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At the beginning of the month we launched our "Take the Challenge: You might be shocked at the results!" Contest.  

There's still time to join in. 
Here’s what people are saying:
This is really good - a relevant twist on the "having the conversation" of advanced care planning. – J.S. from Minnesota
This is very timely. I had four fantastic college-aged kids at my house lately. They attend Franciscan University, known for being passionately Catholic and extremely pro-life. Three of them are THEOLOGY majors! Indeed, all four of the young people are very pro-life about abortion. I work in the area of end-of-life issues. For some reason, I no longer remember, I mentioned the name of Terri Schiavo.* Three of the four (my daughter being the one who DID know about Terri because of me) completely drew a blank! I realized that they did not know who I was talking about. Now, of course, poor Terri died 15 years ago, so these young people would have been only about six at the time, so that part is understandable. What I did not realize was that, even with the excellent education at Franciscan, the end-of-life discussion has not been had. So, I gave them a quick recap of the whole terrible event. – Donor from West Virginia

*Terri Schiavo, a woman with brain damage, was deliberately starved and dehydrated to death in a Florida Hospice in 2005.
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from the desk of the EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR



June 2020

My husband and I adopted our first child, Tommy, from Guatemala in 2005. The process took two long years to complete. As we prepared to bring Tommy home to Minnesota, we knew we needed to get a family will and trust in place to ensure that, if anything happened to us, our children would be provided for.

Providentially, my husband had signed up for a group legal plan through his employer. This benefit provided a network of attorneys to write a will and trust for us. We selected an attorney and met with him. He outlined the will preparation process and asked us a series of questions. We were prepared for the first questions, including  “Who do you want to care for your children if you should both pass away?” However, as we moved along, the questions got progressively more challenging. For example:

  • Who do you want to designate to make medical decisions on your behalf when you are unable to make them?
  • What kinds of medical treatment do you want to receive?
  • Should you be kept alive on a ventilator or with a tube that feeds you or provides fluids to you artificially? If so, under what circumstances would you want to receive those?
  • If your breathing stops or your heart stops beating, do you want to be resuscitated? If so, under what circumstances?
When we had set the appointment, our goal was to answer all questions definitively so we could return in another week or so and sign our will and trust document. Nevertheless, when the attorney asked us to state our medical preferences for possible future circumstances, my husband and I blankly looked at each other. It quickly became apparent that we needed time to do some research. Being passionately pro-life, I wanted to make life-affirming elections. Unfortunately, I just wasn’t certain what constituted life-affirming healthcare. Thankfully, we took the time to do further research before answering these crucially important questions.

Why I am writing about this now? Well, recently, a HALO board member reminded me that, if you have a do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order on file, it will make you ineligible for a respirator to treat COVID-19 and other illnesses. If my husband and I hadn’t done our research back in 2005, we each would have opted to have a DNR on file – and our DNR’s would still be on file today. Those DNR’s would make us ineligible for a ventilator should we be diagnosed with COVID-19 and need to be placed on one.

What’s right? What’s wrong? How do I decide?
HALO’s fact sheet called “Life-Affirming Principles for Medical Decision-Making” explains seven basic principles that will help you make life-affirming, medically appropriate, sensible, and informed health care decisions. This fact sheet is an easy to use tool designed to help you formulate and discuss your values and wishes. 
Click here.




RETHINKING NURSING HOMES


Reading the nursing home abuse stories in newspapers and hearing about the extraordinarily high number of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes across the country, one wonders if nursing homes are the solution they once were thought to be. For more information, please read the thought-provoking article "Rethinking nursing homes. Supporting community based care." by Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.
Do YOU want to Make a Difference?!

Does your Church have a Respect Life Committee? If so, please send copies of HALO's publication, MAKING A DIFFERENCE, A Guide for Defending the Medically Vulnerable, to your Respect Life Committee members. Or, you could share information about HALO with the Respect Life Committee and let them know how to contact us:

1-888-221-HALO


www.halovoice.org

HALO
7301 Bass Lake Road
Minneapolis, MN  55428.

Together we can change hearts and minds.

A REAL AND PRESENT DANGER: MEDICAL DISCRIMINATION




A REAL AND PRESENT DANGER:
MEDICAL DISCRIMINATION

June 2020

Nichole Charpentier is a 39-year-old woman who uses a wheelchair. She identifies as having cerebral palsy and asthma. In March 2020, she was feeling very sick and having a hard time breathing. Her doctor recommended that she go to the hospital because she was experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. When she got to the hospital with her personal care worker, the physician argued with her regarding her disabilities and whether she should get any accommodations or access to needed medical services. This same physician also recommended that her personal care worker maintain a six-foot distance regardless of her care needs. She is worried that, if she ever needs medical care again, she will have to fight for care and her rights to accommodation and to be free from discrimination.

Source: Letter from Disability Rights Oregon, an organization that works for non-discriminatory access to life-saving medical care for all.

