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October 17, 1997     The Message
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October 17, 1997
 

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10 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana October Bishop, six others defy embargo, take medicine to lraq By MARK PATTISON CatholicNews Service WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Auxiliarv Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton of Detroit joined a nun, lay people and other clergy in defying the international economic embargo against Iraq to take about $15,000 in medicine to the Middle East nation in early Sep- temben Members of the group of seven, in interviews with Catholic News Service, labeled as immoral the embargo, which was imposed by the United Nations with strong U.S. backing in August 1990 after Iraq's takeover of Kuwait. Under the embargo Iraq has been barred from selling any oil on the world market, although last December the United Nations said the country could have six months to sell some oil to raise the cash to buy emergency supplies. Bishop Gumbleton had not visited lraq since December 1990, one month before the Gulf war start- ed. "It's incredible what has happened to that coun- try," he said. Seven years ago, he said, "you could drink the water. You didn't have any worries about that. You could travel around the city (of Baghdad) without any problems. There was good public transporta- tion." While people were living in fear and tension in 1990, "todav they're living in terrible suffering," Bish- op Gumbleton said. "Children are lacking in food, especially when you visit the children's wards in the hospitals. You see the bloated stomachs." Children with leukemia have no chance of sur- vival because there is no medicine to treat them, but their parents are suffering, too, according to Bishop Gumbleton. "You can just see their hearts breaking when they're watchingtheir kids die," he said. "The doctors are angry and frustrated." Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein may not be most-liked man on the planet, but "so Gumbleton said. "What's that got to do children? Are you going to hold (the children) responsible?" - UNICEF, the U.N. organization fi mates that 4,500 children die in Iraq Bishop Gumbleton said the the greatest responsibility for the continuing Sister of Charity Eileen Storey made her to Iraq. While bringing the medicine was " , she said being with the Iraqis was just as im Also making the trip, the seventh the Chicago group Voices in the Wilderness, Christi members John Multhauer of Rochester, and Chuck Quilty of Rock Island, Ill.; Kathy of Philadelphia, of the American Friends Committee Middle Easter Education Pro Randy Bond of Grand Rapids, Mich., a Christian Peacemaker Team. Doctor fights "Hollywood juggernaut' on assisted By STEPHEN SEARS Catholic News Service ERIE, Pa. (CNS) -- Erie neu- rologist Dr. John Flamini believes it's time to get the message out that physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia are unacceptable in the eyes of God. And as a member of Erie Bishop Donald W. Trautman's Medical/Moral Advisory Com- mittee, he's doing something about it. "We're fighting a Hollywood juggernaut with billions of dol- lars right in our living rooms spouting out the opposite infor- mation," Flamini said. "If we don't get started, we can't turn this in our direction." Flamini was one of seven guest speakers at a study day for diocesan clergy on physi- cian-assisted suicide and euthanasia. The all-day work- shop, held Sept. 23 at Kane's St. Callistus Parish and Sept. 24 at Erie's St. Mark Catholic Center, focused on giving priests the latest medical and ethical infor- mation on how to treat the sick and dying with dignity accord- ing to the teachings of the Catholic Church. The study day was important, Flamini said, because priests, as caregivers on the front line, must be equipped with the tools to deal with weighty medical and moral issues when dealing with the sick and the dying. "Every priest is called to min- ister to the dying," Flamini explained. "Priests often are called to be pastoral caregivers for places that don't have pas- toral care." Study day facilitator Jean Caryl, an ethics counselor at Erie's Mercyhurst Preparatory School and a member of the bishop's advisory committee, said helping patients deal with pain is a key issue in the physi- " cian-assisted suicide debate. While some contend that physi- cian-assisted suicide helps a patient escape the ravages of pain, Caryl said that argument is flawed. "There are real, viable options open to people experiencing the aging process," she said. Added Flamini: "We can help them with their