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Note to HALO Monthly recipients: Whether or not you are able to make a donation to HALO, you will continue to receive the newsletter. However, there are expenses involved in producing a quality newsletter. Therefore, we suggest an annual donation of $25.00 for HALO membership, which includes our newsletter. Of course, donations in any amount to support the work of HALO will be gratefully accepted. All donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Please send checks only to: HALO, P.O. Box 324, Chisago City, MN 55013. Credit card donations may be securely made on the DONATE page of our website, www.halorganization.com/donate/

What people are saying about HALO:

"We were strangers before this. Thank you so much for what you do." -- Response from a patient's family member who sought help from HALO on several occasions
Welcome to this edition of the HALO Monthly. This e-newsletter provides opportunities for HALO to share information about current healthcare issues, events, contributions from members, answers to prayer, and other relevant information. Please share your ideas and suggestions with us.
 

HALO MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of the Healthcare Advocacy and Leadership Organization is to promote, protect, and advocate for the rights of the medically vulnerable through direct patient and family interactions; through community education and awareness programs; and through promotion and development of concrete *"life-affirming healthcare"* alternatives for those facing the grave consequences of healthcare rationing and unethical practices, especially those at risk of euthanasia and assisted suicide.

*"Life-affirming healthcare" is defined as medical care in which the paramount principle is the sanctity of life, which means that the life and safety of each person come first and each person receives medical care across their lifespan based on their need for care and never with an intention to hasten death, regardless of their abilities or perceived "quality of life."

Lights on for Life



Lights on for Life

Last month my husband and I ventured on a road trip out West where one of our children and family live. We enjoy taking the road less traveled, especially when we are not confined by time, by leaving behind the hustle and bustle of the interstate system. Driving through Kansas, we were thankful for the multitude of grassroots pro-life signs along state highways. I was especially impacted by this sign.


It was intended to be a traffic sign for safety and saving lives—a noble cause. However, my reflections moved on to how this applies in our culture of death. We must continue to keep our lights on to save lives, not to be in darkness.
Our lights should be visible to others by our advocacy and knowledge of current life issues. Right now, you are choosing to be a light by reading this newsletter. It is apparent that you have a desire to help others.
It is easier to be in darkness, choosing to bury one’s head in the sand rather than face the current culture of death and combat it. Indifference and withdrawal from the battle is the reaction of many people to the overwhelming issues facing us in this imperfect world. Some people I know lament how depressing things are right now, and many others are unable to see beyond their tragic immediate family issues. Some may not even realize the inroads the culture of death has made into all facets of society because their lives are so busy. The busyness of life—such as driving on an interstate, just focusing on the other vehicles and the threats to our lives and sometimes dealing with inclement weather—leaves us little time or energy to focus on other matters concerning life and death.
In this August 2019 newsletter, we reveal some “lights on for life” that you can contact for advice and help. The first shining light is Judie Brown, President of American Life League and a member of HALO’s Advisory Board, who gave guidance to a person who consulted her by providing practical information about medical advance directives and do not resuscitate (DNR) orders.
Another bright light is Marlene Reid, a member of HALO’s Board of Directors, who shares her personal story of taking that first step in 1973 and her subsequent involvement in many aspects of the battle for life.
The Case in Point by Ron Panzer, President of the Hospice Patients Alliance and another “light on for life,” concerns a woman—the sister of a patient—who called Ron for advice to help save the patient’s life. He shares with us the importance of a medical power of attorney (MPA) and other tips for protecting loved ones from tainted hospices and palliative care programs.
Another steadfast light is Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and member of HALO’s Board. In his July 18th blog, “Woman Pressured to Approve Death by Sedation/Dehydration for her Aunt,” Alex highlights a call he received involving a case of institutionalized elder abuse and discrimination. [http://alexschadenberg.blogspot.com/2019/07/woman-pressured-to-approve-sedation-and.html]
Are you a “light on for life” in your place of worship, community, family, and even your state? Do you have the basic knowledge to be a life-affirming advocate for a loved one when he or she is in a hospital, nursing home, or hospice? If not, do you know someone who is a light that you can contact immediately if there is a problem or question? Please reflect on what role you want to have or should take on to be a light in the darkness of the culture of death and help restore the culture of life.
We will continue to bring you more examples of “lights on for life” in future editions of the HALO Monthly. If you or someone you know is a “light on for life,” send us your story and we may publish it to inspire others. Thank you.
Note: HALO is hoping to soon have an operational 24/7 hotline for US callers to expedite help when time is important. Currently, if you need help, please email feedback@halorganization.com and a patient advocate will responds as soon as possible.