LIFE-AFFIRMING ADVANCE DIRECTIVES FOR HEALTHCARE



LIFE-AFFIRMING ADVANCE
DIRECTIVES FOR HEALTHCARE

June 2020
HALO collaborates with many organizations to provide those who trust us with the best life-affirming information, services, and products available. There are several life-affirming advance directives for healthcare that HALO has vetted and approved, including our own LAMP (Life-Affirming Medical Proxy) document, the Patients Rights Council’s PMDD (Protective Medical Decisions Document), Pro-Life Wisconsin’s PPAHC (Protective Power of Attorney for Health Care) and, for Canadians, the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition’s Life-Protecting Power of Attorney for Personal Care. For information on these documents, see the red box on HALO’s home page at www.halovoice.org. Additionally, HALO has created a resource that explains the differences between common types of advance directives: Medical Advance Directives: A Comparision.
We believe that people should have more than one choice when it comes to selecting a life-affirming advance directive because every person’s needs are different.
Introducing the LOVING WILL
American Life League offers an excellent document – the LOVING WILL. This advance directive is both a life-protective directive to physicians and a durable power of attorney (DPA) in which a person appoints an attorney-in-fact (called a proxy, agent, etc. in other DPA documents) to make medical decisions for them if they are unable to do so. The LOVING WILL is unique because, when a person does not know anyone they would trust to be their medical decision-maker, the directive may be used separately from the DPA.



In this pandemic, there are ever-growing threats to your life. Some in the medical community are pushing for the denial of life-saving services to some people. Now, more than ever, it is essential that everyone have a directive stating they want all available effective treatments, care, nutrition (food), hydration (water) and oxygen, however administered, to protect and preserve their life.
During this critical time, ALL is making the LOVING WILL available at NO CHARGE. Simply click here and order it. Once you complete the process, it will be sent to you by email. (Tip: When ordering the Loving Will, in the space that asks for your phone number or email address, type your email address so the download link will be sent to your email.)
Every Adult Needs a Life-Affirming, Life-Protective Advance Directive 
Every person 18 years of age or older should have a life-protective directive. Whenever you go to the hospital, bring along your carefully prepared life-protective directive that instructs health-care personnel to do nothing intentionally, by act or omission, to cause your death. This simple action may make the difference between life and death.

CODE OF ETHICS FOR HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS


HALO owes a debt of gratitude to Ralph A. Capone, M.D., and Ron Panzer, President of Hospice Patients Alliance, for assistance in fine-tuning these life-affirming ethical principles.

The inherent dignity of each human being demands a consistent and deep respect for life – regardless of age, disease, or disability. Sadly, medicine, law, and society have embraced a morally reprehensible ethic to rationalize immoral medical actions and omissions intended to cause death. The culture of death has seeped into the healthcare system under the guise of false compassion. The resultant assault on human life is morally wrong and never justifiable.

This “Code of Ethics for Healthcare Providers” consists of 10 essential principles that recall the ancient oath to inflict no harm, respect life, provide the best available medical care, and protect all patients from injustice. 
Read More.

HALO Recommends




In our ongoing effort to help people recognize that each human life is precious, we plan to provide our readers with reviews of books and movies that HALO recommends. To kick off this new component of the newsletter, HALO’s staff has reviewed both a book and a movie. These are truly inspirational, must read/must view stories.

As more books and movies are reviewed for upcoming newsletters, we envision the list growing into a comprehensive catalog of recommendations.

If you have watched a life-affirming movie or read a book which reflects the basic pro-life tenet that every human life is precious, we want to hear about it.  Please send an email to feedback@halovoice.org
 with your recommendations. Also, we would enjoy sharing your reviews of the movies and books you recommend.

Plan to snuggle with your family and watch a movie or curl up with a great book!





Sing a little louder – added June 2020
Based on the original account first published by Penny Lea, movie released in 2015.

Will you raise your voice for those who have no voice?

Sing a Little Louder is a life-affirming movie inspired by a true story – the story of an elderly man who is haunted by the horrors of the Holocaust that he saw as a young boy from the pews of his church. He remembers singing, with other churchgoers, at the top of his lungs when train cars passed by while attending church services. Everyone in the church knew genocide was occurring, and they wanted to drown out the cries of the Jews. This film embraces a culture of life and sends a strong message for today’s times where the genocides of abortion and stealth euthanasia are occurring. Sometimes the only way forward is to face the past. This is a must see movie!

Review by Anne O’Meara






The Giver – added June 2020
By Lois Lowry. Originally published in 1993

The Giver is a novel written by Lois Lowry in which a society attempts to create a utopia by removing all pain, and in the process produces a daily existence that also lacks any joy or depth. This removal of pain essentially makes everything dull and the “same.” Color, weather and individuality are essentially erased. The plot centers around the twelve-year-old, Jonas, who was selected to be the one person to receive and remember the memories of the society before this change to help with decision making when needed. Only one person holds this job at a time. Jonas receives the memories from his predecessor, an old man known as “The Giver.” Jonas learns from the Giver how far society has gone in its pursuit of a painless life, from the distribution of pills that suppress romantic feelings to the stealth euthanasia of the elderly and problematic children. They resolve to restore the humanity to their community that it so sorely lacks by teaching them to feel the full range of emotions that accompanies the human experience.

Cover image used By Source, Fair use.

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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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