own mother, and cared for her for the rest of her earthly life. Recently we were reminded of this Bible verse when Jane, a nurse and a devout Catholic, recounted for us the story of how her family took her own mother into their care and fought for her dignity and life.
 
Late on a Friday afternoon in July of 2019, my 89-year-old mother suffered excruciating pain. When the ambulance was called for her, she requested “the silent approach” so the EMTs drove her to the emergency room with the sirens off. Once there, she waited patiently without the aid of pain medicine. The doctor did not detect any signs of pain, however, when my mother was asked if her pain level was above “10,” her response was “Yes."
 
My mother had her full mental faculties. The ER doctor said her white blood cell count was up. Because of this, I suspected a urinary tract infection. Another concern I had was that the wound in her leg might have been infected and was possibly sepsis. Mom felt very sick, too sick to go out, but she endured in the hope of proper attentive care and treatment.
 
According to the ER doctor, the reason my mom was admitted to the hospital overnight was because she was dehydrated. However, she was left all night on the fifth floor without IV fluids, pain medications or regular necessary medications. Looking back, it reminds me of when Jesus was stripped of his garments!
 
For thirty years I had avoided the hospital and its elevators and high stories due to a local earthquake I had experienced. However, when I learned that hospice was coming to consult with my family, I overcame my nightmares, the earthquake, and my claustrophobia, and trusted in the miraculous grace of God in order to be with my mom.
 
When the hospitalist came, our large family made it clear that we wanted what was best for mom. The words "comfort and care" were used. I felt unable to state it, but what I wanted was “Gods' birthing process.” In other words, I wanted the plans that God had for her to come to fruition. In the middle of the night on Sunday she begged, “HELP ME!” As I listened to her cries, I didn’t know it at the time, but I needed HALO.
 
It was obvious that her kidney function was poor. The neglect made it worse. Despite suffering renal failure for over 10 years, my mom heroically fought for her life! The hospital snatched it away from her, put her on hospice, and sent her home unable to speak or swallow.
 
We were never told she had a bad UTI. No antibiotic was given! My mother and her family were in a very vulnerable space and were taken advantage of. We came for hope and the preservation of life as much as possible until a natural death. Instead we were given a death sentence and written off.

Life is precious and so was Mom! She knew the exact time and minute each of her 10 children were naturally born. In a similar way, we wanted her death to be on Gods’ time, not Hospice’s time! My mom was “born” to eternal life at home, at 8:30 Saturday morning, July 27, 2019.
 
Jane, California

 FAITH VICTORIA - ANOTHER BATTLE DAY VICTORY!

In our August newsletter, we had told you about Faith Victoria, a 22-month old who was found face down in a swimming pool by her grandparents. Her grandparents did CPR until the ambulance arrived and took her to the hospital. While in the hospital, Faith’s life was threatened by a medical futility policy. She is now at home, but still in a coma and on a ventilator.

The below update was recently written by her grandmother, Linda. It describes the family’s fight for this precious little one’s life. Please join us in praying for Faith Victoria and her family as their battle continues.


Since Rachel, Faith's Mother, is holding her now and is a bit tired after an intense day, she wanted me - Mom, to get this out to all of you faithful ones who have carried Rachel and Tim through this day and brought forth another victory. What should have been a routine overnight stay at the hospital where doctors who were overseeing Faith’s care – her pulmonologist – endocrinologist – GI doctor and nutritionist would go over her condition and make necessary adjustments so that she would be on track again to thrive, turned out to be another fight to keep her alive.

The night before going to St. Joseph's Hospital, Rachel had deep concerns about going back to a place where the “futility law” was in place. (All hospitals have it.) However, because the doctors that they had at this point seemed to all be on the same team to help Faith; so after wrestling a bit, Rachel and Tim decided it would be ok. In fact, while sharing her concerns with the Lord, she felt He made it clear that she wasn’t to run in fear, but she must face the giants and slay them if necessary!

So, Rachel spent the night and day with Faith, while Tim had to go to work as a fireman. First thing in the morning, a doctor came in who they call an intensivist. Rachel started to feel a little uneasy when he, not being the pulmonologist, started to turn down Faith's ventilator. He then went to deal with her trach and also the suctioner that is attached to her trach. He was rough and Rachel told him so.

Later, he came in and told Rachel that he was having a problem with Faith’s case. It was clear that he was leaning toward thinking she should be a candidate for the futility law. Rachel knew then why she had been uneasy and could feel the darkness behind his words. He was in a quandary with Faith having regular times of spontaneous breathing. He didn’t seem to care that three weeks ago she was not moving and now not only her toes wiggled, but her feet were moving more and more. (Rachel did tell us later that Faith just didn’t “perform for him”.) Rachel knew where he was heading and made it clear that she knew about the futility law and she and her husband would have no part of it. In fact, they were prepared to bring awareness to that evil law. Again, like at All Children’s Hospital, she spoke Truth that God was the Creator and it was His domain to decide when life begins and when it ends.

