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Why is Education Concerning Life and Death Issues Essential?

Why is Education Concerning Life and Death Issues Essential?

I am a retired teacher who has witnessed education’s power to positively affect people’s lives. This is one of the rewards for being a teacher and has convinced me that educating others is one mighty way to change the world.
Actually, I’m still teaching. For instance, for the past five years I served as the director of end of life issues for a state pro-life group and had invitations to speak in all parts of our state to warn people about the dangers of assisted suicide, euthanasia and other threats to the lives of vulnerable people. This is a huge topic.
What I discovered as a researcher and presenter is that the pro-death movement is a tangled web of many organizations and individuals, policies, laws and lies. It is ever-expanding, affecting everyone in our society—medical professionals, lawmakers, believers and non-believers, our neighbors, families and friends. I also learned that people were hungry for the truth.
They listened as I told them about the numerous problems with the notions of “freedom of choice” and the “right to die,” as I exposed the lie that certain lives are “not worth living” because of “quality of life” or “suffering.” I explained the dangers they or their loved ones might face in various health care settings and gave them tips on how to combat the culture of death. But the most important topic of all was the sanctity of human life – that life is sacred and cannot be intentionally destroyed because God is the Author of Life; He is the Alpha and the Omega, Greek letters meaning the Beginning and the End; and every human life is worth living and worthy of our care and protection from its very beginning to its natural end in God’s time. (It is interesting to note that, when we founded HALO, we incorporated the Alpha and Omega into our logo to remind us of these facts.)  
This month, we focus on educating young people by featuring two excellent programs. Each is uniquely designed to reach this world’s younger generation with morally sound information about life and death issues and help them learn to care for people in need. Armed with a solid education in the truth and concern for the welfare of others, they will be prepared to change the world.
We hope that you will find this month’s articles valuable and interesting. When you’re done reading, we invite you to give us feedback by answering three questions at the end of this newsletter. Thank you.

Hospice Abuses and Fraud Cause Opposition to Federal Hospice Bill

Press Release, 10-13-19
Hospice Abuses and Fraud Cause Opposition to Federal Hospice Bill

The Healthcare Advocacy and Leadership Organization (HALO) opposes funding new palliative care and hospice programs until rampant violations are remedied.
BEDFORD, TEXAS, UNITED STATES, October 13, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/
The Healthcare Advocacy and Leadership Organization (HALO) and a growing number of organizations and individuals are opposed to the federal Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA)—House bill HR 647 and Senate bill S 2080.

HALO supports hospice and palliative care providers who respect the dignity and life of every patient, give honest information to patients and their families, and provide appropriate pain control and comfort measures. For this very reason, we are unable to support the PCHETA.

Existing federal hospice programs are plagued by fraud, poor quality care, rampant abuse, and even intentionally caused deaths. Enacting another federal hospice program, when existing programs are out of control, makes no sense and will only cause more of the same.

The 2019 Office of Inspector General Report of “Vulnerabilities in Hospice” provides proof that HALO's concerns are valid. For facts about hospice fraud see Home Healthcare News "Special Agents Sound Off on Hospice Fraud." The OIG reports, “Hospices with patient harm cases do not always face serious consequences from CMS [Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services]. CMS should seek statutory authority to extend beneficiary protections found in other health care settings to hospices and ensure remedies are available to address poor performers.”

The human toll of hospice abuse can be found in articles, letters and internet posts of hurting individuals whose loved ones were allegedly abused or killed by hospice and palliative care providers. Why pour millions more of federal dollars into an education and training program that will likely be designed by some of the very people perpetrating or ignoring this inhumanity to our most vulnerable citizens?

Furthermore, if the PCHETA becomes law, it will finance programs to educate the public about hospice and palliative care, aiming to entice more people into hospice. Such education is unlikely to inform the public about hospice fraud and abuse or to instruct them how to find reputable hospice and palliative care providers.

Bottom line: Hospice and Palliative Care Medicine (HPM) must be cleaned up before any more taxpayer funds are spent promoting it.

