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Mentally challenged girl to be denied transplant – UPDATED January 17, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, General Catholic, horror, sadness, scandals, sickness, silliness.
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When the government gets involved, the system – any system – becomes cost-focused.  In the medical profession, terms like “quality of life” and “economic potential” start to enter into discussions that previously would have focused solely on what medical procedure needed to be performed in order to prolong and extend life. 

Since Obama and a democrat Congress saw fit to forcefully inject the federal government even more deeply into our medical care system, we can likely look forward to much more focus on cost benefit analyses and rhetoric on “quality of life.”  I don’t know if that’s going to play well, politically, over the long term.  Judging by the comments on this site, hundreds are outraged by a decision to deny a mentally retarded girl a life-saving kidney transplant:

I am going to try and tell you what happened to us on January 10, 2012, in the conference room in the

Amelia

Nephrology department at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

We arrived for our regular Nephrology visit with Amelia’s doctor who has seen her for the last three years. She examines Amelia and sends us for labs. I ask about the transplant and she says we have about six months to a year until she needs one. She tells us she reserved the conference room and when we get back from labs, we can meet with the transplant team and he can tell us about the transplant process.

After the labs, Amelia falls asleep in her stroller and we are called back to a large room with a screen and about sixteen chairs. Joe and I get comfortable and leave a space between us to fit the stroller. After about five minutes, a doctor and a social worker enter the room. They sit across from us but also leave a space between the two of them.

The doctor begins to talk and I listen intently on what he is saying. He has a Peruvian accent and is small, with brown hair, a mustache and is about sixty five years old. He gets about four sentences out ( I think it is an introduction) and places two sheets of paper on the table. I can’t take my eyes off the paper. I am afraid to look over at Joe because I suddenly know where the conversation is headed. In the middle of both papers, he highlighted in pink two phrases. Paper number one has the words, “Mentally Retarded” in cotton candy pink right under Hepatitis C. Paper number two has the phrase, “Brain Damage” in the same pink right under HIV. I remind myself to focus and look back at the doctor. I am still smiling.

He says about three more sentences when something sparks in my brain. First it is hazy, foggy, like I am swimming under water. I actually shake my head a little to clear it. And then my brain focuses on what he just said.

I put my hand up. “Stop talking for a minute. Did you just say that Amelia shouldn’t have the transplant done because she is mentally retarded. I am confused. Did you really just say that?

Horrifying.  As numerous parents of Down Syndrome children already know (among many lesser known conditions, I’m sure), there are different standards of care for some people.  Our pro-contraception pro-abort culture, which, consciously or not, already defines some life as unworthy of being lived, will continue to find more and more reasons to end life or prevent it from starting.  Whether it’s the alleged potential good of “embryonic stem cells,” or parents aborting over 90% of Down Syndrome children (and, soon, tests for autism which may add hundreds of thousands more abortions per year), moloch is never satisfied.  The yawning chasm of evil that spews forth from the font of human sacrifice is never satiated, it always wants more and more and more.  And, yet, so many of our culture’s lifestyle preferences feed into this gaping maw of evil.  It’s a positive feedback loop capable of infinite destruction.

The only thing that can stop it is love, and willing sacrifice.

UPDATE: So, offline, occasional reader Terry C noted that I may have been given the impression of an unintentional endorsement of organ donation.  I did not intend to do so.  Organ donation is fraught with moral problems, certainly with regard to those organs that require the “death” of the donor before they can be transplanted (heart, liver, others).  Kidneys are a bit more complex – one can donate a kidney out of charity, without having to be declared dead.  But, kidneys are frequently harvested from those who are declared “brain dead,” a term which may mean that many people are being killed for their organs.  Traditional Catholics have major problems with organ donation, and I share those problems, but I did not point that out in the original post.  In this case, since the family can likely secure a kidney from a living family member, I don’t think the moral qualms apply, except insofar that they may feed into the mentality of using one human being to prolong the life of another.

