Archive for September, 2015

A child with a disability: the positives that one parent learned

This is a very personal story, by Sarah Watts, concerning her son Henry, who was born with spina bifida. After he was born, lots of people visited to encourage her. Their stories all contained an important theme. They all said, in effect, 

“we cannot imagine our lives without this person.”

To access: what-my-disabled-son-taught-me-about-disability 

Sarah also has a blog: wifeytini 

Euthanasia and “futile” care: stories and commentary

It is clear that the following stories, which concern hospital decisions for Euthanasia over family objections and other obstacles to proper health care for people with disabilities reveal developments that are a deliberate threat to these people; so-called experts are deciding which persons’  lives are worth living and which persons’ lives are not worth living!

The following personal stories are from Texas, and concern that state’s infamous futile care law.

Sun Hudson:  http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/healthlawprof_blog/2005/03/lifesupport_sto.html (a health law professor’s account) http://differentriver.com/archives/2005/03/21/baby-pulled-off-ventilator-over-mothers-objections/ (another personal response)

Andrea Clark:  http://www.prolifeblogs.com/articles/archives/2006/05/disability_advo.php#more

Yenlang Vo:  http://www.prolifeblogs.com/articles/archives/2006/05/help_yenlang_vo_1.php & http://texasadvancedirectivesblog.blogspot.com/2006/05/law-did-not-work-thoughts-on-andrea.html

Similar personal stories from other places:

Peggy Albedhady, New Jersey:  http://notdeadyetnewscommentary.blogspot.com/2009/02/nj-woman-finds-aneurism-medicaid-sol.html

Kaylee Wallace, Toronto:  http://notdeadyetnewscommentary.blogspot.com/2009/04/kaylee-wallace-disturbing-coverage-and.html & http://notdeadyetnewscommentary.blogspot.com/2009/04/canadian-association-for-community.html

Terri Schiavo, Florida: Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network (concerns her stories as well as others who have faced and are facing similar situations)

Perspectives on the Texas Futile Care Law and Euthanasia

OrthodoxWhat is futility?  by the Orthodox Christian bioethicist Dr. H. Tristam Engelhardt

Roman  Catholic:  http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/speeches/2004/march/documents/hf_jp-ii_spe_20040320_congress-fiamc_en.html  as well as  http://www.ncpd.org/policy/church/ncpd/statements/futilecare 

Stephen Drake, who publishes the weblog Not Dead Yet:  http://notdeadyetnewscommentary.blogspot.com/search/label/futile%20care

Wesley J. Smith: http://www.wellsphere.com/wesley-j-smith/101665/bio is in the vanguard of the movement to prevent the legalization of Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide and an opponent of the futile care theory. He does his homework. Here are some of his articles: First Things: Wesley J. Smith 

An Orthodox Christian Commentary by Christopher HuckabayDeath with Piety is Death with Dignity,” http://www.pravmir.com/article_362.html

Finally, a reprint of the 1994 Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archidiocese’ Statement on Euthanasia:

WHEREAS all human beings who are in a condition of medical dependency because of illness, age, or for some other reason, must be provided with the basic amenities of food, water, cleanliness, warmth and relief from pain. These can never be considered as “extraordinary” measures in the context of medical treatment, and,WHEREAS Christians do not fear bodily death but rather consider it as a Passover between earthly life and the life of the Kingdom. Therefore, all such medical treatments that prolong the dying process while offering no benefit to the individual (with the exception of those ordinary measures previously stated) may, in good conscience, be refused by the individual or those acting on his or her behalf. In some instances, even food and water may become, in the last hours of life when the body may be unable to accept them, a burden from which the sufferer should be delivered: however, these are individual circumstances which should always be judged in a Christian context, and,

WHEREAS the taking of a human life, however understandable the motive, is a serious sin directly and repeatedly forbidden by God. Even where it seems an act of mercy, such as an attempt to alleviate suffering, without sincere repentance, it will surely lead to a loss of God’s Kingdom. As Christians we acknowledge that we do not always recognize God’s will and why things happen as they do in our world. However, we have, as the followers of Christ, promised to place our trust in Him and His love for us and all mankind. This trust includes the patient acceptance of those burdens which may seem, at the time, to be unbearable.

BE IT RESOLVED that this Archdiocese, in accordance with the Tradition and theology of the Orthodox Church condemns all forms of euthanasia or “mercy killing.”

Seek Truth, Always Hope, Live Peace

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from the Seek Truth, Always Hope, Live Peace Facebook page

 

Kansas City: Reconciliation Services

St. Zosimas & St. Mary of Egypt

Here is a ministry, based on an Eastern Orthodox Christian paradigm, for the healing of the soul, our individual souls as well as our collective one, based  in Kansas City: Reconciliation Services 

Here is their Mission statement:

Revealing the strength of those we serve by providing emergency services, promoting self-sufficiency and building community.