Julie Grimstad
Healthcare Advocacy and Leadership Organization
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Note: Please visit our website at www.halorganization.com and click on the ACTION ALERT to discover what YOU can do to help defeat the PCHETA.



Build a Culture of Life One Student at a Time
The Culture of Life Studies Program (CLSP) has completely revised its Euthanasia study. Without Mercy: An Introduction to Euthanasia, Assisted Suicide, and Other Threats to the Medically Vulnerable “examines the complex topics of euthanasia and assisted suicide and teaches students the reality behind what the culture of death advocates.” Cutting-edge, eye-opening, and conversation-starting information will help teachers and youth leaders reach young people with morally sound information about crucially important life and death issues.
Check out this exceptional program’s 4-class unit study, the Conversation Starter for youth directors, and other resources here: https://culture-of-life-studies.myshopify.com/collections/life-lens/products/without-mercy-an-introduction-to-euthanasia-assisted-suicide-and-other-threats-to-the-medically-vulnerable
Gospel of Life School Provides Missionaries for the Dying
By Monica Knudsen
The missionary disciples of the Gospel of Life School (GOLS) are volunteers who live and serve at the Saint James Dwelling in Oklahoma City, the Saint John Paul II Dwelling in Moore, Oklahoma, and the St. Adelaide Dwelling in Grand Prairie, Texas. They assist the residents of the Gospel of Life Dwellings, which help elders who would otherwise be alone. The missionaries accompany them “on their journey toward eternal life.”  
The Gospel of Life Dwellings and the Gospel of Life School were initiated by Sister Maria of the Trinity (Faulkner). Sr. Maria explains: 
There is a restlessness in our modern day; trying to fill oneself with material goods, prestige, exotic experiences or virtual realities. These young people discover a simple life and the beauty that comes with real encounters, real relationships, and real giving of oneself in love for the sake of Christ and his Church. GOLS responds to the call of Archbishop Coakley of Oklahoma City to be disciples, make disciples, and bear fruit for the Kingdom. 
The Gospel of Life School is for those between ages 18 and 30. Six people from across the country responded to the inaugural program.

“It’s been the best decision I’ve made in my entire life,” said Anna, 23. “That call we have to follow Christ wholeheartedly; for everything to be his. Life will never be the same again.” 
Matt, 22, said of his Gospel of Life School experience, “I realized the importance of the salvation of souls. It is amazing and overwhelming to play a part in that.” 
The year included academic classes in Sacred Scripture and the Sacraments through the Blessed Stanley Rother Institute of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City as well as other spiritual formation classes in Franciscan spirituality, intentional discipleship and discernment, Culture of Life studies, Spanish language and Hispanic culture. This first year of the school culminated with a weeklong pilgrimage to Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico and to Santiago Atitlan in Guatemala.
Applicants can choose to serve for an academic school year or a summer. Openings are available for the 2019-2020 academic year and the 2020 summer program.  
Room and board and a small stipend are included. They are asked to raise some funds toward the cost of classes, retreats and pilgrimages. If there are difficulties, prospective candidates can work with Jim Armour, the director of the Gospel of Life School program, to find sponsorships.  
For further information and an application, go online to www.gospeloflifeschool.org or email Jim at jim@gospeloflifedisciples.org
This article was originally published in the Sooner Catholic. Reprinted and edited with the permission of the author.


