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Evansville, Indiana
August 27, 1993     The Message
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August 27, 1993
 

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10 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana August -- Magic of Words -- Amy and Angela: Wrenclfing questions tional act, but simply followed from an acceptable procedure for preserving life. The next question is much more difficult to bring to a conclusion, namely, are the parents morally colnpelled to seek tile surgery that was performed? The answer is no. The separation of the two comes tinder the heading of extraordi- narv medical procedure. Ordinary means of sustaining life are wl-at we are to follow in medical care. Extraordinary proce- dures are not demanded. No one will fault the parents for wanting to do all they can to sus- tain the life of at least one of the two children al- though medical personnel estimate that the chances of long-term survival are only about one percent. At the same time, we would also have supported the parents if the two were simply al- lowed to live the short time allotted to them be- fore a natural death. What about medical ethics? Arthur Caplan, di- rector of the Center for Biomedical Ethics at the University of Minnesota, was quoted by "Newsweek," as saying, "If something is impos- sible to do, it is clearly a violation of medical ethics to (try} to do it.:.regardless of what the pa- tient or the family wants." With the case of Amy and An- gela Lakeberg the nation is once again faced with an opportunity of considering wrenching ques- : tions of life and death, and who makes the decisions. A Catholic couple from Wheat- (,, field, Indiana, Ken and Reitha Lakeberg are caught in the con- flicting and multi-faceted web of advanced medical technology for extending or saving lives. Reitha gave birth to Siamese twins, Amy and Angela. They shared the same heart and liver. Surgery last Friday already has advanced some decision making. Amy was deprived of the heart and liver and died. At the time of this writing Angela is listed as critical but stable at The Children's Hospital in Philadelphia, site of the surgery. By the time this article sees your homes, the situation may be further advanced. We hope advanced to the good. We are faced with questions. Is such action morally acceptable according to Church teach- ing? Yes. The surgery was designed to correct a pathological condition. In the process of correct- ing Angela's possibility for life, the other twin died. Amy's death was not a willed or inten- Bv FATHER JOSEPH ZILIAK COLUMNIST Well, the medical team at the hospital went ahead with the surgery, so there are no more questions about this particular case. But in future...? The economics is yet another question. Who pays? The parents have no means. Tile State Indiana is contributing some Medicaid funds. The hospital in Philadelphia is also ing much of the expense. What if no one had come forth with the money? Obviously, we wouldn't have had the surgery. :! I have the suspicion that the medical team at the hospital saw this as an opportunity of re- searching the possibilities of heart reconstruc- tion and thereby justified the expense on that basis. :' I hope we hear some further reports down the weeks and months whether this procedure has indeed pushed forward the limits of previous ' knowledge. I hope that Amy and Angela, and their parents, were not just pawns in the hands of people viewing this life from a totally differ- ent perspective. If national insurance plans do come forth from Congress, let's make sure to look closely at who will be placing the limits on expending funds for medical care. These are life and death issues, at the very heart of what we are about. The value of life is what we see, namely, a child formed in the image and likeness of God. SINCE 1888 Schum Monuments, Inc DALE, INDIANA 937-4921 Jill Ann Lp Hwy. 57 So. Washington, I 8812-254:4516 rairie Villag d iving Centel D.O.W.N.T'O'W' 3Ol MAIN ST. VINCENNES, Special Jubilarians Ted and Irma (Kerstiens) Dilger of Ferdinand will celebrate their fifty-fifth wedding anniversary with a Mass of Thanks- giving after the 8:30 a.m. Mass Aug. 2g at St. Ferdinand Church, Ferdinand. A family gathering at their home will fol- low. The couple was married Aug. 30, lg38, at St. Ferdinand Church. They are the parents of seven children: Albert Dilger, Mary Ann Olinger, Marguerite Hubers, Lois Hobbs, Donna Jones, all of Ferdinand, Louise Brames of St. Anthony, and Cathy Mehne of Corpus Christi, Texas. They have 20 grand- children and 10 great-grandchildren. Mr. Dilger is a retired farmer. Special Jubilarians John M. and Rose (Goedde) Spahn of St. Wendel will cele- brate their sixtieth wedding anniversary with a Mass of Thanksgiving at 8 a.m. Aug. 29 at St. Wendel Church, St. Wendel. A breakfast will be held for the immediate family following the Mass; a family gathering will be held at the home of their son and daughter-in-law, Eugene and Janet Spahn. The couple has seven children: Anthony of St. Philip, Edgar of Newburgh, Francis, Frederick and Eugene, all of St. Wendel, and Marylene Hurst and Virginia Spahn, both of Evansville. They have 23 grandchildren and one great-grand- child. Mr. Spahn is a former Chrysler employee and a retired farmer. SCHNELL! FOR COMPLETE ELECTRICAL SERVICE FISCHER ELECTRIC INC. SCHNELLVILLE, IN 389-2418 Main 217 E. Main St., Phone: 254-5141 BUSINESS * AUTO * HOME DENNIS K. FELDHAUS Mater Dei Class of '70 INSURANCE AGENCY 464-5993 GEORGE P. HELFRICH Mater Dei Class of '69 JAMES A. NIEMEIER Mater Oei Class of '69 "'We support Catholic Education" Hi-Tech Sheet Metal Inc Residential, Industrial & Commercial Heating & Installation Sales & Service 422-9242 Operated by Michael and Patr/c/u Koch 15 Avenue T F S Box 68 Montgomery, Indiana 47558 Donald J. Traylor President Phone: 486-3 MILLER & MILLER "A family name can trust" I I I I I III I " IIII I