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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
November 29, 1991     The Message
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November 29, 1991

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29, 1991 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana i Bishop's Forum 9 By BISHOP GERALD A. GETTELFINGER Advance Directives: The human side tec.We are unlocking the mysteries of science and au!ogy faster than our human ability can man- t}. ulmr meaning. The prospects can be terrifying;  prospects can be exciting. This is especially /eWhen it comes to issues of living and dying. fa" , auman beings are learning how to do things c tar than our abiliaty to learn how to be. Be-. use there are oonortunities for our human ri hts tub ...... g i-, . violated, we attempt to protect them by mak- "'laws Su " " Am, . .. ch is the Pahent Self-Determmahon ei Which protects individual's rights to make de- otl s about medical care. We must never lose ul-lnlanness. Law is not emotional. People are. Science has no sense. People do, Technology has no feelings. People do. dQ, Medicine and machineryi'ee] no'pain. People When human beings apply the law there rteeds to be sensitivity to human feelings. Scientists have discovered ways to keep bod- ies alive for indefinite periods without asking the human and moral question of whether it is right or not. A law becomes necessary to pro- tect individual rights concerning their own medical care. Doctors are bound to do their part to pro- vide appropriate health care for patients. On the other hand they sometimes, in their judg- ment, find it necessary to go beyond the ordi- nary for fear they may be accused of malprac- tice. Which person has the right answer to these human problems? What was so extraordinary in the past has come to seem ordinary due to medicines and machines. What seemed impossible before can now be accomplished by the skilled hands of doctors and surgeons. Is everything all right? Where are the limits? When must we allow human life to give way to its natural process of dying? Who is there who has answers to these human questions? We have entered a time when there are new and more profound questions than we could ever have imagined. We must be careful not to lose our balance as we continue on this all too human journey of life. We must learn to be more compassionate than ever before. We must learn not only how to do things, but how to live with these new questions and to search for their answers in faith. If it becomes necessary for you to enter a health care facility, starting in December of this year, there is something you should know. Some- time within 24 hours you will be asked if you have made advance directives concerning your health care according to the new law. This must be done should you become incapable of commu- nicating during your stay. To be sick and in unfamiliar surroundings can be frightening enough. Because of the fear any one of us might have in those circumstances, that question might terrify us unless we under- stand that those who ask it must do so. We pray that they will always do it with compassion and sensitivity. $ and Clara (Kraus) Anslinger of Evansville cele- r fortieth wedding anniversary with a Mass of Nov. 24 at St. Boniface Church, Evansville. A hosted by their children, followed in their Couple was married Nov. 22, 1951, at St. Joseph They are the parents of nine children, )art, Gary, Kenneth, Steven, Becky Fuchs and Evansville, Dr. John 'Jack' Anslinger of Milwau- and Paul of Houston, Tx. They have 12 grandchil- grandchild is deceased. Anslinger is a retiree from and Leasway Corp. TOTAL UNi AT MA S " COMM C ION S L SUNDAYS : Coffee & Donuts Sunday School for children & ADULTS R.C.I.A. for persons interested in Catholic Faith Companions for alienated, wandering Catholics Total Communication Catholic Mass for Deaf and Hearing persons, using voice, interpreters and A.S.L. Social hour and lunch after Mass. t of each month - Mass on Saturday at5:00 p.m) Hospitals plan for change By PAUL R. LEINGANG Message Editor who request it, according to Jan Renner, director of educa- tion at Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center in Jasper. "This law recognizes indi- viduals' rights to choose the direction of their own care, and we want everyone to have the information they need as they make their deci- sion," said Renner. Individuals admitted to Memorial Hospital will re- ceive a letter assuring them that their rights are being pro- tected, said Renner. Patients and their families will have access to advance directive information at any time dur- ing their stay, even if they refuse it initially." Memorial Hospital's educa- tion department has literature on advance directives and speakers are available for Starting in December, pa- tients who enter the hospital will be asked if they have an "advance directive" toward prolonged treatment. The change effective Dec. 1, is re- quired by law. The requirements in Indi- ana follow passage of the fed- eral Patient Self-Determina- tion Act. All hospitals in the state must verify, at the time of admission, if patients have arranged for any type of ad- vance directive, for example, if they have a living will or if they have made arrangment for someone else to make de- cisions about their care. Hospitals will also be re- quired to provide information about the various types of ad- vance directives to patients "Fulleral Pre-Pianning Since 1940" , Miller & Miller I 424-9274 Support Catholic schools by using the Tradition Card. D i A percentage of each purchase you make using the Tradition Card goes to support Catholic education. Call 464-3322 or 1-800-777-3949 extension 322 for details. Issued by Citizens Bank. i community groups and orga- nizations. The policy of St. Mary's Medical Center in Evansville "affirms the right of each per- son to make decisions regard- ing their health care and their wishes with regard to the use of extraordinary means in prolonging life." St. Mary's will inform indi- viduals that, "Before you be- come unable to make your own decisions, you can docu- ment your wishes through the use of Advance Directives: Living Will Declaration, Life Prolonging Procedures Decla- ration, Appointment of a Health Care Representative, Power of Attorney for Health Care Purposes, and Durable Power of Attorney." Patients who want more in- formation at St. Mary's will be referred to their attorney, physician, the Pastoral Care Staff or Patient and Family Services. A patient with an advance directive will be asked to provide a current, signed copy to the nursing staff to be included in the medical record. If a patient is admitted in a life threatening condition and is incapable of speaking for himself or herself, the imme- diate next of kin will be con- suited. St. Mary's cites Lawrence P. Ulrich, Ph. D, a bioethics consultant, in presenting a Roman Catholic approach to- ward life-sustaining treat- ments. "The passage from this life to the next imposes upon us obligations of respect," wrote Ulrich. "But it does not im- pose upon us the obligation, to wring out of thislife every last moment which is techno- logically feasible,'" he con- cluded. A statement of the Indiana Catholic Conference, detail- ing implications of the law, was published in the Message Nov. J