Bulletin – Pro-Life Movements

Daleiden team
From left, Lawyer Peter Breen, David Daleiden, Lawyer Tom Brejcha, and Sandra Merritt – Photo by Seattle Times

By Charlie Johnston

On Friday, California Superior Court Judge Christopher Hite dismissed six of the 15 charges against David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, stemming from their undercover investigation of Planned Parenthood and some of its partners, committing them to trial on the nine remaining. They will be arraigned on the remaining charges on Jan. 30 next year and then a trial date will be set, probably for sometime in the spring or early summer.

The most extensive coverage today of the ruling came from LifeSiteNews and from LifeNews. LifeSite emphasized that the case will go to trial and that up to 10 years in jail is a possible outcome. LifeNews emphasized the charges that were dropped. Though with different emphases, both sites are accurate.

I spoke to Daleiden earlier today. We had discussed the matter earlier this week. He was upbeat and excited. He texted me the following formal statement:

“Former California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris concocted this bogus, biased prosecution with her Planned Parenthood (PP) backers against undercover video reporting, and now their case is falling apart as the facts about PP’s criminal organ trafficking are revealed in the courtroom. The remaining charges under the California video recording law – the first and ONLY time it has ever been used against undercover news gatherers – will fall for the same reason that five charges were dismissed today: these were public conversations easily overheard by third parties. The real criminals are the PP leadership who sold fetal body parts from late-term abortions and weaponized the justice system to try to cover it up.”  (emphasis of “only” is mine).

I read Judge Hite’s order this afternoon. The only crime that is posited to have been committed is the violation of privacy. Hite’s order is rather agnostic on the matter, stating that in the nine remaining charges, the matter is sufficiently gray that it is for a jury to determine. All conversations were held in public places.

Judge Hite is a whole different sort of fellow than Judge William Orrick, who presided over the recent federal civil trial. While Hite is from San Francisco, he has played it straight and has no personal or business ties to PP, as Orrick does. He is not expected to order a jury that it must rule a certain way on any charges – as Orrick did to the jury in the civil case. (In fairness, any such order is strictly verboten in a criminal trial).

Some on Daleiden’s side suspect that Hite is trying to split the baby with this ruling, neither rejecting PP and the Atty. Gen’s case out of hand but sending them a signal about how much of a dog this case is by the dismissals. That makes sense. I have thought for over six months that the AG’s office is trying to find a way to make Hite the scapegoat for its crumbling case.

Over three years ago, Daleiden regarded forcing abortion doctors to testify publicly under oath as a primary goal. That goal has been accomplished in both the preliminary hearing to the criminal trial and in the civil trial. In both of these proceedings, abortionists have confirmed under oath that they were selling baby body parts for profit, in violation of the law, and that babies who survive abortion and are born alive are sometimes killed by vivisection after birth. I will guarantee you that when the indictments against PP and some of its affiliates come down from the Dept. of Justice (DOJ) investigation that has been going on for almost a year, this testimony is going to bite PP and friends in the hind end. Judge Orrick could get away with telling the civil jury that all crimes that Planned Parenthood committed that came out in the trial were irrelevant, but that does not mean there is going to be no reckoning.

Some of PP’s lawyers seemed, for a time, to be trying to get the organization to step back from the abyss. They took a moderate, conciliatory course in a seeming effort to get PP to understand that even if it prevailed through the “fix-is-in” justice in Orrick’s court or some fine legal points in the criminal court, the self-incriminating testimony of some of their employees would ultimately destroy them. The moderates were quickly aborted by PP. Any victories they gain right now are entirely pyrrhic.

I have long been in favor of having as many public forums under oath as we can. The longer PP employees and affiliates testify, the more rope they give the DOJ. I always knew that, in the civil suit, it probably has to get out of a California court before Daleiden gets an honest hearing. Even so, the case was so strong by Daleiden’s lawyers in the civil case, I was surprised at the outcome. Of course, the judge’s antics gave a ton of material for appeal. The next step is the Appeals Court in the 9th Circuit, still in California. Even so, the more time goes on, the less liberal the 9th Circuit becomes (Thanks, Senator McConnell!) It may well be the Supreme Court before Daleiden gets an even shake in that one.

In the criminal case in the state court, Judge Hite, however left his personal leanings may be, seems focused on acting to do honor to his seat on the bench, refusing to use his power to be an advocate for anyone.

I have been hoping throughout this process that Daleiden does NOT win just yet (though I would have loved a better outcome in the civil case). Every loss goes on to appeal – and gets closer to getting out of San Francisco. Meanwhile, it provides the raw material which will ultimately bring down Planned Parenthood. That is my goal.


Meanwhile, in Texas, the case of nine-month-old Tinslee Lewis will reach a new milepost next week. Cook Children’s Hospital had planned to use the horrific Texas 10-day forced euthanasia law to withdraw care from her over quality of life issues last month. As usual, it was Texas Right-to-Life (TRTL) which stepped in to get a court to halt the soft execution. (Disclosure: I am a sporadic outside consultant to TRTL). While the action was only stayed until Dec. 10, Cook Hospital has reportedly agreed to go into a formal agreement to continue care until there is a formal court hearing. This afternoon, Judge David Peeples was assigned the case, though a date for hearing has not yet been set.

Texas Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton filed a friend-of-the-court brief supporting the Lewis family and TRTL. Paxton argued that the Texas law is unconstitutional because it denies its victims any due process. This is great news, because if Paxton follows up, it may ultimately mean the revocation of this hideous law entirely. It is a great scandal to me

Tinslee Lewis
Baby Tinslee Lewis

that the Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops (TCCB) has been a major proponent of this law, twisting itself in knots to pretend it is consonant with Catholic Doctrine. Of course, the TCCB is the political arm of the Texas Bishops. Ft. Worth Bishop Michael Olson was reportedly the prime mover in getting the TCCB behind this anti-Catholic law. But Olson now has other problems as a movement to recall him as Bishop has already gained over 1,400 mandates which have been forwarded to Rome.

While many organizations talk the talk (including the TCCB) Texas Right-to-Life is a champion which always walks the walk, even when catching a lot of heat from establishmentarians for doing so. I have to give a shout-out to TRTL’s corporate counsel, Emily Cook, who is on the front lines of getting in at the early stages to put a stop to these things – and has become incredibly effective at it.

A lot of people are alive today because of the great work of TRTL. If this latest action gets the forced euthanasia law overturned, a lot more will be saved.


Astonishingly, the beatification of Fulton Sheen has been postponed at the behest of a few unnamed Bishops. Even more astonishingly, there are NO allegations that have caused this halt. It is just that certain Bishops want even more investigation on top of the exhaustive investigation prior to Beatification. Personally, I suspect the delay is because of the steadfast orthodoxy of the late Archbishop Sheen and his astonishing success as a public Catholic Evangelist. What is not so well known is that Sheen was also one of the most gifted theologians of the last century. The last thing the revolutionaries trying to change Church Doctrine want is to have extensive public re-hashing of the powerful and clear defense of the faith Archbishop Sheen was so brilliant at.

I spoke yesterday with Dr. Peter Howard, president of the Fulton Sheen Institute. Howard takes a more benign view of the matter than I do. The Atty. Gen of New York is doing an exhaustive investigation into historical abuse allegations in the state, similar to that conducted in Pennsylvania a few years ago. Howard thinks this is just an excess of caution – and things will be back on track soon.


Our own Beckita Hesse, managing editor of this site, and Fr. John B. Wang are preparing for a major evangelization effort in China next year, following the distribution of over 200,000 copies of the book, “The Holy Biography of Jesus,” throughout China this year. It is a sorrow to me that orthodox Catholics in China get more support from this little site than they get from the Vatican, which is sworn to defend both the faith and the faithful. But it makes me proud that people here soldier on to hearten the faithful and be a sign of hope.