After he left, the Lord put it upon her heart to call the respiratory therapist who worked with her pulmonologist and had been so helpful in caring for Faith. When she explained what had happened, he said bluntly to “fire the guy”. “Rachel, he doesn’t get it – he isn’t a Christian!” Not knowing before that he was a believer in Christ, Rachel immediately knew why the Lord had her call him. He understood – he knew why they were fighting for their daughter, and agreed – he knew Jesus Christ! He told Rachel to show the doctor the video of Faith breathing above the ventilator and of her toes and feet moving. He also said encouragingly that he has seen a number of children who are in Faith’s condition who have fully recovered!

Rachel then talked to the pulmonologist, also a believer in Jesus, and he said he would talk to the intensivist and explain the situation – whatever that meant.
Earlier that day when Rachel and the nurse were doing a routine change of Faith’s trach, they noticed some blood around the opening. Shortly after that, Rachel heard Faith gurgling. When she suctioned Faith, pools of blood came up. That had never happened! She knew right away that it was the rough treatment the doctor had done earlier when he was doing his “examination”. Thank the Lord they had to do the routine trach change. Rachel confronted the doctor with this and he said calmly that it would be noted.

The battle was clearly on and ONCE AGAIN THE LORD INTERVENED! The nurse who was on with Faith during last night, and came back on this night, told Rachel that last night she had checked Faith’s breathing a number of times and that she was breathing above the ventilator! She was careful to note this in her chart.

Shortly after that, Dr. Intensivist came in and his whole demeanor had changed. He talked about how Faith was doing well and that the nutritionist had made some recommendations to a change in her diet. But, her blood work came back normal, and she would be good to go home tomorrow. Rachel confronted him with his earlier ominous outlook. He denied it. She told him that it was undeniable. Had the giant been slain?

So, we ask, “What is going on?” What is the Lord doing here?” One thing for sure, this little girl is baffling the medical world with her spirit seemingly strong in knowing when to breathe or move or push back any darkness that is trying to take her life. The Lord is keeping His hand on this precious child, and He has not let her go.

We also are seeing very clearly that those who are believers in Jesus and even those who are not quite there, but might want to be, see clearly that all life is precious and where there is life, there is hope – that there is a miracle working God who loves to do the impossible and no matter what the professionals say, our God is King and Lord and is sovereign. He is calling His people to trust Him and watch Him do the impossible.

Throughout the day the Lord had given Rachel through many different sources that “God is our refuge and very present help in time of trouble!” He proved that to be true once again!

We are also seeing that more and more whether it is in the medical field or the political arena or any arena that there is no more grey area. It is black or white – light or darkness – life or death - truth or lies! You are either a Christian and listen to the voice of Truth of God’s Holy Spirit, or you are a non believer and listen to the father of lies.

So, little Faith Victoria, we know that Lord is using you in many ways. Oh God - unify your people – bring us ever closer to You – sharpen us – open our eyes to Your Truth, and continue to shine Your light on the darkness, and bring those You are calling into Your kingdom of light.

He told Rachel that she was going to slay a giant. It seems like whatever was trying to take Faith out today, was annihilated once again. Thank you, Jesus! And thank you all for your continued love and prayers. Little girl, wiggle those toes and move those feet, continue to breathe and we will wait until the Lord rises you up so the world will see His glory! In His hands – in His way - in His time!

EVEN SUPER HEROES USE VENTILATORS

In Mary Ann Kreitzer’s article Organ-harvesting Means the Cause for Life is Threatened like Never Before, she suggests,
 
Ask the average person, “How do you know if someone is dead?,” and he will probably say, “When a person stops breathing; his heart stops beating; and he turns cold, blue, and stiff.” Until recent years, that definition was the norm. Then came technology allowing vital organs to be “harvested.” One problem: Vital organs decompose within minutes of true death, making them useless for transplantation. So new criteria were needed to declare a person “dead” when he still had a beating heart, circulation, and respiration feeding oxygen to his cells. VoilĂ : “brain death.”

What exactly will you see if you go into the room of a “brain-dead” person? Someone hooked up to a monitor that measures heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration. He’s on a ventilator to aid breathing. The ventilator is a tool to help the living, not the dead. Yes, it will keep the patient alive because without oxygen, you die. But if the body is already dead, there will be no respiration, a process that “takes oxygen out of the inhaled air in exchange for carbon dioxide exhaled out of the body.” You can hook a ventilator up to a cadaver and force air into the lungs, but it won’t exhale.

