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July 10, 1998     The Message
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July 10, 1998

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10 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana July Catholic health: 'Mission in the NEW ORLEANS (CNS) -- In a rapidly changing health care world, Catholic health ministry will be judged by how well it continues to support the poor and powerless, speakers said at the Catholic Health Association's annual assembly. The June 7-10 meeting in New Orleansdrew some 1,500 Catholic health care leaders from throughout the United States. The theme of the assembly was "Mission in the Marketplace." Father J. Bryan Hehir, a professor at Harvard Divin- ity School in Cambridge, Mass., urged the leaders to go beyond the limitations that the marketplace tries to impose on Catholic health ministry. "The market does not know how to evaluate certain goods," he said. "There is no moral com- pass in the market; everything is like a Buick. But clearly health care is not a Buick, and the market is blind to that." That blindness extends to people with limited resources, including widows, orphans and immi- grants, he said. "There's a real need for ministry beyond the marketplace," he added. Father Hehir said the marketplace has both assets and drawbacks. "Some aspects of it may be evil enough that we simply have to oppose it," he said. "Some aspects may not be good enough to get our full affir- mation. And some of it can be supported." A similar message came from Elie Wiesel, winner of the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize and a survivor of Nazi con- centration camps. He urged Catholic health leaders to continue their mission to help the weakest members of society. Saying the first obligation of a moral society is to be responsive to the hurting of others, he added, "To be blind to it is to be inhuman." Society will ultimately be judged by how it treats those who suffer, including its children, the homeless, _the jobless and the sick, said Wiesel, Andrew W. Mellon professor in the humanities at Boston University. "Society will be praised or blamed for its relationship to the sick" because all life is irreplaceable and unique, he said, urging particular attention to the needs of chil- dren, the elderly and those who make us feel helpless, such as those with Alzheimer's or children with severe disabilities. "I plead with you. Let us not say they are not our children," he added. "In a moral society, all children are our children." Dr. Robert McAfee, a retired surgeon and former president of the American Medical Association, said Catholic organizations can find common ground with physicians in their concern for life and views on social issues, such as assisted suicide and family violence. ociety will ultimately be judged by how it treats those who suffer, including its children, the homeless, the jobless and the sick He warned that ethical shortcuts can easily become habits in the medical profession, leading to loss of respect from others and of self. "It takes self-respect, self-assurance and self-confi- dence to be compassionate of others," McAfee said. "You, in the Catholic Health Association, demonstrate that to all of us every day." Sister Carol Keehan, a Daughter of Charitywho is president of Providence Hospital in Washington, told of her urban hospital's successful efforts to strengthen its own operations while remaining true to its mission of serving the poor. Once a "poster child" for ailing urban hospitals across the country, Providence had large financial loss- es, a lack of reserves, and an outmoded physical plant located in a citY with a dwindling tax base, too many hospitals, and an underserved population of poor peo- ple, she said. , Today the hospital is thriving, however, and accord- irfg to Sister Keenan the turnaround came when she and other hospital officials to try to do our mission well." "Those.behaviors that flow from c greatest strength and do more than anything our continued viability," she added.  Father Michael Place, the new president and the CHA, urged health care workers Catholic identity of their mission. "We do not seek to strengthen our in order to separate ourselves from others,' to ensure that the very reason for the existerlCe! Catholic health care is expressed in does. He also encouraged his audience to broadly in terms of developing F other Catholic organizations. - i "Let those religious institutes which have of what they have held dear for so long co-sponsor something new be a witness Father Place said.  ? "We must be bold and willing risks unto death," he said, adding entities "must consider new ways to F support physicians." The CHA made some changes of its own with imous vote to adopt a new dues structure that reflect changes in the ministry. The organization also installed new officers d ed nine new members to its board of trustees, Sister Doris Gottemoeller, president of of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas in Silver Md., will chair the CHA board of trustees Also at the meeting, the CHA released June 8 expressing its disappointment eral Janet Reno's decision not to prescribe lethal drugs as outlined under law allowing assisted suicide. Reno said June 5 that the federal Administration has no authority to arrest drug licenses of doctors who icine under the Oregon law that too , iii :ii) The Secret's Out Why natural family planning has higher effectiveness rates than The Creighton Model of the Ovulation Method of Natural Family Planning is 99.6 percent effective as a method fo: avoid- ing a pregnancy, according to one of the most recent studies that includes over 17,000 months of use, to be published this year in the Journal of Repro- ductive Medicine. Calendar Rhythm, the main method of non-contraceptive birth regula- tion before more modern Nat- ural Family Planning, had as high as an 80 percent effective- ness rate as a method for avoid- ing pregnancy. Why the large increase in effectiveness with the more modem methods of NFP?. Part of the key to understand- ing the effectiveness of the more modem methods of Natural Family Planning is knowing how the release of an egg from an ovary divides the menstrual cyde into two main phases. The time between the first day of bleeding until the release of the egg is known as the prevulato- ry phase. The time between ovu- lation until the first day of bleed- ing in the next cycle is known as the post-ovulatory phase. In the 1920s, Doctor Kyusaku Okino (1924, Japan) and Doc- tor Hermann Knauss (1929, Austria), Independently made an important discovery: for most women the post-ovulato- ry phase is stable in length. That means that most women usually experience the same number of days between time of ovulation and their next menses over and over again. Therefore, women using Cal- endar Rhythm would chart six cycles and use a mathematical formula based on the stability of the post-ovulatory phase to estimate the time of ovulation and the days of fertility. However, the Calendar Rhythm method had no way of taking in to account the variability of the pre-ovulatory phase. The pre- ovulatory phase caz3. increase or decrease in length as the table shows. Women can experience variation in their cycles at any time. Couples using modern methods of NFP have an advan- tage even in situations with cycles that vary. They learn to recognize a mucus symptom that gives them advanced indi- cation of approaching ovulation. Since the effects of childbearing, breastfeeding, pre-menopause and unusual stress contribute to fluctuations in the menstrual cycle, families using today's NFP have a reliable system that with 99.6 percent (Creighton Phases in the Menstrual Pre-Ovulatory Phase Short Length Cycle OV Regular Length Cycle " Long Cycle  Menses OV  Mucus Symptom Diagram adapted from Introduction to the i of the Ovulation Method In Creighton Model NIP, the mucus symptom gives indication of ovulation in any cycle length. This the menstrual cycle accounts for the to F Model) certainty can tell them their days of fertility and infer- tility. Women who experience a continuous mucus discharge can use this method because the NFP Practitioner can help them distinguish the mucus associat- ed with ovulation from other mUCUS. Model NFP sion, tion, families information about tant, up-to-date applied research Family Planning- Health and M medical news ,roma CatholiCperspectlve is _Heal .th Care a courtesy of Services