A few suggestions for this season of giving…if you have a little extra, I hope you will think of these organizations. Every one of them is staffed in critical areas by people who are friends to me, some of them very close friends. That is both disclosure AND my way of letting you know that I know personally that any money you give will go to good use. As always, please don’t send money you don’t have – your first duty is to your family. But if you have a little extra, here are some choices for your stocking:

1) David Daleiden’s Center for Medical Progress. This is where he gets the money to continue the investigations and keep the fight going. His steadfast resolve in the face of furious attack has made him one of my dearest friends and a man I deeply admire. What wonders he has accomplished through his steady determination!

2) Texas Right-to-Life. I often say that if TRTL was half as good as it is, it would be the TWO most effective Right-to-Life organizations in the country. Jim and Elizabeth Graham, the president and vice-president have become my dear friends and close confidantes. There is no challenge too great or daunting for them when respect for life is in the balance. They cannot be intimidated, though many have tried.

3) The Fulton Sheen Institute. This one, led by Dr. Peter Howard, does not solicit donations, but makes arrangements for presentations on Fulton Sheen’s life as well as organizing retreats, pilgrimages and Parish missions. Dr. Howard also wrote one of the finest pieces on Our Lady of Guadalupe I have ever seen. We were speakers at a retreat together in the Diocese of Peoria in Illinois a few years ago.

4) The evangelization of China. This is an ongoing project that our own Beckita Hesse and Fr. John Wang hope to put into hyper-drive in the next year. I do not have an online link for donations, but you can make a check out to: Diocese of Helena, POF-China, then send it to: Fr. John B. Wang, 425 Ford St., Missoula, Montana 59801

They say that charity begins at home. Well, these are some of my homies. I hope they become yours, too.

176 thoughts on “Bulletin – Pro-Life Movements

  1. Thank you, Charlie, for ALL of this. It is SO good to receive your knowledge on these issues with the heartening and hope-filled analyses all around. I continue to feel as if we, at ASOH – and in other places and apostolates – are Christ’s Dawn in the Darkness.

    It’s not fun to suffer the temptations to fear and discouragement, as we survey the current devastating details of culture and Church, but the suffering of these things is not wasted. They must be overcome and offered as a sacrifice of reparation as we press on.

    With the evangelization project in this last year, our point man on Chinese soil, Father’s nephew who is my first Chinese godchild, Paul, traveled – with lay evangelists – in each major sector of China, making connections with Bishops, Priests and lay leaders. Everywhere they went, thousands of copies of The Holy Biography of Jesus were distributed and it is a hit. Upon returning home, Paul has continued to receive requests for more copies. One beautiful dimension of the journeys into the various regions was the inclusion of Protestant leaders among the evangelizing laity. May Jesus be known, worshipped and adored everywhere in China!

    Front cover of The Holy Biography of Jesus:

    Preparing books for shipment:

    Liked by 12 people

    1. Just so wonderful of you, Beckita and Fr Wang! Mike & I will be sure to send you two a gift of $ for these dear souls in China🤗😇😘
      I could just cry so often when I think of their people’s suffering.

      3 days per week, Michael comes home all exhausted, black with soot and aluminum grindings all over his face and clothes and I say to him, “Oh, Michael. .. are you ok?” He says to me, “Linda, believe it or not, some have it much worse.”

      My sad response is always, “Yes, in China!” 😢😢😢

      Michael has told me in China’s foundries, they don’t even have shoes. Can you imagine hot molten aluminum and no shoes.😲

      The book, Hegemon, really gives one a terriblessing and true insight to their sorrows and distress.


      Liked by 7 people

    1. Auto-correct can be fun and frustrating. One of my favorite monikers which was generated at this site via auto-correct was “Biscuits” rather than “Beckita.” “Terriblessing” has a sound of mighty awesomeness to it. 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

      1. reminds me of: Who is she that comes forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in battle array?
        She who was crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth has been given authority over our enemy.
        That is the definition of “terriblessing” 🙂

        Liked by 7 people

      1. “TerriBlessings” is the perfect word for the hard lessons that come to us and teach us to be better than we were. I think Jesus could have said, “Pick up your TerriBlessings and follow Me.” I expect to see it in the Oxford English Dictionary very soon!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Tis the Season to Be Jolly … if Ya live in Ignorant Bliss with dreams of Sugar Plum Fairies …. like 43% of BoobLand USA ;-( … maybe tomorrow I’ll feel like donning my Gay Apparel? 😉





    The “Gift” that keeps “Giving” ;-(


    We live in a Two-Tiered Just-Us System in Our USA … (& Church too!!) ;-(
    If you are Pro-Life/Family, Traditional Judaeo-Christian, Pro USA Founders Vision (Constitution/Bill of Rights), Law Enforcement, Military, voted for Trump …. and/or, of late, born White…. YOU have, literally, become an Enemy of the Democrat Party, their Media Masters and their Global Left paymasters (Soros & ilk).








    Liked by 8 people

    1. Crew Dog in “Gay” apparel–now that is an emoji that I would like to see. Steve BC, can you help make an vanity emoji for CD to that end? I’d have no idea how to start.


      1. No thanks, III. When you don’t know where to start, just start anywhere. You’ll figure it out as you go along. Go for it! Maybe we’ll all eventually have coveted III-designed avatars and emojis! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks, Charlie for this update! Ongoing prayers and I will check the coffers. I pray even my two small coins will be sufficient. 🙏🏼
    Beckita, you all are in my daily prayers and I love the photos.
    Blessed Advent to all and God bless us, everyone🙏🏼🎄📖✝️💙
    Katey in OR

    Liked by 6 people

  4. What a worthy endeavor. Indeed, may Christ be your Light to share amid the pervading darkness.
    At the conclusion of a silent retreat this fall, one of the resolutions emerged in fullest voice :”Let your ‘yes’ mean ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ mean ‘no’.” Since then, a few giving opportunities have echoed that resolve , including TRTL. Your efforts will be in my prayers. My humble monetary support will follow.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Hehehe Bisquits…lol…thanks for the first burst of laughter today…sooooo cute😂 but yes.. when I saw the “terriblessing” going into outer cyberspace and unable to pull it back…I had that same thought in my head as you that it had a “mighty awesomeness” to it as well…hmmmm🤔Beckita we think alike. ..btw…where’s mp??? Or maybe I’m just not seeing all the posts yet…crazy busy week..need a couple boring football games to catch up😂🏈🏃😉🤓🏟📱📖🙅

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Charlie..great piece per usual and great news on DD!!! I too hope it goes all the way to the Supreme Court. ..my goodness it is just nauseating what our fellows are able to do to these little helpless babies…How great is our God to send us another David for this mammoth Goliath…God must be sooooo tired of us all down here…yikes😝 The darkness we have all drawn down on ourselves is just just so sad. 😢 As crew dog says, “God save all here”and all the whole world…may we soon get our illumination of conscience. ..🙇🙏

    Liked by 6 people

  7. Delaying a move to Texas because of that law. Son’s family lives there. I’ve warned him about that law. Texas is odd. Supposed to be overwhelming Republican, Christian and pro life and yet… Houston had one of the largest abortion PP I have ever scene. It hits you in the face from the highway pass the city. And then there is this law. Can imagine what they are doing to the elderly.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Often when I am in Houston I have to travel from the center city down near where NASA is. Every time I pass that hideous abortion clinic – and shudder as I pass it. Our reader and commenter, Nan, is a regular protester outside that horrible place.

