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September 27, 1991     The Message
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September 27, 1991
 

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0 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Magic of Words September 27, 1991 By FATHER JOSEPH L. ZIAK , Associate Publisher Keep your eyes and ears looking Westward! Come November 5, the people of the State of Washington will be voting on an initiative that will permit aid-in-dying procedures to be used on terminally ill individuals. Aid-in-dying is defined, in the Washington Initiative 119, as "a medical service that will end the life of a conscious and mentally competent, qualified patient in a dignified, painless and hu- mane manner." The patient must make the request by written notice. The patient must be diagnosed by two physicians as having a terminal condition that will lead to death within six months, or be in an irreversible coma. Two witnesses must sign the patient&apos;s direc- tive. They are to witness that the patient is men- tally competent to make the decision. The wit- nesses also may not be related to the patient by blood or marriage. They may not be employed by the physicians. They also may not stand to inherit anything from the patient's estate or goods. Suicide is already legal in Washington. This initiative will amend the State's Natural Death Act, which allows patients to decide whether life- support will be withheld or withdrawn in termi- A"" "" ly la-m-aymg: clear an issue of respect for life nal conditions. In the past year the National Hemlock Society is credited with organizing support for the initia- tive's appearance on the ballot for this November. An initiative similar to Washington's has been filed recently in California. People involved in the issue feel that this has surfaced because of "the rugged individualism of the irreligious West." (I want to credit the "National Catholic Reporter" for much of this information.) In raw language, if this initiative passes in Washington, and if there are no further court pro- ceedings, a person would be able to request that his or her life be terminated by a physician. Some procedure would be initiated to cause death be- fore it would naturally occur. This is a radical departure from where we presently stand, and therefore, I suggest we pay close attention to what is going on. For one thing, we have heard virtually nothing of this issue in our local news media We need to follow this issue quite closely! We have always defined taking ones life as suicide, which we see as forbidden by the fifth commandment, namely, "Thou shalt not kill." Earlier this month the administrative committee of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops spoke to the issue. "To destroy the boundary be- tween healing and killing would mark a radical departure from long-standing legal and medical traditions of our country, posing a threat of un- foreseeable magnitude to vulnerable members of our society." Money comes into this issue as well. Ac- cording to studies, three-quarters of all Medicaid funds are spent on the last six months of life. ' People do strange things for money, or to save money. Would there not be pressure to save that money by encouraging an early death? How does the medical world react to this type of proposal? By the way, the Washington proposal would insure that physicians would not be prosecuted for carrying out an aid-to-dying. The Washington State Medical Association over- whelmingly approved a resolution to oppose this initiative. They are to reconsider the resolution this month. This is clearly an issue of respect for life. We encourage the "seamless garment" approach, namely, to respect all life from the beginning to the end. Will we not be harshly judged if we ig- nore the preciousness of life? K of C football league play continues The following reports were prepared by Thomas J. Jones, league president. Regular season play for the Memorial High School Knights of Columbus Grade School Football League began Sept. 15. St. Benedict and Christ the King/Holy Spirit fought a tough, defensive battle for a scoreless first half. After half- time, Justin Hillenbrand ran 52 yards for a touchdown on the third play of the first pos- session by Christ the King/Holy Spirit. Quarter- back Alan Quach then later- ailed to Hillenbrand, who passed to Eric Mooney in the end zone for the P.A.T. St. Benedict countered with a 50-yard scamper by Nathan Jones, who also added the P.A.T. Clinton Keown of St. Benedict inter- cepted an Alan Quach pass and ran 49 yards to pay dirt. The P.A.T. attempt by Nathan Jones failed, and the third quarter ended with St. Bene- dict ahead 13-7. Christ the King/Holy Spirit scored twice in the fourth quarter, with a 41-yard run by Greg Schaefer and a 2-yard run by Justin Hillenbrand. The combination lateral pass from Quach to Hillenbrand who passed to Mooney added the P.A.T. both times, for a 21-13 win for Christ the King/Holy Spirit. In the second game, de- fending league champions Holy Rosary/Good Shep- herd/St. John scored the only touchdown of the first half, a 2-yard run by Bill Blake. Blake also added the P.A.T. Blake scored again in the fourth quarter on a 16 yard run, and again added the P.A.T., to give his team a 14-0 shut-out over St. Theresa/Holy Redeemer. League play continued Sept. 22. Nick Miller of St. There- sa/Holy Redeemer, on a quar- terback keeper, reversed his field and scampered 35 yards for a second quarter touch- down. Christ the King/Holy Spirit scored later with a lat- eral from Alan Quach to Justin Hillenbrand who passed to Eric Mooney. Jeff Rennie ran 37 yards for a third quarter score, and Craig Dean ran nine yards in the fourth quarter as Christ the King/Holy Spirit won the contest 18-6. In the second game, Bill Blake ran 10 yards and added the P.A.T. in the first quarter for Holy Rosary/Good Shep- herd/St. John. Nathan Jones ran 65 yards for St. Benedict for a second quarter TD. Blake ran 10 yards for a third quarter TD; Brent Fiessinger added the P.A.T. Jones ran 55 yards, and team- mate Clinton Keown tied the game with a 2-point conver- sion for St. Benedict. In overtime, Keown ran 11 yards around left end for a St. Benedict TD. Holy Rosary/Good Shepherd/St. John fumbled the ball. The St. Ben's win ended the Holy Rosary/Good Shep- herd/St. John 24 game win- ning streak. On Sunday, Sept. 29, Holy Rosary/Good Shepherd/St. John meets Christ the King/Holy Spirit at 1 p.m. St. Benedict plays St. Theresa/Holy Redeemer at 2:30 p.m. HAU BSTADT ELECTRIC 24-HOUR Industrial, Commercial and Residential TONY NAZARIO P.O. 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