pain so they don't think euthanasia is neces- sary. Aggressive use of medica- tion can help many patients. Certainly, all pain in terminal patients can be controlled." At the heart of the study day was a position paper on physi- dan-assisted suicide and euthana- sia prepared by the advisory committee. Caryl said the paper was written in response to a moral question posed to the committee by Bishop Trautman. "It's taken two-and-a-half years to research, shape and bring this question to a satisfac- tory conclusion," explains Caryl, who credits much of the success of the paper to Father Joseph Gregorek, a Gannon University professor and diocesan liaison to the advisory committee. The paper outlines the history of physician-assisted suicide and gives the Catholic response to four pressing concerns cur- rently being debated in the pub- lic arena: "The Deterioration of the Value of Life," "Fear of Pain and Suffering," Fear of Financial Burden," and "The Need for Expression of Autonomy and Control." In its conclusion, the paper states: "We as Catholics are required to respect the dignity, sacredness and value of human life, at every point in life. We must actively support and dying advocating true care artd passion for the sick dying (rather than assisted suicide we reflect the di life and the ri the tion and Participants at the also received a co page "Workbook for Caregivers" written by t Daniel Dymski, a priest living at Erie 's:i Heart Parish. The book provides mation concerning maiaYl of caregiving, including ] communication skills, tions for visiting understanding establishing a pastoral care. i: Health and Medical News,Notes ............. Catholic hospital sale to for-profit firm. draws oppQsjti0n000000.. ST. LOUIS (CNS)  The announced sale of Jesuit- run St. Louis University Hospital to a for-profit firm has drawn opposition from Archbishop Justin F. Rigali of St. Louis, Boston Cardinal Bernard F. Law and the Catholic Health Association. The St. Louis University board of trustees had voted unanimously Oct. 4 to approve the sale to Tenet Healthcare Corp., the second-largest for-profit hos- pital chain in the United States, with 131 hospitals in 22 states. Tenet's reportecl $300 million bid was more than $100 million over a joint bid by two Catholic groups, SSM Healthcare and Unity Health System, a bid Archbishop Rigali favored. In making the sale decision, Jesuit Father Lawrence Biondi, St. Louis University's president, "has acted without my support, and, to this point, without the approval of the Holy See," Archbishop Rigali said in a statement. "Business considerations must not take precedence over mission," said an Oct. 9 statement from Cardi- nal Law, who is the chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee for Pro-Life Activities. He added that the hospital's sale "jeopardized the commitment of the university to its Catholic identity." Cardinal Law said, "Perhaps the intervention of the father general of the Society of Jesus and the Holy See can reverse this lamentable decision." The CHA, which has its headquarters in St. Louis, said in an Oct. 8 announcement it was "deeply dis- appointed" with the sale to Tenet. "Tenet may make the hospital more efficient and profitable - - it can't and won't make the institution more Catholic and Jesuit," said CHA's executive vice president, William J. Cox, in a statement. Pope John Paul Center m0ves.,toB0000000Qn,00Medl000000a.!0000.0000pmplex .... BOSTON (CNS)  The Pope John Center for the Study of Ethics in Health Care has moved from Brain- tree to St. Elizabeth's Medical Center in Boston. St. Elizabeth's is a teaching facility of the Tufts Uni- versity School of Medicine and the flagship hospital of the Caritas Christi Health Care System. The new location is within minutes of some of Boston's major academic institutions and medical facilities. "We cannot help but benefit in our work from the greater involvement within the medical which results from this move," said Dr. Jotm president of the Pope John Center. Veto of partial-birth ab000ion ban dq WASHINGTON (CNS)  President ond veto of the Partial-Birth Abortion not resolved the issue and will an effort to override it, according to pro-life spokeswoman. In a statement issued following the Oct. 1( Helen Alvare said the president's action ensure a renewed grass- other people of good will to win the support needed to override his veto." Alvare, who is director of planning and tion for the bishops' Secretariat for ties, said the president "ignored an consensus of legislators, religious leaders, professionals and the American people: the killing of children in the very process of disgraces our nation." "We will not rest until to end the horror of partial-birth abortion,"