Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

The Power to Save Lives

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

We are all familiar with the power of ultrasound images have to save lives. Now we have a tool far more powerful than ultrasound. It is called embryoscopy. Though rarely used, this procedure has yielded powerful video footage of the unborn child. A tiny camera is placed up against the amniotic sac to yield full color video of the child from about four to twelve weeks old. A video containing this footage has been made which has such strong medical, secular credentials that it has won eleven awards and been endorsed by National Geographic. Now Priests for Life is distributing this video within the pro-life community and seeks to get it into all the churches, pregnancy centers, and schools across America. Find out more at www.priestsforlife.org

Must-have pro-life book: Ending Abortion; Not Just Fighting It is a collection of lifesaving and informative pro-life essays from Fr. Pavone.   Click here to order your copy today.

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Will to Live

Monday, September 27th, 2010

One of the best things we can do in reference to protecting our own lives from the culture of death is to fill out the “Will to Live” document.

These documents have been prepared by our friends at National Right to Life, in conjunction with legal experts, to conform to the laws in each of the 50 states. I would like to send one to you, and you can order it at www.priestsforlife.org/store/p-250-will-to-live.aspx. There is no charge.

This document is meant to protect you. The danger in our day is not that we will have treatments we don’t want; the danger, instead, is that we will not have treatments that we do want.

The “Will to Live” lets you indicate in advance that you want the care that is morally obligatory, that you do not want your life to be taken, and that if you cannot speak for yourself, a person you appoint and who shares your values and understands your desires will speak for you.

This arrangement can not only spare your life, but can preserve your loved ones from the confusion and anguish that can happen if they don’t know your wishes. The case of Terri Schiavo, in which I was deeply involved, is an example. Click here for an eyewitness account of that case.

Because illness or tragedy can strike at any time, the “Will to Live” is for adults of all ages.

The Will to Live is important, because we cannot predict the future, or know in advance what form of sickness or disease we may be afflicted with in the years ahead. We do not know what treatments we will need or what will be available.

We do not ever want to pretend, therefore, that we know what kind of medical treatments we will want to use or avoid in the future. It makes no sense to decide on treatments before we even know the disease.

Not every medical treatment is always obligatory. But to figure out which treatments are obligatory, morally speaking, and which are only optional, one must know the medical facts of the case. These facts are then examined in the light of the moral principles involved. But to try to make that decision in advance is to act without all the necessary information.

People already have the right to make informed consent decisions telling their family and physicians how they want to be treated if and when they can no longer make decisions for themselves. Doctors are already free to withhold or withdraw useless procedures in terminal cases that provide no benefit to the patient. Some people fear that medical technology will be used to torture them in their final days. But it is more likely that the ‘medical heroics’ people fear are the very treatments that will make possible a more comfortable, less painful death.

A safe route is to appoint a health care proxy who can speak for you in those cases where you may not be able to speak for yourself. This should be a person who knows your beliefs and values, and with whom you discuss these matters in detail. In case you cannot speak for yourself, your proxy can ask all the necessary questions of your doctors and clergy, and make an assessment when all the details of your condition and medical needs are actually known. That’s much safer than predicting the future. Appointing a health care proxy in a way that safeguards your right to life is easy.

Order your “Will to Live” today at www.priestsforlife.org/store/p-250-will-to-live.aspx. Please be sure to indicate what state you want it for, especially if you are getting one for someone who lives in a different state than you. Please also let others know of this offer.

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ProLife Liturgical Resources

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

ProLife Liturgical Resources is a tool for Catholic priests and clergy of other denominations who use the liturgical calendar. This application provides three sets of resources (prayers, bulletin insert, and homily hints) to assist the clergy to preach, teach, and pray about the pro-life message with their congregations, based on the readings assigned to each Sunday in the three-year cycle of the lectionary.

The first of these resources is a set of General Intercessions for the Mass. These “Prayers of the Faithful” are composed according to the guidelines set by the Catholic Church, and include a petition for the growth of the culture of life. This fulfills a request of the Catholic bishops, in their Pastoral Plan for Pro-life Activities (2001) that “Parishes should include in the petitions at every Mass a prayer that ours will become a nation that respects and protects all human life, born and unborn, reflecting a true culture of life.”

The second of these pro-life resources is a short paragraph that can be included in the Church bulletin to educate the congregation about the issues of abortion and euthanasia and to exhort them to take part in pro-life activities. This paragraph is often drawn from Church documents about pro-life issues, or statements of particular bishops or the Pope.

The third resource is homily hints. Based on the readings of that particular Sunday, these hints show the preacher how to bring out the pro-life dimensions of the readings, and to relate the great Biblical themes of love, life, justice, and mercy to the problems of abortion, euthanasia, and other threats to human life and dignity. The hints are not an entire homily, but rather an illustration of how to make the connections to these issues. Therefore, the preacher can use this tool whether he wants to create an entire homily on these themes, or just make a mention of them in the context of other considerations.

These liturgical resources were all written by Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, based on his experience of preaching about abortion and euthanasia, and training clergy on dealing with these issues since 1993. Fr. Pavone serves as a member of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life. The resources on this application are provided a couple of weeks in advance of the Sunday on which they are based. The full set of resources for all three Sunday cycles, and for Liturgical Feasts that are sometimes celebrated on Sundays, is found at www.priestsforlife.org/liturgy.

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