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April 2, 1993     The Message
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April 2, 1993

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"'2 The Message Monthly -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Bill to prohibit assisted suidde gains strength in Indiana General Assembly By COLEEN WILLIAMS Indiana Catholic Conference A bill to prohibit assisted suicide moved one step fur- ther through the Indiana Gen- eral Assembly by passing the House Public Policy, Ethics and Veterans Affairs Commit- tee last week (March 23}. In a 12-0 vote, the committee moved SB 477, in amended form, to the House floor. Members responded to testi- mony spanning legal, ethical and public policy dimensions of the assisted suicide issue, including testimony gathered by the Indiana Catholic Con- ference. "We must seek solutions to the problems of terminally ill patients and their families that respect the inherent worth of all human beings," affirmed the ICC in a pre- pared statement given to the cmnmittee, "especially those most in need of our love and assistance." Two representatives of hos- pice testified in support of the ban, emphasizing the need for public awareness of hospice care as a viable alter- native to suicide. The "greatest danger of Dr. Kevorkian" is the idea given to the terminally ill that as- sisted suicide is the only way, stressed Sharon O'Mor- row, executive director of the Indiana Association of Hos- pices. Hospice is the alterna- tive, she said. There are over 45 hospice programs in Indiana that treat terminally ill patients in a comfortable environment m at home if possible -- and care for the needs of their families, O'Morrow ex- plained. ElisaFox, a hospice volun- teer in Bloomington, related an experience caring for the last six months of one woman's life. The patient had left an abusive past, was diag- nosed with terminal cancer, and treated by hospice pro- fessionals and trained volun- teers. At a point early in her care, the woman requested to die. However, assisting a sui- cide is contrary to hospice purpose, Fox stated. Instead, the woman was surrounded by care, love, and support which turned the life of the patient from desperation to reconciliation with her fam- ily, faith and death. of terminal conditions. A former Indianapolis resi- dent sent a letter to the com- mittee, through the ICC, also praising hospice care. Hos- pice enabled the man and his family to cope with his wife's death from cancer. Regularly- prescribed pain medication and care was given to his wife in their home. "To experience this [death] in a community setting, rather than go through this alone, truly eased the burden, physically and emotionally," he wrote. Opposition raised by the Indiana Civil Liberties Union regarded the language of the bill and a need for personal autonomy, especially in ex- ceptional cases, such as an aged man or woman who as- sists the death of a terminal spouse with "good inten- tions." Rep. Michael A. Dvorak, D- Granger, sponsor of the bill, stated the immediate ques- tiola is one of public policy, though, not of ethics or even the type of care in terminal cases. "SB 477 addresses a vac- uum in Indiana law," as- serted Dvorak. There is no as- surance against a Dr. Kovorkian or someone else coming to Indiana and assist- ing a suicide, he explained. Other questions pointed to the quick action on the bill and its constitutionality. Rep. Chester F. Dobis, D-Merril- lville, responded noting the Senate previously debated SB 477 and so should the full House. Also, it is the job of the courts to determine the constitutionality of the bill not the legislature, said Dobis. The committee amended the bill by including an in- terim study commission to re- port, in particular on the "hard cases," to the legisla- ture by the end of this year. Provisions including a Class C felony for assisting suicide, exceptions for licensed health care providers administering pain medication, even if it hastens death, and legal health care directives such as a living will remain in the ing LI a) and wh ch the for times of these celebrations. 3. Attend the Holocaust Observance Service with ammst s ea at 7:30 is April 24. 5 and 6 h planned. : 6. Give something back to the t spring, 7. Remember St. Vincent de Paul Stores in your local area as yoU:do spring housecleaning. 