        Liked by 5 people

        1. Charlie,

          In the book Demonic Abortion by Father Eutenauer, there is a picture of the new PP Houstn facility with a comment that it looks like the temples that were used for human sacrifice in pre-Columbian Mexico.

          God bless you, Nan!

          Liked by 3 people

            1. It does look that way; I have also seen the picture. BUT, sorry, folks. It used to be Sperling Bank. It is shaped and colored like a giant cash register! Also highly appropriate for PP.


      2. It is THE largest, bar none. It is even the largest KNOWN abortion center in the world. Not the most “active,” the numbers are down, and the hours are shorter than they were. However, it may well be the most evil. Below the ground floor, they “process” the babies. third floor is abortions. Alone that floor may be the lergest square footage devoted to killing in the world. Fifth floor is a phone bank where before elections they become the largest Dem call center/propaganda machine in the USA. Sixth or seventh floor is hotel suites for visiting “doctors” to live while they learn the trade. GRRR. BTW, they also do sex changes, hormone stuff, vasectomies, as well as “run-of-evil-mill” birth control.

        Liked by 3 people

    1. “Demography is destiny.” Immigration, both legal and illegal, is the death knoll for our Constitutional Republic. It is likely that those who vote Republican will be a nationwide minority within two decades. There needs to be a moratorium on even legal immigration until we get a handle on the laws as well as a return to the ability to assimilate diverse people from diverse cultures. We need to reexamine just who can meet the standards for citizenship like we once did.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Amazing how their monstrous crimes are coming out under oath in numerous testimonies. I can’t believe how this is unfolding. Just when I thought this case was lost and over it appears these demonic idiots are unknowingly confessing to the very crimes Daleiden was investigating in the first place.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. It is amazing, isn’t it? They think they will be okay because the establishment media covers for them – but testimony under oath, no matter how much the idiot media tries to hide it, is a deadly thing. Sometimes I think I ought send them a card – “you hear that fluttering sound that keeps getting louder? That’s your chickens coming home to roost.”

      Liked by 10 people

  9. Hey ya’ll the video is going around these days of Fr. Michel Rodrigue…It is about the warning coming. Sort of like you, Charlie, since he was 3 God spoke with him. He is youngest child of 23..his mom is amazing. .lol..from Quebec I think. Most of my people came here from Quebec. .my heritage..not important but sort of cool…lol…does anyone know anything more about his talk?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Anyways I don’t think Fr Michel is legit …Desmond took a look at it and it appears he’s saying things that will only happen at major tribulation b4 antichrist. ..also, he couldn’t find his bishop to be Roman catholic…sorry..I will be more careful in future…we are blessed to have Charlie and Desmond 🤗😇😘


  10. YUP …. may the Prez pull it off ……………


    I’m guessing that we, who care to look, will find many things Old & New, & soon, that will reinforce the existence of God and His plan…. AMEN!




    A quote from a regular @ MILINET. His thoughts could easily apply to a Pro-Life/Family/Trump, …Ya Know … ANYONE who does NOT support the Agendas of the Left and has the temerity to defend themselves, their families, neighbors and/or their long held beliefs:
    “Major – The scary thing is this could happen to anyone. You are the wrong color, gender, sex preference and you’re attacked by a favored color, gender, sex preference and God help you if kill or seriously injure the person in the encounter.
    The media complex will descend upon you, destroy your life, incite others to attack or kill you, fire you, isolate you.”







    Liked by 4 people

  11. Happy and Blessed Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception to All! Special prayers for you for all this day means to you, Charlie.

    May this glorious feast be filled with Our Lady granting grace upon grace upon grace to each of us, our families and the USA. Thanks be to God for those American Bishops gathered in 1846 who consecrated the US to the Immaculate Conception!

    Soon, and very soon, may Our Lady of America be processed into the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and ensconced in a prominent place where she can be venerated and implored to do just what she has promised to do for this country which BELONGS TO HER. It does NOT belong to the dark side, although certain people – in need of our prayers for conversion – have been tools of Our Mother’s adversary with the gall to attempt taking over Mary’s Land. Calling St. Michael the Archangel to defend us in battle, to be our protection…. In other words, at the hands of St. Michael and his warring hosts, in Jesus Name, Go Michael Go! Send those wicked spirits back where they belong for America is the Immaculada’s turf!!!

    Liked by 11 people

    1. Love that first picture, especially, Beckita. Have a framed copy of it near me as I write. By Murillo?

      I would humbly ask prayers for Tuesday’s cataract surgery; I’m so nervous. The greatest fear is having to hold my eye still, even though it’s numbed. The devil is really attacking me about this! I keep repeating the Scripture St. Athanasius said causes demons to flee, “Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered, let them that hate Him flee from His holy face.”
      Prayers for all of you!

      Liked by 8 people

      1. This picture is different from Murillo’s, Annie, and I’m not sure who the artist is. I pray for peace for you. I was a cataract prodigy. Had both eyes done when I was only 58. Father waited til he was 91 and, for each of us it was a piece of cake. Really. Super easy surgery and I can hardly wait for you to report back about the new vista of this world of color you’ll be more clearly seeing.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Annie w I will pray for you today, tomorrow and Tuesday. ..no worries though .I’m soon to have to have it done too…lol…I’m like…no wait..I’m 57…Dr was like…18 year Olds have to roo sometimes… my mom in law had it done then she could see without glasses…my mom had it done at 86..she didn’t seem bothered by it at all… hang in there kiddo🤗😇😘 God will give you the grace

        Liked by 5 people

    2. Beckita, I endorse your sentiments completely.

      But I have to say, no offense intended, that for some reason I believe the iconography as depicted in the artwork above does not do true justice to the Queen of Heaven and of Earth. Personally, I don’t see Mary this way at all. Smart, decisive, disciplined, powerful in intellect, determined, and as simply as I can state it — tough as nails. A formidable adversary of Satan. A woman poised and unafraid to put her foot on the snake’s head and crush it with a decisive blow. A great leader of vast armies of angels and human minions of God.

      It seems to me that all of that part of her nature and personality profile — a seeming prerequisite of the job of Queen of Heaven and of Earth — is hidden beneath the representations of gentleness, sweetness, empathy, kindness, mercy and love that is the traditional artistic rendering of a woman who has appeared in many forms to many visionaries throughout the ages. The “Beautiful Lady”.

      I know that Mary appears in a way that individuals around the world can relate to. The manner in which Mary in her role as Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to Juan Diego is a good example of that mo.

      A different style of artistic presentation more nearly conforms to my way of thinking about Mary as the Divine Savior’s regent, protector, educator, mentor and confidant is more like a combination of Ann Bancroft in her role of Mary Magdelene in the movie Jesus of Nazareth and Maia Morgenstern in her role as Mary in the movie The Passion of Jesus.



      Perhaps I would add in a touch of St Mother Teresa of Calcutta for good measure.


      Curious how others see Mary.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No offense taken, Ed. 🙂 Let’s face it. NO image on earth can capture the FULLNESS of Grace that our Mother is. Still, it’s delightful to view the efforts of artists who ponder, pray and create as they are led. And when it comes to actual apparitions, I know that there is purpose each time in how she presents herself to the receiver. I will add, the mystics to whom she has appeared and that mystic has gone on to work with artists to re-create what the mystic saw are usually extremely disappointed with the results even after the image has been tweaked, again and again and again. (St. Faustina had such a struggle with the paintings of Divine Mercy.) I think I would die of joy at a mere glimpse of our Mother!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Gosh I screwed up the link to images of Maia Morgenstern from Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ. Here it is I hope.


          I agree with you about the challenge presented to artists trying to capture the essence of Mary. Almost impossible. I think it is particularly difficult for film actresses who are subject to such much criticism for failing to “get it” just right.