Mary Ann goes on to remind us that actor Christopher Reeve never breathed on his own after his accident.  He was on a portable ventilator from 1995 until his death in 2004. With his ventilator he continued working and directing films; the ventilator was merely a medical tool – like a pacemaker is a medical tool for the heart.

In closing, Mary Ann concludes that “brain death” is a fraud used to justify organ removal or stopping life-sustaining/life-saving treatment.


ELECTION 2020 TO DETERMINE SURVIVAL OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AND PRO-LIFE HEALTHCARE

 

Vote “YES” on November 3, 2020 to protect religious freedom and the dignity of the most vulnerable among us. Use your voice!

ELECTION 2020 TO DETERMINE SURVIVAL OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AND PRO-LIFE HEALTHCARE

For Immediate Release
Troy, MI (September 29, 2020)

This year’s highly contested election will have great consequences for religious freedom in health care and pro-life health care that protects the dignity of the most vulnerable, born and unborn. Many in Congress are calling for a government takeover of health care that eliminates the Hyde Amendment prohibition on public funding of abortion, creates a federal abortion mandate, and shreds existing religious freedom protections for doctors, nurses, and hospitals. Meanwhile, federal courts have blocked two U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regulations that would have protected the rights of conscience and religious freedom and eliminated Obama-era provisions, coercing medical professionals to violate their conscience. This past summer, the U.S. Supreme Court in 
Bostock v. Clayton County  ‘redefined’ the meaning of sex under federal civil rights law despite serious constitutional, health related, and civil rights problems with the ruling. The domino effect of this decision was made clear just weeks later when St. Joseph Medical Center in Maryland was sued in federal court for refusing to perform a hysterectomy that violated its commitment to Catholic teaching. And earlier this month came news of a Catholic physician in Oregon who was fired in 2019 by a Catholic medical facility because she refused to refer patients for services that violated her Catholic beliefs. The currents in Congress, the Courts, and the healthcare industry pose incredible threats to religious freedom, Christ-centered and life-affirming medical care, and the right of medical professionals to freely care for the poor.

"Protecting religious freedom, the unborn, the health of the poor, and reforming the nation’s health care system are key issues in this presidential election. I hope reforms like those proposed in the pro-life 
Health Care Choices proposal will be examined," said Louis Brown, J.D., Executive Director of the Christ Medicus Foundation (CMF). Concerning the upcoming presidential debate, Michael Vacca, J.D., the head of bioethics for CMF CURO stated that "government centered health care that would expand abortion, undermine conscience, and imperil care for the vulnerable is not the answer. Religious freedom that empowers thousands of faith-filled health care workers and hundreds of faith-based hospitals to care for the vulnerable is key to securing care for the poor."

About the Christ Medicus Foundation The Christ Medicus Foundation (CMF) is a Catholic 501(c)3 non-profit founded in 1997, dedicated to sharing the love of God in health care through defending religious freedom in health care and building a Christ-centered Catholic health care economy that serves the Church, the laity, and the poor and vulnerable.

About CMF CURO : CMF CURO, a Catholic health care ministry and a member-representative to Samaritan Ministries International, provides Catholics an affordable alternative to medical insurance that is consistent with Catholic teaching whereby Catholics are members of a Catholic health care community. CURO, in Latin, means to care for, cure, heal, and watch over, and embodies the spirit of Christ-centered health care.


PRESS CONTACT: Becky Escher, Christ Medicus Foundation, Marketing & Communications Manager (817)-371-1979, bescher@christmedicus.org



 



Words on Bathroom Walls – Added October 2020

In the 2020 film “Words on Bathroom Walls”, the teenage character Adam battles with being viewed as a schizophrenic and nothing else. Adam is very gifted in the kitchen and has dreams of culinary school, but he first needs a high school diploma. His condition makes that a challenging goal to achieve.

Left without many other options, Adam’s mother and her boyfriend, Paul, move Adam to a Catholic high school after a psychotic incident in which Adam injures a fellow student in chemistry class. Adam works to conceal his condition from many around him, including his love interest, Maya, and fellow students. He faces additional struggles with those who know he has schizophrenia and is suspicious of many people, including the headmaster of the school, the priest, Paul, and even his own mother. Fueled by the perceived condemnation of those around him, Adam hallucinates and imagines discouraging words about him on the bathroom walls. Ultimately, with the help of the priest truly listening to him and Paul's fatherly support, Adam learns his value and persuades others of his value as well, proving that a person is a person and NOT his or her diagnosis.

Reviewed by Chris Rogers
mage: Roadside Attractions.

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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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