8. This is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Visit a local children and families. Ask what they need to ser,zo hil port, volunteers, donation of goods or changes in public pc can be addressed to INDIANA CARES, Preventi0ri of Child enue, Suite 401 IN 46204, or you may The world around us COMMENTARY by Deacon Jim Cavera As nature has shed some of the trappings of the long win- ter, people are emerging from their tightly sealed homes to breathe the fresh air of springtime. Last Sunday over a thou- sand people gathered in the early morning light to partici- pate in a walk to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis. We had music, colorful balloons, runners, skaters, joggers, walkers, and some in strollers and wheelchairs. It was a "happening" to steal a term from the sixties. By the end of the event we were all tired but it was a good feeling be- cause we knew we had done a "little" something to fight a devastating illness. I have often said that for most of us, life consists of a series of moments, special moments that remain with us and shape us, as opposed to major events with historical Low Cost Mobile Home Skirting Painted Metal Panels 18 to 36 sq. 12' x 60' x 2' as low as $80.00 REJECT TECK INSULATION significance. It strikes me that as Christians, our service to God and to our fellow man also consists of a series of moments, small acts that for the most part go unnoticed except to those few immedi- ately involved. On Holy Thursday we will reflect on one of those small ordinary acts that took place in the upper room. It wasn't a great speech that left an in- delible impression on all who heard it nor a miracle of tremendous proportions. No, on the contrary, it was a sim- ple act of washing of feet m a small moment in an extraor- dinary life. Jesus calls us to do simple things, ordinary small tasks, like listening, sharing, helping clean up, sending a note, a short visit, an encouraging word things that for the most part go unnoticed, but like the washing of the feet have the power that spreads the mes- sage of God's Love. RAY'S FIRE & SAFETY Fire Extinguisher Sales & Service 117 Busseron Street Commercial and Residential MICK RAY: Home: 8824185 Shop: 886-4960 Pager: 885-7571 We in the Indiana 0 Conference realize strength lies in the littl! and brief phone call! by ordinary people l|i Indiana who expreSSii legislators their c0 about the poor, the hot the sick, the children, derly, about all tho r i:, have so little powe. ; - This week theSe nance Committee W/I[ sidering the School,tl, Bill (HB 1031), the',] (HB 1034}, and an..i Program (HB 107v_, Jq hills address the eil families and childreg state and deserve  port. The only local I ,ill on the Senate Finan mittee is Sen. Maur  (D-Vincennes, Distr :t fl Feel free to drop  #. him or to your owp ,P tative. It s a little th :  won't go unnoticed.. " ! 00Ed. L. Mortua00 101 North Meridla Washington, IN  "Had we acted to hasten bill 3/4" $3.99 per 4 x 8 sheet , her death," she would not -- 77 ..... 1" $4.99 per 4 x 8 sheet , . SB 4 , aumorea oy aena- First Come, First Served have been reconciled w,th tor Joseph C Zakas, R NoBackorders DIRECTOR OF  :. her family or at peace with ' " Davless Co. Metal rs Granger, passed the Senate herself, Fox said, unde tand- ing from personal experi- 41-9 in March and now faces Hyw. 50E..Cannerourg.,,, ,, RELIGIOUS EDUCATIO ences the pain and loneliness debate on the House floor. 812-295-5770 Large, youthful parish near University of ot! ' ' ' , Dame seeks full-time Director of ChristilP !i: I! 00MILLER & MILLER.Funeral =! I 00-J'c ,::,,,! development of whole parish, leads RGIC Pro-Planning " Formation. Pastoral team member sharE !?:! | Since1940 I cu I Adult EducatinandFrmatin'catechiS7: I IIg'JL 424 9274 I teacher training and development of othei adult programs. Qualifications: Masters .u-, " ' AIRLINES ' in Theology, Religious Education or MiniSt!{ T' ( ,Box 68 Indiana ! |NASSAU | effective working as team member, anO  -P' [ T Fc /'" ] I v00aAs SPECIALS] leadership experience. Submit resume OYi | ,J Montgomery, 47558 | | | 1 to: DCF Search Committee, Christ tlle | Donald I. Traylor | I June Folz 812- I Parish, 53473 U.S. 33 North, South Bell |,President  Phone:486-32851 1 Owner , 473-6443 I IN 46637. IIII I I [ III %