          BTW, I understand that Mel Gibson’s sequel is going to examine the Resurrection up to the Ascension including the 3 days Jesus spent harrowing out hell. Jim Caviezel and Maia Morgenstern are going to reprise their roles from the earlier film. Can’t wait to see what Mel Gibson’s conception of what went on in Hell for those 3 days looks like. I bet it is going to be good.


  12. President Trump has recently proposed a rule change to the Obama era rule of not allowing faith based agencies like Catholic Charities continue adoption and foster care services. These agencies based their policy on the image of the Holy Family, that is one mother and one father. The rule change would restore past precedent of freedom of religion as enshrined in the Constitution.
    You can add your support of this rule change at the following sites. Your input of support of the bill is important to drown out the anti religion, anti first amendment atheists.


  13. I saw Bany Tinsley’s picture and wonder if she has been brought out of her paralysed state and is alert now or was that an old picture from when? Has she improved? Charlie, what is her condition now? Thank you for your Charity ideas!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I just double-checked. Tinslee is conscious – not in a coma or paralyzed. She is often sedated. Her condition is not life-threatening – and even the hospital concedes she could live a long life with proper medical care. This decision was based solely on arbitrary “quality of life” matters. There is a lot going on in the legal sphere on the matter this week – and I will update you as it develops. Thanks for your prayers.

      Liked by 7 people

      1. Great column, Charlie. Thanks for the update.

        Beckita, Pat Flanigan, and Charlie, I have a lot of books that I must attend to , but one that has particularly piqued my interest is Nicholas Diat’s A TIME TO DIE published by Ignatius Press. Pat, you remember the book you gave me on devotions for the dying. This book is a good ancillary to that. There are many quotes from monk’s throughout the book, but these jumped out at me:

        P41: “The Father Abbot of En-Calcat had always believed it was not right to struggle to keep a very elderly person alive: ‘If a monk allows himself to be dragged into this game, he loses the meaning of his religious profession, which consists in the knowledge that we owe our lives to Another.’ Dom David does not trust a system where medicine alone gives meaning to life. ‘Where is God in these complex mechanisms?’ He [Dom David] is afraid of this transfer from the divine to medical power.”

        P53: “By relentlessly repairing the living, like robots, we will end up in tatters. When we put a pacemaker in a brother with Alzheimer’s disease, we are caring for the heart in order to prolong the disease of the brain.”

        p80: “…the tyranny of ever-increasing medications punctuated his days.”

        P127: “…the latest medical advances risk leading to the theft of death. The excess of painkillers plunges the sick into nebulous states that cut them off from the moment they are going to experience…. The response of the monks is simple: men of God do not want to hasten death. They prayed their whole life to live this moment fully…. Hospitals must remain places where we feel safe. Certainly medicine saves lives. But we have to watch out for ideological abuses.”

        P129-30: “Dom Thevenin is amazed to see how little modern deaths resemble those of the past: ‘ The monks are men of their times and they are better cared for than their predecessors. Diseases that once rapidly led to death in our time willingly take on a chronic guise. What is especially new is the refusal to look death in the face. We would like to forget it and avoid all the sufferings and anxieties that go with it.’ For a monk death must be available. It is the last act of life and the first step in the adventure of eternity. The offering can only be conscious … Fontgombault considers continuous and heavy sedation … unacceptable and immoral….a deep and continuous sedation associated with the withholding of food and water … is a form of euthanasia that the artifice of wording cannot conceal.”

        The monks are not against pain killers, but they do raise questions to pray over. Pat, as a society, we need to recover the concept of a holy, heathy, happy death.

        Liked by 3 people

  14. As I understood it, she will always need help in being able to breath and the sedation is to keep her from pulling out her tubes and keeping her pulmonary hypertension from getting worse. Is it possible for her to get a heart and lung transplant? Pulmonary hypertension is also a large problem in her case I understand. Will she need to constantly be hospitalized as has been the case?

    I love reaching out to those in China; Father Wang and Beckita, so much good can come out of that; What if the country can become like their neighbor and stop controlling them! What good is done to get rid of Communism! Reaching out along with prayers- Amen

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I read portions of the IG report… No Probable Cause. Fruits of the Poinsonous Tree. Any criminal prosecution/case arising from this investigation shall be thrown out.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. The priest starting listing off what constitutes a sin durring Sunday mass, my poor brain trying to rationalize & simplify the massive list of do nots, must dos, & ommisions could only come to the conclusion that every act, thought, & word without God & Christ pretty much constitutes a sin…

    It seems pretty tough to focus on God every moment of every day, when the world we live in does such a efficient job of pulling us away from a God centered mindset. I this is all the more reason to shut out popular worldly distractions and fill our heads with things of Christian faith.


    1. There’s volumes of information on the causes & consequences of sin, but what is sin?

      SIN is simply the rejection, denial, and separation from he who created us “God”. God alone is the source of all goodness & truth and we cannot produce anything remotely good without God.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Al,
        Sin gets its power from the law. No law-no sin.
        There are “created” and “natural” laws.
        Personal sin originates from pride then transforms to selfishness and disobedience. All other sins flow from there. The law exposes this in us. It is a window into our souls condition showing us it’s varying degrees of imperfection. Most sins are the results of seeing ones “flaws” and then rejecting to “fix” them (or at least rejecting to accept that they need fixing; i.g. “I’m only human”; “It’s only natural”; “Don’t judge me”, etc).
        The separation is the rejection of the ultimate good we should be/embrace and is like the satan’s saying “I will not serve” in our refusal to change which takes a humble self-examination and our surrender to serve our Lord and Master. “He who loves me follows my commandments” (laws).(John 14:21).

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yep, that’s part of the volumes that is known. It’s a little hard to process & consider volumes of information in a split second when a sin can occur, quite often there’s also the blindness of ones faults, of God’s existence, as a person drawn into a event they aren’t prepared for nor considered the consequences.


          1. We are told to “avoid the occasion of sin”. By this we reduce the “surprise” of being caught in a position where we need to make that quick decision whether to sin or not to sin.
            Also, by making virtue a “habit” we reduce the inclination to sin accidentally since we become habitual in our virtuous acts and thoughts.
            The other shield is grace. As we grow in virtue we increase the “hedge” of protection around us from above who has promised this to us.
            Of course, times of testing are like fence mending trips on the ranch. You rattle the fence hard to check it’s strength (self examination) against an invader or would-be escapee. You do this whether the fences need mending or not because a downed fence leads to all kinds of losses and the potential of an enemy entering the ranch. And you redouble the effort after a storm when the chance of damage is most probable from the storms rage showing the areas of inherent weakness in the fenceline.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Nice thought put into the topic, virtues are a must for sure. Avoiding the occasion of sin usually isn’t a major problem these day for most people, the main problem is usually the sins of a diseased society comes looking for everyone who isn’t equally diseased. Grace is only useful if a person is aware, seeking, and wanting of God’s grace in that moment; I find Charlie’s point from a while back as viewing God as an ever present audience as a helpful focus when we pressed for time in the heat of the moment.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. You are correct Phillip in saying sins are a result of pride. Virtues are not as simple as acquiring through personal effort, as any true virtue must have it’s roots in humility, and humility begins with the honesty & acceptance that we are nothing without God & absolutely everything we have is a gift from God. Before the devil said “I will not serve” he probably also said “I am like God” & “I don’t need God”. Pride isn’t so easily done away with, even if a person says “I will serve God”, the need for recognition from others even God is still a aspect of Pride, people’s desire for praise for their efforts is still pride, it seems harmless at first until it’s roots grow long & deep in us. The greatest treasure in Heaven isn’t praise, recognition, a crown of glory, nor even Heaven itself; the greatest treasure in Heaven is God. Every journey needs a starting point, as we refine our understanding of our fallen natures. We must always magnify the Lord our God above ourselves, when we loose sight of God, pride is taking deeper root in us.