DEBORAH, HER MOM, AND DOING THE RIGHT THING



DEBORAH, HER MOM, AND DOING THE RIGHT THING








By Judie Brown
President of American Life League
Member of HALO’s Board of Advisors
A pro-life friend named Deborah wrote to me, saying:
My mom has stage 4 cancer, so I took one of the American Life League Loving Wills I got several years ago and read her the form about food and water and asked if she wanted to sign one so they will have to give her nutrition. She said she wanted to. My daughter is a notary, and she came to the hospital and read over the form. She said it wasn't sufficient because it didn't go into detail about DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order. She notarized it anyway, but I need your input to make sure this is all we need.
I promised Deborah that I would check into this, and I was grateful to be able to write her back and assure her that the Loving Will is compliant with Texas law. But I was also told to make sure she knew this about current Texas law. The Texas Advance Directive Act violates the personal liberties of conscience among those who do not ascribe to euthanasia practices. How? According to Texas Right to Life, TADA’s 10-Day-Law has “been accurately described by people across the political spectrum as ‘death panels.’” The death panels are hospital-appointed ethics committees that basically rubber-stamp doctors’ decisions to stop patients’ treatment, with or without their consent. After being notified of such a decision, “the patient and his or her legal surrogate have a mere 10 days to arrange an emergency transfer to another facility that would be willing to continue treatment. Such a transfer is often extraordinarily complicated” in so-called ‘futile care’ cases, “and there are no practical means under the 10-Day-Law for a typical patient to stop the ticking clock.”
The attorney I asked for advice also advised us that Deborah and her daughter, who is not an attorney, needed to understand the facts about a DNR. According to experts, stopping life support can be fraught with problems. No matter what kind of form you sign, that piece of paper can be used to terminate your life if the wrong person is interpreting it or if the wrong person has been given control over your care decisions should you become unable to make those decisions yourself.
I also shared the following with Deborah because it is never adequate to provide a simple answer when we are dealing with the challenges someone faces while caring for a loved one and attempting to protect him from those too willing to cut lives short.
Chris Kahlenborn, MD, explains:
Many people, often under the guidance of their lawyer, have living wills which specify what type of medical treatment they wish to have or forego should they have a terminal illness. There are several problems with this. First, the living will is a rather rigid document, often prepared years prior to the occurrence of the patient’s first medical illness, after which circumstances and opinions have often changed. Second, many physicians interpret a living will as a “do not resuscitate (DNR)” order, so that, if you are admitted for a non-terminal illness, you could be categorized as a DNR patient, when that may not be your wish. Third, patients with living wills, in general, will get less aggressive hospital treatment. My advice is to speak with a trusted friend or family member and make them your power of attorney for healthcare decision maker instead of obtaining a living will.
In the process of trying to find adequate help for Deborah so that she can rest assured that her mother is cared for properly, I learned a lot about resources available to Texans. For example, the St. Thomas More Society has specific documents that are fundamentally in-line with Catholic teaching, including an advance directive and a medical power of attorney. In addition, attorney Kassi Marks has a blog entitled Kassiblog that addresses these tough questions and monitors current state law.
Finally, it is always prudent to rely on the words of well-known Catholic doctors who have studied these matters and who know what is at stake from the Catholic ethical perspective. Among the most eloquent is Paul Byrne, MD, who wrote this warning about DNRs in the online booklet “Life, Life Support and Death”:
