Recent Updates

Current PHA Newsletter

September 28, 2017 Newsletter
  • From the Editor's Desk: Updating "Imposed Death" Publication
  • Update on Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia
  • Don't Hesitate to Celebrate by Margaret Pole
  • Nov 18th conference, "Caring Not Killing: Protecting Yourself, Your Family and Others"
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Don’t Hesitate to Celebrate

By Margaret Pole Whenever I see or hear the term "celebration of life" used as a euphemism for a funeral or memorial service, I wonder how well the deceased's life was celebrated while he or she was alive. In the case of those who lived to a ripe old ...
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Hospice And Palliative Care Medicine: Is It Losing Its Soul?

Hospice and Palliative Care Medicine (HPM) is a medical specialty recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties since 2006. Over the past decade, approximately 7,570 physicians have been certified in this field of clinical expertise. We treat patients experiencing distress due to diseases that may threaten their very ...
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I Would Never Have Believed It

By K. Challender It has been nine months since my parents' deaths, and I am still in shock over what happened to them. My father had Alzheimer's disease and my mother had another form of dementia. When it became clear that they could no longer handle everyday activities, my three ...
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Texas Legislature Reaffirms Patient’s Rights with Passage of DNR Law

By John Seago On August 16th, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 11 into law, reestablishing the rights of patients regarding the execution and revocation of Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) orders. This bill was passed in both chambers of the Texas State Legislature with ...
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Accelerating Death by Stopping Life-Preserving Medications

Depriving a person of a feeding tube can also deprive the person of critical oral medicines. Usually, all medications are stopped along with the feeding tube. In one case, I witnessed a fully conscious man with mild Alzheimer's, following a bout of pneumonia, be deprived of a feeding tube when ...
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It’s a Wonderful Life

In the classic movie It's a Wonderful Life, George Bailey discovers how mistaken he was to wish that he had never been born. With the angel Clarence's guidance, George's whole perspective changes. He discovers that life is wonderful--adversities and all. A human life is precious beyond ...
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If Peter had received the proper care, would he still be with us?

Having a child die is a devastating experience for any family. Having a child die due to negligence, or discrimination in care or treatment, adds a whole new level of pain for families and loved ones. Imagine finding out that a do-not-resuscitate order was put into your child's chart without ...
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HOMES OF LIFE ACROSS AMERICA: A New Pathway of Care for the Elderly, Sick, and Terminally Ill

By Ed and Nan Weber In 1992, we founded the Holy Family Ministry Center "for the Renewal and Restoration of the Family and Catholic Family Life through the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy." An acute awareness of the growing disintegration of the family in American society became a passionate ...
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UNDER ATTACK! Conscience Rights: Healthcare Providers’ Right to Refuse to Kill

By Ralph A. Capone, M.D. and Julie Grimstad Conscientious objection, when exercised by healthcare practitioners, is a refusal to provide a legal "medical service" (such as abortion or assisted suicide) that conflicts with their deeply held religious or moral convictions. Calls to Exclude Conscientious Objectors from Medical Practice On ...
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An Imposed Death in Hospice

Mr. Dennis Barry's wife, Lucy, age 90, was admitted to a hospice facility for a "respite" and died shortly thereafter. A little over a year after she died, Dennis called the Hospice Patients Alliance to tell her tragic story. At a hospice, Lucy Barry was given Haldol (an antipsychotic drug), ...
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The Golden Rule Revisited

By Edwin Leap, MD I wrote and published this several years ago. It first appeared in Emergency Medicine News, then in the Focus on the Family newsletter. It has been reprinted in several publications and websites. As we struggle with so many issues in medicine, I think the ...
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Quinlan: First “Right To Die” Case’s Far-Reaching Consequences

Recently, I had reason to go look through through the collection of book reviews I've written over the years, searching for one on Karen Ann Quinlan's mother's autobiography. I have resurrected that review and reprint it in this edition of the PHA Monthly for two reasons: (1) The 1976 ...
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Who will be encouraged to consider assisted suicide?

By Dr. Virginia Stark-Vance MD Physicians are under increasing pressure to not offer patients care. Sometimes this pressure comes from the hospital or medical staff, sometimes from the insurance company. One medical staff chief tried to force me to withdraw from the hospital staff because the nursing staff had complained ...
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Response to the APA on Physician Assisted Suicide

LifeNews published an article by Michael Cook, entitled "American Psychiatric Association Takes Strong Stance Against Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia" This article immediately raised red flags. Dr. Karl Benzio, MD, founder and director of Lighthouse Network, has ...
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Questions And Answers Regarding Assisted Nutrition And Hydration

By Chris Kahlenborn, MD The specific question of whether to place a stomach tube in a patient who has had a stroke or has advanced dementia is one of the most difficult dilemmas for patients and/or family members who often have questions regarding the ethics of either giving or withholding ...
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A Patient Advocate’s Story: Saving A Life From Four States Away

By Allison Wiggins I was a guardian to a homeless man in Corpus Christi in 1998. This man, Stanley Nowak, was inhis late 80s, but very lucid, not an alcoholic or schizophrenic. Stanley would sit outside the Cathedral where I attended daily noon Mass. Due to his appearance, he wouldn't ...
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Considering Some Consequences of Government-Sanctioned Assisted Suicide

A 2015 poll conducted by the Pew Research Center found that 68 percent of Americans favor decriminalizing physician-assisted suicide (PAS) for painful and incurable conditions.[i] Apparently, many people are influenced by the propaganda of PAS advocates (e.g., Compassion & Choices, formerly known as the Hemlock Society), with the support of ...
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Drug-induced murder: If only we had known

By KM In-home hospice care is extremely common today; yet this form of end-of-life care is often dangerous and deadly. Typically, the hospice agency delivers a bed and a big package of medications. Often, the patient's family is encouraged to start administering morphine (a strong pain reliever) and Ativan (a ...
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Conscientious Objection, Conscience Rights, And Workplace Discrimination

The tragic cases of Nancy Cruzan and Christine Busalacchi, young Missouri women who were alleged to be in a "persistent vegetative state," and starved and dehydrated to death, outraged those of us in Missouri Nurses for Life and we took action. Besides educating people about ...
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Conscience Rights, Crisis Pregnancy Centers, And More

A new Illinois law just signed by Governor Bruce Rauner has dire implications for pro-life healthcare providers. According to the National Catholic Register ("Illinois Law Threatens Conscience Rights, Crisis-Pregnancy Centers," August 9, 2016), this new law changes the former state Health Care Right of ...
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Creating a home instead of a hospice

LORETO ON THE PLAINS: The Home that Faith Built “We know what we have here and want to share it with others.” – Ed Weber Hartley, population 400, sits smack dab in the heart of the upper panhandle of Texas. There on the plains sits a beautiful home, a safe ...
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