        2. I can see the merit in Charlie’s point (from a while back) that “God is the only audience observing us that matters”, if we can focus on the fact we’re being observed, then when we’re being tested in one of life’s many trials we can take the next step and ask God for the grace to deal with that trial lest we fall short and sin by rejecting, denying, or separating ourselves from from God & his will in our moment of weakness & incompetence. Part of being humble is recognizing that we need God, we humble ourselves by serving God’s will.


  17. Jim, I will also read that book; in the future of high tech medicine, we will need to remember “We are from ashes and to ashes we shall return.” My mother was kept alive and sedated for three months because with her Atrial Fib. she would have had a heart attack or a stroke again; she wouldn’t eat or drink hardly anything and was asking for my sister who had never left home and was in charge of her care; The hospital had a long term facility so when insurance stopped paying they transferred her to long term and then back to acute hospital setting. At 83 she had a hysterectomy for ? CANCER; IT TURNED OUT SHE HAD AN ABSCESS, not cancer and the surgery caused a fistula which had to be repaired. Finally my sister was told she needed to go on hospise so she had a stomach tube put in which got infected right away and she died in several weeks. I had been against the first surgery because of her condition already. During her 2 weeks in hospise she was no longer sedated and said to me “I didn’t have cancer.” Years before my mother had said when I go I want to go like my Aunt when my time comes. She had good insurance which the hospital took advantage of in her case.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. I’ve been thinking all day that it’s unusual for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception to be celebrated on December 9 ~ but this year it’s because December 8 falls on Sunday. It happens to be the same day that the long-awaited U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General report on FISA abuse during the 2016 presidential campaign and into President Trump’s presidency was issued.

    Not surprisingly, some of the MSM and others are in full spin cycle to downplay the findings. The findings are actually significant. Here are official links to some key documents for you to review, including the full report:

    Link to Inspector General’s Report: “Review of Four FISA Applications and Other Aspects of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane Investigation,” issued December 9, 2019:

    Click to access 120919-examination.pdf

    Link to Statement by Attorney General William P. Barr on the Inspector General’s Report of the Review of Four FISA Applications and Other Aspects of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane Investigation:


    Link to Statement of U. S. Attorney John H. Durham:


    O, Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee.

    Liked by 5 people

  19. Judical Watch is so good! They know that George Soros has been to Ukraine and is also involved in Russia with the Dems- as well as the whistleblower. $100s of millions have been used of our taxpayer money to fund “Open Society Foundation” along with money supporting open borders Dem- candidates.

    Liked by 5 people

  20. The only real way to put an end to abortion is defeat Liberalism & Socialism (it’s causes), otherwise we’re just treating the symptoms of a problem that won’t go away.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. As Our Lady Queen of Peace has repeatedly said: Pray for those who do not know how much God loves them. Evangelize in thought, word and deed that we become the visible Jesus to all around us… and beyond, if called to go beyond our many and varied locales.

      Liked by 4 people

  21. In honor of today’s feast of Our Lady of Loreto.; (From Catholic Tradition):

    The Loreto Pope Who Was Miraculously Cured

    “Pope Pius IX, who was beatified along with Pope John XXIII during the year 2000, had a special devotion to Our Lady of Loreto and with good reason. As a youth in Piceno, Italy he went annually with his mother to Loreto. When he was small he fell into a stream, after which he was frequently tortured with fatigue and fever. The doctors were unable to pinpoint the cause. He was a bright student but his future became clouded with epilepsy seizures. Upon leaving the seminary, he visited his close friend, Pope Pius VII, who comforted him with this wisdom: “God is mysterious. He throws down to raise up. He throws into the gutter the ones He wants to lift to the stars. Above the wildest storms gleams the Star of the Sea. Renounce yourself and place yourself in the hands of the Madonna. Call out to her ‘save me!’ The Virgin of Nazareth is your future.” The young man went to Loreto with this prayer on his lips: “Mother, behold your child—–sick, miserable, useless. I am the shame of my family and disgust to myself. I dedicate myself to you—–save me. Immaculata, make me clean!”
    He was cured and with the Pope’s approval he returned to the seminary and became a priest, then archbishop of Spoleto, and eventually Cardinal of Imola. The conclave of 1846 elevated him to the papacy and he assumed the name of Pius IX. In 1854, he proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, thus officially inaugurating the Marian Era. During Vatican Council I he promulgated the definition of Papal Infallibility. As Pope he visited this his favorite shrine seven times.”

    Liked by 4 people

      1. CD, that’s wonderful to know b/c of our family’s aviators. In all my many years I never heard that. My late father was an aviator, my husband, and our son too. I know of miracles that saved each of their lives! During the first Gulf War, as I prayed for our son, I had a vision of Mary’s mantle covering the whole area. There was definitely a miracle as a missile just missed his helicopter, and he was carrying the Eucharist to others!
        God bless our troops everywhere!

        Typing through my eye patch 🙂 Surgery went well, thank you so much for prayers!


  22. STUDIES: When highly developed cultures undergo sexual revolution and license they collapse with monotonous regularity within three generations

    Posted on 9 December 2019 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf
    “I am posting this mainly for bishops and priests to read over and ponder… There is a lot of food for thought here.
    Please share!”


    (Edit: San San, it is a great piece. For us all: Rather than copying long articles in their entirety, it is better to share quoted segments and/or direct our readers to the original piece with a link, thus, I have removed the entire article and provided a link to the original piece.)

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Such a sobering, realistic and frightening article.
      I’m glad we’re hearing more about it.
      On Dec 3 VICTURA98 also posted about the same article as Fr Z in the previous post The Season Begins.
      I remember reading that Jesus told Luisa Piccarreta, Little Daughter of the Divine Will that
      evil will exhaust itself.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. The Catholic Church believes in a natural death but not necessarily an extraordinary means of keeping a person alive. Prudential judgement should weigh the pros and cons: constant sedation is a con I would think.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Catholic Church does NOT believe that third parties who have no relation to the person should have unappealable life and death power over individuals who are not mortally ill – nor even those who are. That is left to the patient and their next of kin. I understand the point you are making Mary Anne and I am sure there is a brutally hard personal story involved in it. We have hard choices sometimes, but it is for the family. In the last week of my Mother’s life, she asked that my Sister (who we had designated would have final word on such decisions) discontinue the feeding tube. My sister chose to honor her wishes – and though I had misgivings, I supported that decision. I understand these are hard cases. Notwithstanding that, this is a situation of a hospital deciding, contrary to the family’s wishes, that the girl must die, even as it acknowledges her condition is not life-threatening. The decision was unappealable, except to the courts – and the hospital has the power to refuse to let the little girl be taken to another facility that would treat her. Also, I did NOT say constant sedation; I said frequent sedation.

      I respect whatever opinions you might have as to very hard cases. But your gentleness makes you seeming to be endorsing the idea that neither the patient nor the family should have control over those decisions, but rather a bureaucrat with unappealable power of life and death over all of us. I really don’t think that is what you mean at all, but just speak candidly without rancor on the ramifications and the heart-aches of these decisions. If you actually do think such decisions should be entirely taken out of the hands of the patient and family, please say so, and then we will honestly and vigorously disagree. Rather, I think you want to make some points about how the emotions can get the better of judgment sometimes – and what criteria we should use in making such decisions for ourselves and loved one.

