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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
September 13, 1991     The Message
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September 13, 1991

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4 Editorial The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Monday: a time to Message Editor put faith in the Lord The air conditioning quit Monday morning. The temperature in the office hit 85 degrees Men- " day afternoon. An electric power line had failed. Disconnect- ed from the source of the power, air conditioning equipment on the roof was idle. The office had been relatively cool and com- fortable in the early part of the morning. The cool- ness of the night before lingered briefly, and then was gone. The sun shone brightly through the window, warming whatever was in its path. And gradually, the air in the room reacted to the warmth of the sun. The sun warmed the brick face of the outside wall, and gradually the wails themselves allowed the heat of the day to make its presence felt inside the building. The sun which gives us warmth and ripens crops may also bring us unbearable heat and dry up the crops of our land. The words of a song in tim Book of Judges contain the wish thal "your Mends may shine like the rising sun," but we know thal the very brightness at times may be blinding and extreme- ly unfriendly. Uncomfortable as it may be, l.he power of the sun -- as it did Monday -- may thrust itself into our consciousness. Beneath it, we wither and suffer and realize our human frailties. Monday was a day to pray with tim psalmist: My tfelp will come fi'om the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let you fall; your protector is al- ways awake. The Lord will guard you; he is by your side to protect you. The sun will not hurt you during the day, nor the moon at night. Monday was a day to welcome shade from the sun, and the pleasure of the slightest breeze. Monday was a day to be in touch with the pew- erful forces of nature and the smallness of our human ability to COl)e with them. Monday was a day to put faith in Ihe Lord and not in the work of hunmn hands. Monday was the day to realize thai an un- COlmected air conditioner is like a branch of a tree removed from its trunk. A cut branch may 1) green and life-like for a moment, but soon it begins to will. Life may linger, but steadily and surely the effect of its separation becomes more and more obvious. Green grapes on the vine will not ripen with- out the sun. Nor will they ripen if cut from the stem. A day without air conditioning provides an opportunity for reflection -- about power and the lack of it, about the sun and its strength, and about ourselves: Perhaps there has been such a day in your life, too. If so, use it well. o. Washington Letter I September 13, 1991 ], I -I m ! I ! J I ! I I I I I Health care planning for your 'darkest medical nightmare' By JULIE ASHER Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) Discussions about death and dying never come easily in this age of high-tech medicine, but as of December a new federal regulation may force the issue for many Americans. We are each God's creation To the editor: Apparently the people who do not know that all human life is sacred have never ex- perienced the joy many peo- ple have who attend family reunions for generations. At these reunions, every- one is accepted just as they are. This is because each member is a unique, individ- ual (never to be repeated) cre- ation of God. So they treat one another with love and dignity. A feature of these reunions is always an expressed thank- The MESSAGE 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47720-0169 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Published weekly except last week in December by the Catholic Press of Evansville Publisher .............. Bishop Gerald A. Getlelfinger Associate Publisher ............... Rev. Joseph Ziliak Editor ............................................ Paul Leingang Production Manager ........................... Phil Boger Circulation .................................... Susan Winiger Adverlising .................................... Paul Newland Address all communications to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $17.50 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as 2nd class matter at the post office in Evansville, IN 47701. Publica- tion number 843800. