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July 24, 1998     The Message
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July 24, 1998

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2 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Jul 7,! Improving health of those with Down Syndrome SAN DIEGO (CNS) -- A seminar hosted by the Office for Social Ministries of the San Diego Diocese challenged participants to examine how the quality of life for people with Down syndrome is measured. More than 100 members of Human Life Interna- tional, pro-life coordinators and parents of children with Down syndrome attended. The keynote speaker told participants that gains in improving the overall health of people with Down syndrome are virtually ignored by many in the med- ical community because these health gains do not improve their IQ. Dr. Kent MacLeod, the keynoter, is the owner and founder of Nutri-Chem, a pharmacological company that conducts research into the connection between nutrition and certain metabolic disorders. According to MacLeod, recent studies on how nutrition influences the development and well-being of people with certain genetic disorders has shown significant promise in improving the quality of life for people with Down syndrome. But these breakthroughs are being ignored by many in the medical community, even by some Down syn- drome advocacy groups, because while nutritional supplementation improves the health of Down syn- drome patients, it does not increase their IQ. MacLeod said that when the mother of a child with Down syndrome asked him why she should give nutritional supplements to her child if it would not improve his IQ, he replied that most of us take vita- mins and nutritional supplements to improve health and prevent disease. "Why isn't that a good enough reason then to give nutritional supplements to people with Down syn- drome?" he asked. "None of us is taking suppleq3ents to increase our IQ." MacLeod's work in nutritional supplementation is an extension of the research conducted by the late Jerome Lejeune, who in 1959 discovered the chromo- somal basis for Down syndrome. Lejeune's assistant, Dr. Marie Peeters-Ney, is continuing the research. Nutri-Chem has developed nutritional supple- ments which many Down syndrome children have taken for the past 20 years. Such supplementation has significantly decreased the many ailments caused by the compromised immune system of peo- ple with Down syndrome, according to MacLeod and others. Denise and Bob Lingvall, the parents of 4-year-old twins with Down syndrome who coordinated the event, asked MacLeod to give his presentation. They wanted him not only to share the benefits of nutritional supplementation for Down syndrome chil- dren, but to raise the awareness in the munity about what they feel are anti-life many in the medical and scientific fields regarding those with Down syndrome. "We are grateful to peovle who rmrsue these tech" nologies so that people can reach tleir full potential,'! said Denise Lingvall. She said she saw a dramatic improvement of her twins within 24 hours of giving him supplement. "He went from having a dull stare being bright and engaging. Soon he was full of energy," she said. Both of her boys are much healthier since the supplements and neither have the immune system problems that often goalong Down syndrome. Soon after her sons were Denise got in contact with Peeters-Ney, who with Lejeune for 10 years before he died in 1994. Peeters-Ney sent a message to be read at the Diego meeting, along with a copy of an article wrote about Lejeune's legacy. With the increasing availability of sis, there is less therapeutic research being because "the emphasis is now on eradicating the ease by eradicating the patient," Pec A Generation Later Thirtieth anniversary of the landmark Church document on human sexuality 00rlJL!lf00 July 25 marks the thirtieth anniversary of Humanae Vitae pronounced oo-MAH-nay VEE- tay), a papal encyclical released by Pope Paul VI in 1968. Part I described how the encyclical has become an open letter from the Pope to his bishops and the world. Part I also provided back- ground on Pope Paul VI and the climate in and around the Roman Catholic Church when he released Humanae Vitae. Humanae Vitae clarifiedthe stand of the Roman Catholic Church NEWS AND COMMENTARY By SOOZI SCHELLER Contributing Writer against contraception when many believed the Church would and should change her age-old teaching on the appreci- ation of fertility. Dr. Mark E. Gin- ter, assistant professor of Moral Theology at St. Meinrad School of Theology, gave an interview recently offering information about this important anniver- .. Humanae Vitae has been an ,portant focus in his teaching career for the last 15 years. What does Humane Vitae say and why should more Catholics become aware of it? Dr. Ginter. Humanae Vitae is Pope Paul VI's open letter to the world about our responsibility concerning the great gift of human fertility. More Catholics should know about it because, in Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI put into contemporary lan- guage the great, ancient, tradi- tional Church teaching on the gift of fertility to be shared by husbands and wives. The other reason Catholics Humanae Vitae has been a focus of Dr. Mark Ginter's study and teaching for 15 years. Currently, he teaches Moral Theology at St. Meinrad School of Theology. really need to know about the message of Humanae Vitae is that our responsibility towards and respect for the gift of fertility is now part of what the present Pope John Paul U calls the New Evangelization. Catholics, to really share the truth, need to understand the Church tradi- tion to present the whole gospel. We are called to share a Gospel of Life which includes fertility appreciation. What effect' has this docu- ment had on our society? Dr. Ginter. Humanae Vitae did not stop the rush towards the use of contraception. But among its positive outcomes, Humanae Vitae gave life to the Natural Family Planning movement. Priests, bishops, married cou- ples, physicians, scientists and others have taken up the call of Pope Paul VI to research, teach and live in accordance with the Church teaching especially in regards to human fertility. Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity demonstrate the wis- dom of Humanae Vitae in their work. Mother Teresa described in her own words to the Prime Minister of India in 1979: "In Calcutta alone at the pre- sent time, we run 102 centers where spouses are taught nat- ural birth control that supports love for one another and for their children. In the last years, 11,701 Hindu families, 5,568 Muslim families, and 4,341 Christian families have made use of our natural family plan- ning centers. A total of 21,610 families  thinking of them- selves, their children and their country  have been contribut- ing to decreasing the population without killing anyone." In Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI discussed the effects that rejection of this Church teach- ing would have on our society. Concerning the acceptance of contraception, in paragraph 17 he states: "And then [let reasonable individuals] also carefully con-, sider that a dangerous power will be put into the hands of rulers who care little for the moral law... Who will prevent public authorities from favoring what they believe to be the most effective contraceptive methods and from mandating everyone must use them, whenever they consider necessary?" In a February 14, 1998, front- page article, The New York Times exposed a new "worst case scenario" for government abuse of its people in Peru. The article describes how the gov- ernment used gifts as bait to lure Andean peasant women to sterilization: "Shortly before Christmas, Government health workers promised gifts of food and clothing if they underwent a sterilization procedure called tubal ligation. The operation went well for Mrs. Alva who received two dresses for her daughter and a T-shirt for her son. But Mrs. [Magda] Morales, 34, died of complications 10 days after the surgery leaving three young children and a hus- band behind. She was never well enough to pick up the promised gifts... Magna had told them that her husband was against the idea, but they told her, 'Don't worry, we can do it right now, and tonight you will be back home cooking and your husband will never realize what happened.'" Closer to home, while contra- ceptive availability and use rise in Evansville, the number of sin- gle mothers goes up, not down. The Vanderburgh County Health Department Annual Report for 1997 states that 40% of all babies born last to single mothers. fives offer promises ,  , fulfill. What role did Karol Wojtyla tee-wa) now known as John Paul II play in of Humanae Vitae? Dr. Ginter: appointed Ca Wojtyla to the Papal sion on Marriage, Birth Regulation part one of this the Papal Commission meeting in la could not meet because the CommuniS of Poland restricted his perceiving his travels upset the balance of dinal Wojty!a did Rome in 1966 to Pope Paul VI on the sion's reports. Between 1966 and while Pope Paul VI silent on the use tion, Cardinal another visit to Rome" er a draft for Sources say that incorporated about of Cardinal Humanae Vitae. NoW Paul II, he has not claim about his Humanae Vitae. "e'""'n ST. M medical news from a Catholic perspective is Health Care a courtesy of Services