      Liked by 5 people

        1. I know it’s a pain when Word Press difficulties arise, Diane. When clicking on the MENU bar at the right hand top of this page, the menu list appears and you can scroll down to click on: “Answers to Techie Questions” for help.


        2. DianeBelvs, yes, one other person said they were having the same problem. I’m not sure what is going on. Be sure you are logged into your WordPress account first and have the black ribbon across the top of the page. I recommend reloading the page to make sure all is set right, and then try to Like a comment again.

          If you still can’t Like after all that, it is possible that the cookie(s) that WP and this site have set have become corrupted. Your browser’s preferences will have a prefpane that allows you to find any cookie related to WordPress or ASoH, at which point you can select that cookie and delete it. Then go back to Charlie’s site and log into WordPress using a Reply comment area (click on the blue “W” icon) and log into WP. Then reload the page to get the black ribbon, and try to Like a comment again. I’m hoping that will work.


          1. SteveBC, I have had some issues liking and posting too. It is usually late in the evening. Because it is late in the month/year my guess is that WP may be performing system updates and/or revamps, so I simply waited until the morning and it was fine.

            ***Patrick, I have offered a prayer for Berta.

            Ha, when all else fails, reboot and when the car makes noises, turn up the radio. I know, not very scientific, but surprisingly enough it works on occasion! 😀

            Liked by 1 person

  24. In your response, Charlie, you are assuming that I seem to forget the family, and that has never been the case. My career as an R.N. was always trying to put the patient and family wishes first. Yes, we had an ethical committee who had to get involved in some instances; so many hospitals have aggreed with Cook Childrens and said they can not do any more for Baby Tinsley as they tried to get her transferred. I stand by my words, not the words you use to describe me!


    1. I wasn’t trying to insult you, Mary Anne. But you have evaded the central question: who should decide? Do you believe that a third party should have the final decision? I am not characterizing you…I am asking you. If the answer is yes, then we do have a huge disagreement. But I won’t know that until you answer the question.

      And you assume too much when you say no other hospital will take Tinslee. Take care, lest you be surprised that your assumption turns out to be false.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. To be sure, Mary Anne, you have made many contributions here and I respect your expertise. I think you are a little defensive here. If you do think that there are times when a third party should take precedence, I won’t jump all over you. I would like to hear what circumstances you think would justify that and what safeguards you would put in place to prevent abuse of the process you describe and to prevent the bureaucratic creep that constantly amasses power beyond what was originally imputed to it.

        Catholic doctrine does not allow for the involuntary withdrawal of routine care – including hydration, nutrition, and pain medication. So that is not the issue here.

        Liked by 2 people

  25. T.R.T.L. can sometimes be extreme in what they want and in this case I feel it is extreme unless Tinsley could live her remaining life without needing full respiratory and cardiac support; she has a rare heart defect, chronic lung disease, and severe chronic pulmonary hypertension; more than 20 hospitals in the U.S.A. HAVE BEEN CONTACTED to take over her care and so far all have said further care was futile. Yes, I can leave it up to the experts in Tinsley’s case and the ethics commitee looks at the pros and cons; Isn’t it true that this baby has never been able to be out of the I.C.U. any day of her life and she has to be almost constantly sedated which is so sad? All cases should be looked at individually! I have so many cards and letters that patient’s have sent me because of my compassion and caring work I have done in helping save lifes and I have received awards for going above and beyond always; I was a clinical nurse of a 67 bed hospital floor at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis and was asked to be a head nurse but declined because I wanted more time with my own future children. No more debating with you on this case as I am comfortable with what I have said. The ethics committees of hospitals are no ” bureaucratic creeps” or they wouldn’t have been selected for that position!


    1. Just an observation, Mary Anne. I noticed that Charlie carefully distinguished between speaking to the issue of who actually makes the decisions about patient care. I also noticed he affirmed you, your work and your contributions here. Wherever the discussion goes from here, as I have read along with yours and Charlie’s thoughts, the topic of discussion was never about you personally. And that’s a critical distinction for all of us in our discussions as we talk about hard things. One final thought: I have heard people tell their personal stories of having been denied input once “authorities” have taken over the decision-making. It’s real and it happens in this country. Sounds like you had a different experience with the ethics committees with whom you worked in the days of your career.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Mary Anne, I have no doubt you are a very good, dutiful and compassionate nurse. I am very aware of the many hard cases out there, for which there are not easy answers.

      It is ethical for me to disclose those entities with which I sometimes consult and also with whose principals I have a close relationship. But when I write that, it is not just to disclosure. With such entities, I am also often privy to confidential information (including legal documents) I cannot disclose in what I publish. Much of the information you print here is correct, but some is not – and at least one piece is wildly incorrect. It sounds like you have been briefed in on the spin that Cook’s Hospital is trying to sell to mitigate this PR nightmare. Now I know that whatever side I work with occasionally has its own spin – which is why I check (and often insist upon) actual documentation to make sure I am on the right track.

      You cite your experience with ethics panels. Mine is different than yours – and, no doubt, not nearly as extensive. But I have had four encounters with hospital ethics panels in which I was a participant, either as a principal or an active consultant. In each of these cases, the ethics panels WERE bureaucratic creeps. It happened in three different venues – Illinois, Texas and California. I am rather inclined to think your experiences were genuinely different – most probably because you were an actual participant. And that gets us to the brutal criteria of how to establish policy in this.

      When legislation was less emotionally driven, legislators and their counselors often said that, “hard cases make bad law.” A key rule of my type of person was to never make the success of a process primarily dependent on the goodwill of those who carry out the process. Human nature being what it is, you will get wildly different results. In some panels, if you have a few members who are firmly grounded in traditional religious ethics, people will get a just result. In those that are not so grounded, you will get a result that is almost purely geared towards justifying the self-interest of the deciding organization. Unless you come up with a system that has adequate checks on venial panels, your system is worthless.

      You make a judgment on this case (with what I am certain is, at least, some seriously flawed information), but you avoid dealing with the larger policy issue of who decides AND under what circumstances the decision can be taken out of the hands of the patient or the next of kin. Even though I am inclined to think those panels you were involved with were sound – largely because of your presence – the assertion that such panels are generally solid is unfounded, a mere assertion by you.

      In this case (and all cases in hospitals in Texas), the hospital is given unappealable authority and for any reason it chooses. The only effective check on that power is that of negative public relations and those cases that can be brought before the court. In most such cases, it is in the hospital’s financial interest to terminate all care. Once they have made that decision, it is in their further interest to keep any other facility from taking the patient – for if they are wrong, it becomes a huge black eye for them. The Texas law solves this problem by letting hospitals REFUSE to transfer a patient even if another facility agrees to a transfer and to provide care. In every case I have been even peripherally involved in the offending hospital has said that no one else would accept the patient. We always found one that would – but that could be because of the negative publicity already generated. But in two I have been involved with – one directly – before the controversy arose there were already facilities that had offered to provide care…and hospital officials lied about it until we proved the lie in court.

      You are of good will, but the advice you offer is based on the idea that all hospital ethics panels are exclusively occupied by people of good will. I know that is not true. So until you offer a system that protects a patient’s rights if the hospital is NOT of good will, you have no system at all that will ever protect anyone’s rights. That is not sound policy. You acknowledge that sometimes it is best to end things – and I readily concede that is sometimes true. But your policy prescription gives no one any right to effectively challenge such a third-party decision, which ultimately means no one can have any control over their own life or death except depending on how much of a public stink they can raise. You have faith and experience that such experts will always be of good will. My experience is contrary to that – so until you come up with a system that does not just leave everything in the hands of the experts you trust and I don’t, we won’t agree. I will stand with the “extreme” folks at TRTL who, when they err, do so on behalf of patient autonomy than on trust in unaccountable experts.