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to Office of Publication C.,opynght 1991 Catholic Press of Evansville Beginning Dec. 1, anyone admitted to a hospital -- whether to have a baby or un- dergo bypass surgery -- must be told what rights they have under state law to decide on medical treatment if they should become incapacitated. Patients won't have to sign any advance directive on the fullness for all the many blessings showered on their families by God and their confidence that they will con- tinue to be blessed in the fu- ture. God created the world to be lived in and provides enough resources to be rich enough to support all of us. It's simply a matter of just distribution. Isn't this what the Our Father is all about? Mary Rita Crowe Rochester, NY Our own house first To the editor: I just finished reading Bish- op Gettlefinger's article in the Message regarding Rerum No- varum and social justice. Before preaching what oth- ers should do, the Evansville Diocese should look at how it treats its own employees. Teachers Complain that they are poorly paid, and they are. But if anyone feels sorry for them, let them look at how other Catholic school employees are treated. In some cases pay is barely abow , minimum and not a living wage. Before we go telling others what is right, we should look at our own house first. Sincerely, Jim Kane Evansville spot, but during admission must be informed in writing of existing state law by health care providers at facilities that receive Medicare orNIed- icaid funding. That's virtually every hos- pital, long-term care facility and hospice in the country. Home health care providers Thank you for love and caring To the editor: This is a letter of thanks for giving your love and car- ing to a family in great need. If there was ever a doubt that true Christians are left in this world, my doubts are over. Six months to the day that we moved to Newburgh, Ind. our youngest son developed some medical problems. He was in and out of the hospital numerous times while his fa- ther was in and out of town on business. With no tamily for 200 miles we started falling apart as a family unit. The baby was seven- months-old and needed con- stant watch yet there were two other children to con- sider. We were saved by a couple whose only bond to us was the boundary line that divided our properties. Morning, noon and night they came to our rescue. They gave emotional, physical and spiritual supporl when limes got tough and were lhere to enjoy the good tirnc's too. We would like to thank Luke and Lori Boll and fami- ly with all our heart. Our baby is two and slowly devel- oping into a happy toddler. The Cropper's Edgewood, Ky. and health maintenance orga- nizations also are affected. If the patient does have such a directiye, that will be filed. Some Catholic leaders say the new rule -- the Patient Self- Determination Act passed by Congress in Octo- ber 1990 as part of the budget bill -- will cause anxiety and confusion for patients and add one more unnecessary layer of federal dictums for health care. Others, including the St. Louis-based Catholic Health Association, see it as an op- portunity to encourage peo- ple to sign advance direc- tives, something they say people should be considering anyway. The new federal regulation is "a mixed blessing," said Father Russell Smith of the Pope John XXIII Medical- Moral Research and Educa- tion Center in Braintree, Mass. "I think our society realizes there are limits to the need for technology to sustain our life," he said. "Karen Ann Quinlan's problem was a sohering event that made us start asking the right ques- tions ahout what are moral liinits of using high technolo- gy .... One way (of) getting a hold of this situation is to clearly state our intentionS, our values, about treatment." Miss Quinlan died in 1985 after 10 years in a coma. When her parents asked that she be removed from her reS" pirator, they had to take their case to the New Jersey Supreme Court. The two common forms of advance directives are the liv" ing will, whereby an individ" ual determines ahead of time what treatment they war{.l should they become incapaO" toted, and the durable power of attorney for health care, sometimes called health care proxy or medical durable power of attorney. With this form a person chooses anotl" er individual to make treat" ment decisions should the need arise. Traditionally the Catholic Church has objected to living wills because "it is not iri- formed consent about an aC" tual situation but a decisioI! about one's darkest medical nightmare," said Father Smith. The health care proXY "is the wiser course." Last fall in congressional testimony the Catholic Healttl Assoc,!ation said the bill prO" tects the right of patients to See WASHINGTON Page 5 Bishop's schedule Tim following activities and events are listed on the s(:hedule of Bish() I) Gerald A. Gattelfinger Indiana Congress on Catholic Schools for the 21st Century, University Place Conference Center, In- dianapolis, Monday, Sept. 16. Bishop Gettelfinger, other bishops of hdiana, directors of schools and other education leaders meet to discuss issues facing Catholic education. Lay ARvisory Board meeting, our Lady of Grace Monastery, Beech Groove, Wednesday, Sept. 18. Serra Club Charter Meeting, Rolling Hills Coun- try Club, Evansville, Thursday, Sept; 19, 6:30 p,m, Installation of Father Gregory Chamberlin, O.S.B,, as n tar, St. Benedict Church, Evansville,