Major Report on Assisted Suicide Released by National Council on Disability 
This information was provided by the Patients Rights Action Fund. Contact: Barbara L. Lyons, Coalitions Director, 609-759-0322, Ext. 501 (office) or 414-322-6689 (cell).
An Assisted Suicide Report released on October 8 by the National Council on Disability (NCD) to the President of the United States is a major and important element in our efforts to keep lethal drugs out of our states and communities. Please circulate the report broadly, especially to legislators. 
Public Library Provided Compassion & Choices a Forum to Promote Assisted Suicide in Minnesota
This account is condensed from the report of a person in attendance.
On September 17, Compassion & Choices (C&C), the leading organization in the movement to legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia in every state, promoted Medical Aid in Dying (MAID) at the Edina, Minnesota Senior Center located in the public library. Approximately 25 people attended. The presenters, Rev. Harlan Limpert, a Unitarian Universalist pastor, and Rebecca Thoman, MD, were introduced by a librarian.
Rev. Limpert told stories about "good deaths.” He said that a friend’s father in California took drugs to end his life, but first there was a party at which friends toasted him and said goodbye. Rev. Limpert looked at his watch, smiled and told us that the man’s son had called to tell Limpert that his father’s death had happened 48 hours and 10 minutes ago. It was chilling. 
Dr. Thoman no longer practices medicine; she is concentrating on public health policy and advocating for MAID. Using a PowerPoint presentation, she explained the contents of the MAID bill, authored by C&C, which was heard at an informational hearing in the Minnesota House earlier in September. Dr. Thoman said that C&C altered the bill from the version that they submitted last year. (There appeared to be even fewer safeguards for vulnerable people in the new version.) She said MAID passed the Minnesota House last year but was stalled in the Republican controlled Senate; this session, the Senate Majority Leader has refused to allow the MAID bill a hearing. 
The literature table displayed slick publications, including three colorful handouts. One was a graph of poll results purportedly showing how various groups weighed in on assisted suicide. Supposedly, 70% of Catholics favored it. Evangelicals were the group least likely to support it.
During the Q & A session following the presentation, the audience appeared to largely agree with the presenters. Questioners seemed to want control over when and how their lives would end. (Of course, it's possible that the audience was seeded with pro-euthanasia activists.) Dr. Thoman promoted Medical Power of Attorney and POLST documents to ensure their wishes would be carried out if they could not speak for themselves. In response to a question, she stated that a MAID death was not usually painful -- people just fell asleep and stopped breathing in a few minutes -- but "each person was different."
Jo Tolck, HALO’s Vice President, attended this event. The following is her report.
Quite sure I would only be allowed one question, I asked,
If a woman gets the drug (I used this word intentionally, since they kept avoiding it), how will you know that she took it rather than someone giving it to her without her knowledge? For instance, what if "sister" says that "brother", who was with Mom when she died, was having financial difficulties and she suspects brother slipped the drug into Mom's food rather than Mom taking it herself? Since the death certificate would indicate "cancer" rather than assisted suicide (again, I used this term intentionally), the police would not be able to investigate.
Rev. Limpert chuckled and said it was a long question, but he would try to repeat it. (They weren't having any questioner speak into the microphone.) He then turned it over to Dr. Thoman who replied that we all have medicine in our homes that could kill someone. She contended, when a doctor writes a prescription, the pharmacist doesn't go to the person's home to make sure she's the one who takes it and that there are no children who could get hold of it. "We" don't do that in those cases and we won't in this case,” she finished.
This analogy limps. When a person, whether adult or child, dies by a drug overdose, there is a police investigation and a doctor is not forced by law to lie about the cause of death on the death certificate. Even an apparent suicide is investigated to make certain there was no foul play. Why is an apparent assisted suicide treated differently?
The speaker was very polished, knew her "stuff", and the crowd definitely drank the Kool-Aid.
Was reading this edition of the HALO Monthly worth your time? 
What issues would you like HALO to address in future newsletters or fact sheets?
Do you have any questions you would like answered?
Email feedback@halorganization.com with your answers.
Thank you!
Julie Grimstad, President of HALO
Note to HALO Monthly recipients: Whether or not you are able to make a donation to HALO, you will continue to receive the newsletter. However, there are expenses involved in producing a quality newsletter. Therefore, we suggest an annual donation of $25.00 for HALO membership, which includes our newsletter. Of course, donations in any amount to support the work of HALO will be gratefully accepted. All donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Please send checks only to: HALO, P.O. Box 324, Chisago City, MN 55013. Credit card donations may be securely made on the DONATE page of our website, www.halorganization.com/donate/


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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