      Liked by 3 people

  26. Beckita and Charlie, I realize that this was not about me but my background and information shows that I am not one who would say what I did without careful thought; It was why I brought it up and I wouldn’t want what I said to be transferred to any other case.


  27. Each case is so different and I have seen what is on the radio and the TV about this case as I live in Dallas County. Just a half hour ago they showed a picture of Tinsley Lewis on Channel 11; she did not look alert, her eyes were closed, and she seemed to have uncontrolled movement like a seizure. A Catholic radio host even said he agreed with the hospital. Cook Childrens wouldn’t have had her in the hospital her entire life and only now want to discontinue life support if she hadn’t suffered respiratory arrest in early July and they feel she had no chance to get better and was suffering; they haven’t prevented her from being taken to another accepting hospital. I have based all I have said about Tinsley on secondhand information from radio and TV.

    I have never served on an ethics committee but have been an employee of Baylor and Barnes who both had them and I only personally knew some on Baylor’s committee who were outstanding Doctors. Barnes is among the top hospitals in the U.S. and I had full confidence in their ethics committee when I was there.


    1. Mary Anne, you are a valued member of this community. I appreciate and respect that you have the guts to give your honest take on this, even as we deeply disagree. God bless and keep you – and keep chiming in when it seems right to you.

      Liked by 2 people

  28. The Judge has been hearing testimony today from a Dr. and a nurse and T.R.TL.; the Dr. and nurse say it is hopeless for Tinsley and she is in pain, the family says it should be their decision, and T.R.T.L. says it might not be so hopeless. May the decision be what’s best for the Tinsley I pray!


    1. The Judge granted the Temporary Injunction. Tinslee is safe now until January 2nd, when there will be another hearing. The hospital has changed its argument. A few weeks ago it said things were NOT hopeless for Tinslee, that she could live for a very long time. It did say she has a lot of pain, so maybe you or the hospital mean it is hopeless that her pain can be managed well.


  29. Thank you for your excellent Pro-Life blog today. We are praying for David against the Giant PP Goliath. David Will bring down PP with these court cases I believe!

    Liked by 2 people

  30. The Judge was very thoughtful and extended Tinsleys life; the family can have the Holidays with her until the next hearing. The Dr. and nurse mean well and they both have an oath they took. Again, what will the future hold; shell we extend a gravely ill person’s life when it is an existance only or help the 5-10 persons who have a much better prognosis. The diseases she was born with are too hard for anyone to overcome without a miracle; the hospital has been there for her and her care has been so good even the family has said. A relative who did most of the talking said several weeks ago that they wanted to give that “very tiny smidgen of hope” which she showed with her fingers. She has had 3 surgeries and has been on a ventilator sinse early July; she had been paralysed by her sedation which they were trying to wean her off of. I did hear she has never been out of the I.C.U. Charlie ,all the people who decide in hard, hard situations should get our prayers as I don’t see them as you do.


    1. Mary Anne, I don’t have a medical background as do you; but I spent a ton of time in hospitals with my mother (over a 20-year period) and my daughter. With all due respect, it seems to me that you are asking the wrong question: “[S]hall we extend a gravely ill person’s life when it is an existence only or help the 5 – 10 persons who have a much better prognosis?” To me, the relevant question is, “Should doctors and/or panels of other professionals be able to effectively end a patient’s life without the consent of, or over the objections of, the patient and/or the patient’s family?” Frankly, I do not believe that the answer to that question should ever be yes, no matter what the patient’s prognosis.

      Another question raised by your question is this: What does “when it is an existence only” mean? My mother, after 2 strokes (one at age 49 and one at 59) was paralyzed on her right side, unable to read or write or talk, nearly blind, and unable to care for herself. Many people would have said that her life was an “existence only.” But she, and we her family, believed otherwise. We know a couple whose 6-year-old son has Trisomy 18. He can do nothing for himself. He cannot sit, roll over, feed himself, talk, use a toilet, anything. Many would consider his life to be “existence only.” But he is a child who knows that he is deeply loved by his family, and who appears to value the life that he has. So, who gets to decide if somebody else’s life is “existence only”? An outsider might summarily conclude that John Doe’s life is an “existence only,” while John and his family believe that he has a happy and fulfilled life. In short, why should anybody other than the patient or the patient’s family be able conclude that the patient’s life is not worth continuing, and be able to take steps that will end that life if the patient or his/her family wishes to continue it?

      I’m grateful that the judge has given Tinsley another reprieve. I wholeheartedly agree with you that we should all pray for the people who are in a position to decide whether to end the life of a patient who wants to live, or whose family wants him/her to live. But I believe it is a travesty to legally empower those people to be in that position in the first place.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Obviously, I completely agree with you, Mick. The question of what should be done in a particular situation is a completely different one than whether any group of bureaucrats should have unappealable power of life and death over anyone regardless of the wishes of the patient or their next of kin. If you can reconcile yourself to the idea that there should be no patient autonomy, that we do not have the right to determine these decisions for ourselves – and then use emotional grounds of a particular case to justify that, WITHOUT setting up any safeguards, than you are consenting to a brutal form of tyranny.

        I am saddened to tell you that the Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops (TCCB) weighed in on this with an amicus brief. They say they fully support the Texas forced euthanasia law saying that the current system is a “balanced dispute resolution process that respects patient dignity and healthcare provider conscience.” The TCCB constantly talks about “healthcare provider conscience” to excuse its support of this law. Of course, supporting conscience protections would mean not forcing healthcare providers to provide care they think is futile – and giving patients adequate time to find another facility who will. But this law allows these healthcare providers to decide the patient must die and prevent them from going anywhere else that would care for them. Translated, the TCCB’s position on this is that the doctors here are experts who say the baby should die, so the heck with the parents – kill the baby. As a group, I hold the Texas Bishops to be the worst in the country and downright heretical in their obfuscation over this law. If they demanded an appeals process and an adequate time for a patient to find an alternate facility, I still would not be happy, but it would no longer be an heretical position – and they wouldn’t have to tie themselves up in knots trying to pretend that what is contrary to Catholic doctrine is actually Catholic doctrine.

        There may come a time in my life when my situation is hopeless and I should receive palliative care rather than long-term care. I pray that I and any of my family who might be forced to make decisions are wise in hard times. But I will NEVER support the notion that a panel of experts should have unappealable authority to decide I must die for my own good – and in Texas, hospitals have that authority over anyone who is in a hospital for any reason or for no reason.

        Liked by 4 people

      2. I will not explain why, in my experiences with death, I disagree so much with this statement: ” …what will the future hold…” which is then followed by a statement about the worst possible outcome and then a final solution rooted in despair. Why are some patients deemed worth saving and not others?
        Why are some families only given one option because it is too hard to come up with another one?
        I know each case is different and all are complicated, but why is it automatically assumed that families will want all that “expensive” care when their family member is going to die anyway? All these questions come from an incident that we experienced when my mother was the patient at 76. The miracle occurred when another doctor disagreed with the prognosis. Mom lived to 90 and died in hospice in her own home. (Oh, and a year to the day that death was her only option, she was raking leaves in her front yard with me.) God works when we let Him and not try to take His place.
        Mick, I agree with you.

        Liked by 3 people

  31. Yes, Texas Bishops disagree with T.R.T.L.sometimes and they see the complete piocture as do the Drs and nurses; the family sees it a different way. Our medical system would be in dire strats if everyone chose to leave a person who needed complete cardiac and respiratory support for the rest of their life in hospitals; they would be nursing homes. Charlie, it would be nice to be rich enough to let every person decide and Mick, the people you speak of do not need such care as Tinsley does which is wonderful! Charlie, Tinsley has been medically paralysed in addition to being on complete life support.


