We had a great turnout last night for our 2nd Virtual Journal Club! Thank you to everyone who joined us. The discussion was lively and very informative.

Here are some pics from the VJC!

Stay tuned, we’ll be announcing details for our next VJC soon!

Virtual Journal Club

I hope you see you at our Virtual Journal Club tonight, see details here.

Here is a list of references from tonight’s presentation

•Population prevalence of Down syndrome in England & Wales in 2011 https://www.nature.com/articles/ejhg2012294

•Perinatal Hospice – AAPLOG https://www.aaplog.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/AAPLOG-Practice-Bulletin-1.compressed.pdf

•Formal and Material Cooperation, Ethics & Medics, June 1995 https://www.consciencelaws.org/religion/religion002.aspx

•Scandal definition http://www.catholictheology.info/summa-theologica/summa-part2B.php?q=267

•Catholic Encyclopedia – Scandal https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13506d.htm

•Eugenic Abortion in Iceland https://www.cbsnews.com/news/down-syndrome-iceland/

•Prenatal screening test characteristics https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4144440/

•What Are Women Told When Requesting Family Planning Services at Clinics Associated with Catholic Hospitals? A Mystery Caller Study https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29024351/

•Dear mom with a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis https://aaplog.org/from-lauren/

“Compassion and Choices”

The ironically- (and sadly-) named pro-suicide group “Compassion and Choices” is focusing their efforts on passing Physician Assisted Suicide legislation in a number of states, including New York. They will not rest, and so we must not either!

One great organization that will help keep you abreast of developments in the are is Patients Rights Action Fund. Check them out and consider donating.

Remember, those in favor of assisted suicide are tireless and committed to nothing short of open and free access to death on demand. In their own words…

Compassion and Choices Fall Magazine

We are committed to continuing and expanding these efforts. How will COVID-19 impact our ability to authorize medical aid in dying in more states in 2021? Increased competition from issues emerging as a result of COVID-19 and greater awareness of racial inequities will make it more challenging to get any law passed in the near term. However, the unfortunate reality is that large numbers of people have and continue to suffer lonely, isolated deaths. We have seen time and time again that when people experience firsthand the inhumanity of suffering at life’s end, our support solidifies, intensifies and grows.

 This reality, along with the momentum we had coming into COVID-19 and a combined total of 50 years of experience successfully implementing medical aid in dying in 10 jurisdictions, leaves me feeling optimistic for the future. We can anticipate authorizing an average of one state per year, putting us on track to realize our strategic goal of ensuring that 50% of the population lives in a state where medical aid in dying is authorized and accessible by 2028. What states look the most promising for advancing medical aid in dying? Massachusetts lawmakers, for the first time ever, advanced their medical aid-in-dying legislation during COVID-19, voting it out of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing. We are hopeful the state will authorize medical aid in dying in the near term. In terms of the rest of the country, I will be able to answer this question with more certainty on November 3, just after the election. I anticipate lawmakers sponsoring bills in approximately 20 states where we are organizing and working alongside coalitions to move legislation forward. The political climate and grassroots support are increasingly promising in nine of those states — Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Nevada and Virginia.

 Last year, Oregon passed legislation to improve the existing bill. Do you anticipate other states following suit? Absolutely. We have conclusive data that the existing law is unnecessarily burdensome, and we will work with lawmakers in some states to begin to address this reality. Fundamental improvements include 1) the elimination of or ability for doctors to waive the waiting period for patients actively dying; 2) the inclusion of nurse practitioners and/or physician assistants as allowable practitioners; 3) a requirement that providers disclose their medical aid-in-dying policies, allowing patients to make informed decisions about where to access the care they want.

25% Off for New CMA Members

The CMA is offering a 25% discount for new members, which is a great deal! You can sign up here. (When they ask, you can tell them that our Guild President, Thomas Carroll, referred you! =))

We are also always happy to welcome new (and returning!) members to our local Guild as well! Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions…or you can just sign up!

White Mass

Thank you to everyone who joined us, whether in-person or online, for our annual White Mass this Sunday at the Cathedral! We would like to thank in particular Bishop Matano for celebrating Mass!

In these difficult times it is ever-more important to come together to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. As we continue to move through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and societal unrest the Finger Lakes Guild will continue to support our colleagues, patients, and neighbors in the Diocese of Rochester. If you would like to get involved with the Guild, please contact us here.

Finally, we would like to thank the Catholic Courier for live streaming Mass for those who could not attend in person. Their excellent coverage is here.

Peace with Dementia Rosary – Featuring Tom Carroll

I am honored, and humbled, that Matt Estrade asked me to join him recently on his Peace with Dementia Rosary Podcast! I enjoyed our conversation and I think we covered some important topics around palliative care, advance care planning, MOLST/POLST forms and more!

I also enjoyed praying the Rosary with him. What a nice model for a Catholic Podcast!

You can see the video of our conversation here, and if you’re on the go you can also check out the audio-only version on Apple Podcasts here.

Matt is a busy and productive guy! For more great content from Matt check him out on his Peace with Dementia website, YouTube channel. He is also available as a dementia coach via MyCatholicDoctor.

2021 CMA Meeting – Call for Proposals

Do you have something you’d like to share with your Catholic healthcare colleagues across the country? If so…

The Call for Abstracts to present at the 2021 CMA Annual Educational Conference (Oct 7-9) in sunny Orlando FL is out! You can see their promotional video here.

The meeting’s theme is “The Joy of Medicine,” take a look and consider submitting an abstract. If you’d like help developing an idea and/or getting it ready to submit, the Finger Lakes Guid is happy to help! You can contact us here.

The Will to Live

I think it’s fair to say that we who take care of patients at the end of their lives have seen the “will to live” (or loss thereof) drastically affect the timing of a person’s death.

This review suggests the field remains in the early stages in terms of data quality. Definitely will be interesting to keep an eye on future studies.

Guild Update

Membership Drive

It’s that time of year when we ask for your continued support of the Guild. 

First and foremost, we ask for your prayers! 

Secondly, if you feel so called, we ask you to assist the Guild financially.  Truly, any and all support, no matter how “large” or “small,” is appreciated and will be put to good use.

This can be done in a number of ways, including:

Save the date – White Mass

October 18

Bishop Matano will be presiding at this year White Mass on October 18 at the Cathedral.  We will be sending a more formal invitation soon.

Save the date – Virtual Journal Club

November 18

Our first Virtual Journal Club on August 6 was a huge success! 

The next Virtual Journal Club will be on November 18 via Zoom, details coming soon!

Guild Partners and Resources

We’ve added a new Guild Partners and Resources page to our website.  Check it out!