Pro-Life Health Care Conference Recap
''Pro-Life Health Care Conference Recap
by Phil Sevilla
A pro-life health care conference addressing end of life issues was held on Saturday, November 19th, at Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church. Over 75 people were in attendance for the all day conference. The event started with Holy Mass celebrated by Fr. Christopher Phillips, pastor of the parish followed by seven lectures at the St. Anthony Hall.
A video of a lecture by Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Rene Gracida, presented health care problems surrounding organ transplantation and "brain death". Julie Grimstad, director of Life is Worth Living, a patient advocacy organization in Texas, gave two presentations on the health care crisis in America and the critical need for informed patient advocates to assist the elderly and disabled who cannot speak for themselves.
Stephanie Block, goddaughter of Dr. Alice von Hildebrand, well-known Catholic philosopher and author, gave a thoughtful reflection on Dr. Von Hildebrand's talks and writings on the gift of redemptive suffering followed by a presentation by Mr. John Seago, a pro-life advocate and lobbyist in Austin, who informed attendees about the medical futility statutes in the Texas Advance Directive Act which according to Mr. Seago does not fairly balance patient and hospital rights and should be amended, hopefully in the next legislative session next year.
Deacon Robert Correa and Mr. Jesse Tovar spoke about their extensive service in hospice and hospital chaplaincy and the enriching experience both have been blessed with in serving the seriously sick and those in end of life situations. Mr. Tovar made an appeal of the need for more volunteers in hospital ministry.
James Keller and Cathy Campbell, both hospice nurses with extensive experience in hospice care, gave presentations on the history of the modern hospice movement which started with the charitable work of Physician, Dame Cicely Saunders, in England after WWII which spread to the U.S. a few decades later.
Mr. Keller and Mrs. Campbell shared their experiences since becoming hospice nurses and both agreed their service and work in hospice has been a rewarding and enriching experience for both of them.
The responses to the conferences have been very favorable and there is interest in continuing similar conferences and workshops within Catholic parishes and to form a patient advocacy organization in San Antonio. If you are interested in participating in organizing a patient advocacy group in San Antonio,
please let me know.
Contact: Phil Sevilla, firstname.lastname@example.org, 210-784-0518