When it is directed by a dying patient or the patient’ s proxy that a gravely burdensome treatment will not be administered, a specific order for that specific non-treatment must be written. Written orders must be as precise as possible. “Do Not Resuscitate” or “No Code” are examples of ambiguous orders widely accepted by physicians and courts. Do these orders mean no maintenance of an airway, or no ventilation, or no cardiac resuscitation, as well as no new or additional therapy? Furthermore, in light of the weakness of human nature, once the course has been plotted by a DNR (“Do Not Resuscitate”) or a “No Code” order, there is a tendency to preclude, eliminate, or reduce other kinds of “ordinary” treatments, such as visits by physicians and care given by nurses and others. Broad orders of “Do Not Resuscitate” (DNR) or “No Code” must be avoided. At no other time in medicine are treatment-orders that are broad and non-specific considered to be within the standard of care.
As someone who comes to this topic from the pro-life Catholic perspective, I am aware that, when a person we love is very ill, though we might have the best instincts in the world, our emotions can frequently get the best of us. That is why it is a good idea to rely on the wisdom and help of those who are not directly involved with your decision, but who care about the fact that the right decisions must be made.
This is one of the reasons why I am so grateful to God to be part of the Healthcare Advocacy and Leadership Organization. Deborah could rely on me in her time of need, and she trusted that I would provide her with the solid answers she needed to help her daughter understand the matters at hand and to help her look out for her mom’s best interests.
HALO can do that for you.
Note from HALO: Be wary of any healthcare advance directive that is not specifically life-affirming, such as the directives provided by your state, healthcare facility, or doctor’s or attorney’s office. There are several life-affirming options to choose from in addition to American Life League’s Loving Will. HALO offers its Life-Affirming Medical Proxy (LAMP), and endorses the Patients Rights Council’s Protective Medical Decisions Document (PMDD); Pro-Life Wisconsin’s Protective Power of Attorney for Health Care (PPAHC); and, for Canadians, the Euthanasia Prevention Coalitions’ Life Protecting Power of Attorney. These are all medical power of attorney (MPA) documents in which you appoint an agent to make medical decisions for you in the event you cannot make them for yourself. To learn more, visit the main page of our website — www.halorganization.com – and look for the red box, then enter the name of your state or province to learn which document may be right for you.
The American Bar Association advises:
Most states do not require a particular form, but they do have witnessing requirements or other special signing formalities that should be followed.
Even if your state requires a specific form, doctors have a legal obligation to respect your clearly communicated treatment wishes in any manner or form expressed, as long as the wishes are medically appropriate. https://www.americanbar.org/groups/law_aging/publications/bifocal/vol_37/issue_1_october2015/myths_and_facts_advance_directives/
Regardless of which MPA document you choose, there is a catch. What does the term “medically appropriate mean” and who will decide what is “medically appropriate” treatment? Do your best to protect yourself by naming as your medical decision-maker someone who will not be intimidated by healthcare professionals or medical terminology, or by a “futile care” decision; someone who will defend your right to life-sustaining medical treatment and care even if that requires seeking legal help.
Every person 18 years of age or older should have a life-affirming MPA naming someone to make decisions for them and protect them in a medical crisis if they cannot speak for themselves. Your life or the life of a loved one may depend on it.

