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Take a stand for life and God-centered medicine Print
Letters to the editor
Thursday, Nov. 26, 2009 -- 1:00 AM

To the editor:

The health care reform debate now moves to the Senate. If Wisconsin Senators Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl want to learn about real health care, than I suggest they research a small religious order in Los Angeles called the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart.

This group of Catholic Sisters has a number of apostolates including a “skilled nursing facility, an independent living facility, and a medical facility called the Carmelite Sisters’ Santa Teresita Medical Center in Duarte, California.” In the November issue of The Catholic World Report, this order of Sisters was profiled in a special report.

What is the core of their special care? I think the title of the article says it very nicely, “God-Centered Medicine.” What is God-centered medicine? According to Dr. Fritz Baumgartner, medical director at Marycrest Manor, the Sisters’ skilled nursing facility, “God-centered medicine is the seminal recognition of the dignity of the human person, the fundamental understanding that man is made in the image and likeness of God himself.

“That imparts a special awe of the dignity of all human life, an understanding of the uniqueness of such life compared to animals, plants, and the rest of nature, and the appropriate fear of violating this basic dignity.”

I have no doubt that the late Mother Teresa and her Sisters of Charity practiced this same type of care. Abortion, euthanasia, and human embryonic stem cell research would all violate the tenets of God-centered medicine.

Dr. Baumgartner lamented, “Can the Western medicine that can salvage a tiny 22-week premature baby in the neonatal ICU be the same medicine that aborts perfectly normal babies at even later gestational ages?” Apparently officials at UW Hospital and Meriter Hospital don’t understand why so many of us are opposed to their plans to provide late-term abortions at their Madison Surgery Center.

Dr. Baumgartner goes on, “Can the same Western medicine that can surgically save the life of a 90-year-old with critical aortic stenosis be the same medicine that promotes withholding simple nutrition and hydration to incapacitated patients decades younger, becoming the direct cause of their deaths?” Have we forgotten the judicial-imposed death by dehydration of Terri Schiavo on March 31, 2005?

Contact Senator Feingold and Senator Kohl and tell them what true health care reform looks like. It’s time to take a stand for life and push for “God-centered medicine” and stop these attacks against innocent human life. Abortion has nothing to do with health care.

Patrick Hardyman, Blanchardville