They address the needs of persons with mental health and substance abuse issues: Reconciliation Services: Mental Health & Substance Abuse 

This ministry was initiated by the parishioners of St. Mary of Egypt Orthodox Church

icon from Fr. Ted’s Blog

Who are the ones who are disabled? by Eleni Caprio

from the St. Catherine’s Newsletter of the Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, May 2012  To access:

 http://www.assumptionchicago.org/assets/files/news/2012_Saint_Catherines_Newsletter_2_May.pdf

From the 2012 St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America,  Junior Division (Grades 7–9) Topic 1. Many times in the New Testament, we see Jesus caring about the blind, the paralyzed, and others with physical disabilities (for example, Matthew 9:2 and 9:27–29). Following Christ’s footsteps, discuss the Christian attitude toward disabled people

By Eleni Caprio

Disabilities. We know what they are, but do we really, truly know what they are? Most of the time we think of disabilities as a medically diagnosed condition that makes it difficult to function in daily life. Is this true? Certainly not. How many of us can say with a pure heart that we know what a disability is? Only one, Jesus Christ. In the bible, they define a disability as being a physical ailment, such as leprosy, blindness, or muteness. They even say that if you are a leper or are a paralytic, you have been cursed by God. This is not true. Since we are all made in God’s image, even people with disabilities look like God in a way. So why should we have the authority to say to them, “you are cursed”, or “you weren’t made in the image of God”. Neither of these statements are true, because God has never told us why people have disabilities. For all we know they could be a blessing. To show us who are the truly strong and faithful people in the world. With all the abuse and mockery they take, this could be true. In our society today, people define having a disability as having a medically diagnosed condition that makes it difficult to function in daily life. At least once in your life, you have probably been told not to stare. I’m sure the reason you were staring was because you saw a person in a wheelchair or was blind. In other words, they had a disability. Your parents have told us to be kind to them, help them and overall make their lives easier. This is how we deal with disabilities in our world today. Even us, as Christians treat them this way, as a person who needs to be looked after, who could break at the slightest touch. Our attitude, as Christians, should be to treat them as normal people. Read the bible with them. Teach them about the good news of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. To Jesus, the only people who have disabilities are the ones who don’t know about God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit. The ones who don’t believe. Now, how would you help the people who don’t believe in Christ? Would you bring them to church? Read the bible? Tell them stories of the miracles Jesus performed? If you do at least one of these for a person who does not know the good news, you are helping a disabled person. If all of us did this to one person who doesn’t know, we could get rid of all the disabilities on the earth. Disabilities. What do you think they are now? I believe that disabilities are the conditions in which you will not or cannot believe in the Holy Trinity. Thos are the people who need our help the most. So, share the bible and your faith

picture from CPAC Oakland 

St. Makarios the Great on Making no Distinctions

Christians therefore ought to strive continually, and never to pass judgment on anyone – no, not upon the harlot on the street, or upon open sinners and disorderly persons – but to regard all men with singleness of intention and purity of eye, so that it may become like a fixed law of nature to despise no one, to judge no one, to abhor no one, to make no distinctions between them. If you see a man with one eye, be not divided in your heart, but look upon him as if he were whole. If a man is maimed of one hand, see him as not maimed, the lame as straight, the palsied as whole. This is purity of heart, when you see sinners or sick people, to have compassion on them and be tender-hearted towards them. It happens sometimes that the saints of the Lord sit in theatres and behold the deceit of the world. According to the inner man they are conversing with God, while according to the outer man they appear to men as contemplating what goes on in the world.”

from Wikiquote: Eastern Orthodox Christianity 

And for more from St. Makarios the GreatSt. Makarios the Great: Called to Life  

Icon from: Love and humility transfigure the heart: St. Macarius Makarios the Great of Egypt 

Orthodox Christian Conference in May 2016: Equipping Clergy to Care for Persons with Disabilities and their Families

This conference, sponsored by Faithtree will take place at Antiochian Village in Ligonier, PA in a little more than 9 months. Here is their page for the conference: Removing Barriers Conference. The conference is for clergy. 

Dr. John Boojamra of blessed memory has written that the two crucial ingredients in the successful socialization of a child- disabled or otherwise- are 1. faithful fathers and 2. parents that love one another. In 2015 Faithtree developed a 4 week curriculum for engaging men in the Orthodox Church, entitled Lionheart.

This is a great opportunity for our Church to take steps forward in incorporating persons with disabilities into the Body of Christ and our local parish churches.


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