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May 13, 1988     The Message
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May 13, 1988

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6 , The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Map 13, 1988 I I I II II I The gift of life Catholic Cht=rch has long history of support for organ donations By MARY T. ELLERT Message Staff Writer Life and death issues fre- quently find the Church and Medical Science with differing viewpoints. The Catholic Church, however, is "one of the longest religious supporters" of organ and tissue donation, ac- cording to Barbara Gibson, regional transplant coordinator for Indiana University Hospital. Pope Pius XII, who served from 1939-58, was the first )ope to support the idea of IIIII II I I llll organ donation and transplan- tationj according to Gibson. His teachings on the subject are still relied upon today by Pope John Paul II, she said. Sister Catherine Kelly, direc- tor of pastoral care at St. Mary's Medical Center, Evansville, described the process of organ and tissue transplantation as "very gospel-oriented in terms of laying one's life down for one's friends." The best gift a person can give is the gift of life, she explained. Currently, there are over 240 New doors On Easter Sunday, Bishop Francis R. Shea dedicated three new stained glass double-doors at the entrance of St. Boniface Church, Evansville. Pictured above is a portion of one set of seven-foot doors, which features detailed pictures of St. Boniface and a replica of the church building. Above the doors are stained glass transoms. The new "Bavarian" stained glass doors match the original stained glass win- dows in the 107-year-old church. The $52,000 project was started in June of 1885; the doors were completely installed this past December. The artwork was designed by Evansville artist Joseph Stagg, and the doors were made by a company in Chicago. Also at the parish, around $70,000 was spent to repair the church roof, ceiling and storm win- dows following a wind storm Dec. 14, 1987. The church plans to get new carpeting soon, and studies are currently being taken on the possibility of air-conditioning, according to Bob Koressel and Joan Preske, parishioners. -- Message Photo by Mary T. Ellen Indiana residents waiting for an organ or tissue transplant, ac- cording to the Indiana Organ Procurement Organization, Inc., {IOPOI). IOPOI was created in October 1987 "to insure a unified system for the procurement and distribution of organs and tissues for transplantation." Member organizations include: Indiana University Hospitals, Indianapolis; Methodist Hospital, Indianapolis; Indiana Lions Eye Bank, Indianapolis; American Red Cross Blood Services-Fort Wayne Region Transplantation Services, Fort Wayne; and Central Indiana Regional Blood Center Tissue Bank, Indianapolis. Because of the great need for donors, an amendment to the state Uniform Anatomical Gift Act was passed in 1986, which requires hospitals to develop policies and procedures regard- ing procurement of organ and tissues. By law, hospital of- ficials are required to approach family members, when a relative dies, and inform them of their option to donate their loved one's tissues o r organs. "It's a very difficult time to approach a family with this kind of issue," said Lisa Targ- gait, director of social services at St. Joseph's Hospital, Hunt- ingburg. Her first priority is to assist family members with their grief and take care of their immediate needs. After this, she explains the procedures for organ donation. According to the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act, anyone who is 18 or older and of sound mind may become a donor when he dies. Interested per- sons can become donors by .: Buehlers I.G.A. "The Thrifty Housewife's Source of Savings" QUALITY FOODS, MEATS HUNTINGBURG Compliments Nass & Son Inc. FUNERAL HOME Huntingburg, Ind. FOR COMPLETE ELECTRICAL SERVICE H.G. FISCHER FIT. 1 ST. ANTHONY i I |1 Ii , CHURCH WINDOW RESTORATION & STORM GLASS WINDOWS AND TIFFANY-STYLE SHADES DESIGNED, FABRICATED & REPAIRED 1220 FIRST AVENUE., EVANSVILLE, It': 47710 TIMOTHY L. DASSEL PRESIDENT PHONE: 425-8658 =l i AREA CODE: 81, . DC00'IqUT completing an organ donor card, which is available at the Division of Motor Vehicles, Minors may become donors with the consent of a parent or guardian. Even though a person has signed the back of his driver's license or a uniform donor card, it is still up to the next-of-kin to decide whether or not his wishes are carried out. It is for this reason that com- munication is important, according to Gibson. If a person feels strongly about being an organ or tissue donor, he should let his family members know, so that they will have no question about how he feels about it. All cadaver organ transplants come from persons who have met the universal criteria for brain death. Brain death is the condition in which the brain has ceased functioning, but other organs may continue functioning with medical support. The heart, liver and kidneys must be removed immediately to insure a successful transplant. Timing is less critical in the procurement of bone and tissue, which takes place within 24 hours of death. Bone is used for facial reconstructive surgery, spinal fusions and to correct birth defects in children. Skin is used to treat burn victims. Eye tissue is used for corneal transplants and research. Indiana University Hospital usually sends letters to the donor's family, informing them about the success of the transplant and how the patient is doing, according to Mike Keller, manager of the intensive care unit at Memorial Hospital in Jasper. However, he added that there is "strict anonymity" between the donor's family and the recipient. Some families of dono never want any information about the transplants, accord- ing to Gibson. With some families, though, there is the danger of believing the loved one is "living on." If relatives think their loved one is still alive because of an organ transplant, they have not completed the grieving process and should consider seeking counsehng,' said Gibson. , She described her job as regional transplant coordinator as "emotionally and physically exhausting" because it involves a great deal of grief counseling. There are rewards, though, in knowing that transplant reci- pients can recover to lead "near normal lives." Gibson recalled a particularly heart-wrenching story of a young mother who lost her child. Because she donated her child's tissues and organs, seven people were helpf*l through cornea, kidney, li,e and heart transplants. "She was able to reach out in her time of grief because she cared," said Gibson. The mother explained that she felt selfish, as if the only reason she donated her child's tissues and organs was so that she would feel better. "I didn't see it as a selfis act," said Gibson. "If all of us were this 'selfish,' the world would be a much better place. "It's people like her is what my job is all about -- to give them something to hang onto." II PAT BOONE CONCERT Friday, May 20% 8:00 p.m. Vanderburgh Auditorium To Benefit Senior Citizens , Tickets: $10 00 (only) Personal Reception with Pat Boone $ 75/Couple o.,.. ,o o c.. AVAILABLE AT:. S.W.I.R.C.A. or call 464-7800 Schnucks Easter Seals (Rehab Center on Bellemeade) Sx=dey Southwestern Indiana RogionsI Coil on Aging and The Soutl/mJtem Indiana Senior Czane Foundallon, Inc.