MEET HALO’S PARTNERS


MEET HALO’S PARTNERS

The Healthcare Advocacy and Leadership Organization’s partners hail from many parts of the United States and Canada. We thought you might like to know who we are. Thus, a HALO partner will be asked to introduce himself or herself in select editions of this newsletter.
Meet Marlene Reid, a member of the HALO Board of Directors. She lives in Minnesota in the summer and winters in Florida.

True Confessions









By Marlene Reid
There’s a great big Silent Majority out there! I want to wake them up from their slumber, just as I was awakened. It was 1973. I had retired from my work as a Registered Medical Technologist. I was a dutiful wife and mother, juggling the families’ needs but still finding time for occasional tennis & bridge.
Then the wake-up call came! Another very concerned mother told me to check out the children’s catechism books. What I discovered appalled me. I found some of the lessons bordering on heresy, and came face-to-face with the New Age Liberation Theology. As na├»ve as I was, I believed I only had to call this subversion to the higher authorities and everything would be quickly “made right.” Not so! Someone whom I had admired told me, “You are a threat to your children!” The tears burst forth and didn’t subside for days. Do bears get shots of adrenalin pumping through their bodies? Well, this Mama Bear did! I flew out of the den ready to fight for and protect my “cubs” (and the cubs of the mothers who now had fulltime jobs, who bought the claim that this status was needed to prove their worth).
I quickly found other Mama Bears who had done their research and were willing to share info about the sad state of affairs with me. Something was definitely “rotten,” not only in Denmark, but in the good old USA. I am a pretty “quick study” so it wasn’t long before I was fighting on about six fronts. I had taken on the abortionists (as Roe v Wade had made abortion legal), the feminists (MN had just ratified the Equal Rights Amendment), the Humanist educators with their insidious Values Clarification preaching NO  ABSOLUTES, homosexuals who were lobbying for “the right to manifest their sexual preference” (who could have guessed what they would soon be lobbying for?), Planned Parenthood with its explicit and immoral sex education and its first Twin Cities abortion mill, and the pornographers. Thankfully, many, previously unaware, responded and came out of their dens “to make a difference!”
Several of us concerned Mama Bears, laden with incriminating documentation, traveled the state and beyond, alerting families and supplying ammunition to those who heard “the call.” I sometimes refer to this phase of my life as the Nickelodeon stage. The audiences got different speeches according to which issue, or which anti-life, anti-family organization they perceived to be the biggest threat to their “cubs” at that particular time. We rejoiced over many victories. However, forces destroying our culture had a head start, the help of the biased media, and, most often, a generous supply of our tax dollars.
Eventually, I zeroed in on the unborn “cubs,” and their “fellow vulnerable human beings,” and have since used the bulk of my time and energy to fight for their lives. Pope John Paul II summed up the issue, and my mandate, very clearly in his 1988 apostolic exhortation when he stated: “…the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture – is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right, and the condition of all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination…The human being is entitled to such rights, in every phase of development, from conception to natural death, and in every condition, whether healthy or sick, whole or handicapped, rich or poor…”  Saint John Paul II further exhorted, “Moreover, everyone has the mission and responsibility of acknowledging the personal dignity of every human being, and of defending the right to life…” (emphasis added).
In 1990, I was elected President of Human Life Alliance. I served in that capacity for 12 years. The rest of it, for the most part, is history. Being an active part of HALO, focusing on the end-of-life issues, is a natural progression for me. I am proud and pleased to be part of this very necessary work and am impressed at how much has been accomplished so far. 
I promise to be fighting the Culture of Death to my dying breath. Please don’t let anyone pronounce me “brain dead” until I am “stone cold dead.” As a determined Irishman, I am hoping and praying to be in Heaven before the Devil knows I’m gone.


COMBATTING THE EPIDEMIC OF MEDICAL KILLING




COMBATTING THE EPIDEMIC OF MEDICAL KILLING

The following is a condensed version of an article by Ron Panzer which was in the Hospice Patients Alliance Newsletter, June 25, 2019. The author, Ron Panzer, is president of the Hospice Patients Alliance (hospicepatients.org) and author of the book Stealth Euthanasia.
Mr. Panzer offers sage and essential advice, born from many years of service to the medically vulnerable, about how to combat the “stealth euthanasia” epidemic. Stealth euthanasia is the intentional ending of a patient’s life while pretending to provide appropriate treatment and care. Actions and omissions intended to cause death are hidden from those who may object, such as concerned family members. Furthermore, the epidemic of medical killing is also hidden from the public.

By Ron Panzer
We were fortunate to be able to help save a patient whose sister has the medical power of attorney but whose husband was pushing sedatives and opioids within a hospice setting. The sister called and we provided information about how she could assert her legal authority as medical power of attorney [that is, as the patient’s chosen proxy decision maker] and remind the staff that a patient always has the right to refuse a medication. [We advised her] to videotape the patient (if possible) making her wishes known (in this case they could); write down the patient’s wishes and post them in the room; provide a copy to be inserted into the medical record; and, if any nurse or doctor violated those refusals, to file a complaint with the state Board of Nursing or Medicine and immediately notify the agency staff that such a complaint had been filed so no other nurse or doctor would do the same.
It is important to never raise one's voice or act angrily toward staff – even if their behavior is reprehensible – as some people have been banned from visiting their own loved ones. Also, having an adult non-family member as a witness when providing the patient's (or MPA's) written instructions is helpful.
Other people also have been able to protect their loved ones from the ongoing pressure tactics used to manipulate patients into tainted hospice or palliative care [where they are] killed, but it is getting more and more difficult.
On the other hand, we hear regularly from family members who do not have the MPA and are prevented from providing any input or influencing the treatment of the patient, and so many call to report that their loved one has been killed or is being killed.
Please spread the word about what is going on! The major media, conservative media, as well as both federal and state government officials are all utterly censoring this epidemic of medical killing. They will not admit what is going on and, in fact, deny the reality!
For that reason we have the Stealth Euthanasia book online and available to everyone for free at https://www.hospicepatients.org/this-thing-called-hospice.html. (It can also be downloaded or bought as a printed hardcover book.) If each of you tell 10 others and they tell 10 others who also tell 10 others, etc., everyone in the country will know the truth before their family member is in danger!
Getting the word out is really very possible—actually certain. All you have to do is make this small effort. This is the first step to stopping the killing!


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