Acknowledging Our Unworthiness in the Sight of God January 17, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life, religious, The Imitation of Christ, Tradition, Virtue.
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Boy howdy, does that apply to ME!  I may as well be the model for which Thomas a Kempis took this Chapter 8, Book III of The Imitation of Christ:

I will speak to my Lord, I, who am but dust and ashes (Gen 18:27).  If I think anything better of myself, behold Thou standest against me and my sins bear witness to the truth, and I cannot contradict it. 

But if I humble myself and acknowledge my own nothingness, and cast away all manner of esteem of myself and (as I really am) account myself to be mere dust, Thy grace will be favorable to me and Thy light will draw nigh to my heart; and all self-esteem, how small soever, will be sunk in the depth of my own nothingness and there lose itself forever. 

It is there Thou showest to myself, what I am, what I have been, and what I am to come to; for I am nothing and I knew it not (Ps 72:22). 

If I am left to myself, behold I am nothing and all weakness; but if thou shouldst graciously look upon me, I presently become strong and am filled with a new joy.

And it is wonderful that I am so quickly raised up and so graciously embraced by Thee; I, who by my own weight am always sinking ot the bottom. 

It is Thy love that effects this, freely guiding me and assisting me in so many necessities, preserving me also from grievous dangers, and as I may truly say, delivering me from innumerable evils.

For by an evil loving of myself I lost myself, and by seeking Thee alone and purely loving Thee I found both myself and Thee, and by this love have more profoundly annhilated myself.

Because Thou, most sweet Lord, art bountiful to me above all desert and all I dare hope or ask for.

Blessed Be Thou, O my God, for though I am unworthy of all good, yet Thy genorsity and infinite goodness never ceaseth to do good, even to those who are ungrateful and that are turned away from Thee.

Oh, convert us unto Thee, that we may be thankful, humble, and devout; for Thou art our salvation, our power, and our strength (Ps 61:8).

Prayer request January 17, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Glory, Interior Life.
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Colleen Hammond has  long been a friend of this blog and me personally.  Her father has a severe form of lung cancer, and has recently taken a severe turn for the worse.  Would you, in your charity, add Ron and Eileen Wine to your prayers for those who are sick and suffering, along with Colleen Hammond and her family?  I have no idea of prognosis or whether this cancer is in its final stages, but I pray for abundant Grace to flow through this suffering into Colleen and her entire family, and, if it be God’s Will, that a miraculous cure be effected.

Thank you and God bless you!

Why Men Don’t Go To Mass January 17, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, General Catholic, North Deanery, scandals, sickness.
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Well, some men do………ahem………but there is frequently a great disproportion between the number of men at Mass and the number of women.  And perhaps even more significantly, the disproportion of women working in our modern Church of so many structures populated by lay people is enormous.  Does all this have an effect?  Has a certain feminization set in? 

St. Antony of the Desert January 17, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, Glory, persecution, religious, Saints, Tradition, Virtue.
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St. Anthony of the Desert was born into wealth, but upon hearing the Gospel passage on the rich man forsaking the Kingdom because of his wealth, St. Anthony forsook all he had and became a desert monastic – in time, the father of numerous such monastic who by the late 4th century numbered many thousands, possibly tens of thousands throughout the Egyptian deserts.  His life was full of mysticism and Grace.  He was attacked by satan and demons in most visible and horrific ways, but he always defeated them with simple prayers and appeals to Our Savior.  The wonderful blog Ars Orandi has several wonderful paintings of St. Anthony’s demonic persecutions, along with prayers from the Breviary and Dom Prosper Gueranger’s The Liturgical Year.  You should check out the text there, but two of the paintings, here:

The Temptation of St. Anthony, Marten de Vos, 1594

 
 

The Temptation of St. Anthony by Annibale Carracci, 1598

 
Thanks to my friend Steve B for pointing out this delightful site.  St. Anthony resided in a cave that had a spring of fresh water, but for food he had followers who brought him a small loaf of bread most days, but some days a crow would bring his bread to him!  Or so the story goes.  There is no question that the entire heremetical and monastic tradition of the Church, souls who do such a great and necessary service for the Church through their prayers and lives of mortification, owes a tremendous debt to St. Anthony.
 
Sancta Antonius, ora pro nobis!