    1. Mary Anne, you still argue only about this case – and not about any useful safeguards. How are you going to set a system up which safeguards a patient’s rights?

      You avoid studiously that this law gives complete autonomy to hospital ethics panels – and no right of appeal to patients condemned to die. You avoid dealing candidly with the fact that the TCCB says that this law, which gives hospitals absolute authority to decide a patient should die without right of appeal – and for any reason or no reason, which is directly contrary to Catholic Doctrine. Even if you turned out to be right about this case (which I do not think you are), do you support ANY safeguards for a patient at all? If you won’t start dealing with that, you simply are not being intellectually honest here. Under the system that you and the Bishops support, anyone who goes to a hospital in Texas can be condemned to die with no right of appeal. The only safeguards currently in place are the hospitals’ fear of negative PR (which, as we have seen in England, after the philosophical point is conceded, the hospitals have little to no fear of) and the potential to get specific cases into the courts. Bluntly speaking, the latter is VERY expensive – and if TRTL were not on the scene taking it up, a lot of people who are alive today would have been quietly dispatched by Texas hospitals.

      Now, bluntly, without reference to this specific case, do you support any institutional safeguards at all…or do you simply believe that we should give absolute power to hospitals with no right of appeal trusting that they will always act in our best interests? Are there any institutional safeguards you would support – and if so, what are they? Answer the question, please.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Jesus’ Passion and death on the Crucifix.

      Suffering is redemptive.

      My own father lived what a death panel might deem an *existence* yet with the help of the skills and talents of finance, muscle, and medical that each one of his children brought to the table, we helped him lift his cross for sixteen years. It was a difficult and bitter-sweet blessing for us. We witnessed the graces and gifts of the Holy Spirit that he received that allowed him the will to face each new day, totally dependent on others and are better for it. By the grace of God, he agreed to and made a good confession with a Chaplain and received Holy Communion while hospitalized after many years of letting our dear mother be the holy heavyweight for the family right up until her untimely death in the midst of his trials. He was not healed physically, yet there was no doubt he was healed emotionally and spiritually. No doubt. He may have been denied these graces had a death panel had something to say about his quality of life, before Our Creator called him home, on His terms – as it should be! God only knows the spiritual benefits that others received by his suffering that would have been thwarted too.

      Do we trust God?

      This is now my (in hindsight) reflection on personal experiences with life/death and loved ones.

      Liked by 3 people

    3. On the contrary, Mary Anne: my mother spent every day of the last 2 1/2 years of her life in hospitals and subacute facilities. For much of that time, she was on either a ventilator and intravenous nutrition, or on dialysis. Thank God that this was in the days before Obamacare; thus my parents, never wealthy people, had decent health insurance. But on more than one occasion the medical staff at the hospital(s) decided that her life was no longer worth living, and one of the hospitals actually tried to kill her. Please allow me to explain.

      Two and a half years before her death, my mother was diagnosed with stage-2 colorectal cancer. She had a severe adverse reaction to the chemo and landed in the local ICU with her gastrointestinal tract essentially destroyed (thus the IV nutrition). Three weeks into her ICU stay, the hospital staff neglected to check her medical records before giving her Heparin, to which she was severely allergic. She went into anaphylaxis and flatlined, and the hospital performed a tracheotomy and hooked Mom up to a ventilator. A couple months later, when my dad started requesting that Mom be transferred either to University of Michigan Hospital or to St. Joseph’s (a Catholic hospital down the road from U of M), the hospital told him that neither hospital took patients on both a ventilator and IV nutrition; but that their own subacute facility would be an ideal place for her care. So she was transferred to their subacute facility. The doctors there did 2- or 3-week rotations, if I remember correctly. Mom eventually got a wonderful young doctor who started telling us about different therapies that he thought would help her. He started digging around and asking questions, and then was abruptly yanked from the rotation 5 days in. We never saw him again.

      The new doctor a few days later told the family that Mom was communicating that she was depressed and wanted to discontinue treatment. We were immediately on guard because Mom couldn’t talk. It had taken us years to learn to “play Twenty Questions” in order to communicate with her (she once, through a series of my yes-no questions, had let me know that my dad’s Godfather in Chicago was gravely ill!), so we didn’t believe that the hospital staff had understood her correctly. Plus, even in the midst of her decades-long illness, she was the most upbeat person we knew. So my dad, my brother, and I grew more suspicious when the doctor said that they wanted a psychiatrist to talk to my mom in order to ascertain if she really wanted her treatment discontinued. We agreed to the evaluation on two conditions: that the family be informed of the date and time, and that a family member had to be present at the interview. This was on a Saturday afternoon; and the doctor assured us that the interview would be on Monday or Tuesday, and that the family would be notified of the time so that one of us could be present. Eventually I left the hospital for the day.

      At 9:15 in the evening of that same day, my dad arrived home from the hospital (my kids and I were staying at his house while my husband held down things on our farm in Illinois). Something told me that I should go back to the hospital, so I asked my dad to watch the kids so that I could drive back to town and wish Mom a good night. I got to her room at 9:30 pm. At 9:45, in walked a doctor. He appeared quite surprised to see me. The protective daughter in me went on red alert, and the lawyer in me got pretty fired up. But I smiled and asked who he was. He smiled back and said, “I’m Dr. So-and-So. I’m a psychiatrist here to determine whether your mother is depressed and wants to discontinue treatment.” He proceeded to ask his questions. When he finished, I smiled and asked if I could ask Mom some questions. He agreed. So I asked, “Mom, are you sad?” She nodded. “Are you sick of being sick?” Nod. “Are you tired of this hospital?” Nod. Then I deadpanned, “Do you want to die?” Her eyes got big and scared-looking, and she started rapidly shaking her head no. “Do you want to fight this?” A wide-eyed and nodding yes. “Do you want to live to see your grandchildren grow up and graduate from college and get married?” A definite yes. Then I turned to the doctor and asked, “Do you have ANY more questions?” Somewhat stunned, and looking none too happy, he said, “No.” I then smilingly informed him that I am an attorney. He left the room shortly thereafter.

      Not too long after this, on a Friday afternoon after business hours, the hospital called my dad’s house and left the following message on the answering machine: “Your insurance will no longer pay for your wife’s hospital stay. You need to find someplace to move her, and starting on Monday, we will charge you a daily rate for every day that she is still here.” Confused and in a panic, my dad called my mom’s sister, a BSN/MSN who had worked in the insurance industry for years. She dropped everything, drove up from Indiana, and met with the powers-that-be at the hospital. What she learned is that without my father’s knowledge and consent, the hospital had switched my mother off of my dad’s Blue Cross onto Medicare (we later found out that this was because Blue Cross didn’t consider the subacute facility to be good enough to be classified as a hospital and therefore wouldn’t cover the cost, but Medicare did). The subacute facility was evicting my mother because her Medicare coverage had run out. The staff told my aunt that no facility with 180 miles would take a patient on a ventilator and IV nutrition. When my aunt refused to buy their cock-and-bull story, they finally told her about a facility in Toledo, 70 miles away. So my mom was transferred there. During her 6 months there, she eventually graduated from the vent and IV to breathing through her tracheostomy and being fed via G-tube. My incredible dad drove to Toledo and back to his home in Michigan every day during those 6 months, except for 2 days when he had the flu. Mom was finally transferred back to a subacute facility affiliated with St. Joseph Hospital, which blessedly was only 30 miles from his home.

      On the day that Mom was was transferred, her attending nurse at the new facility said, “I see in her chart that she was from Jackson to Toledo. Why wasn’t she sent to the University of Michigan or to St. Joe’s?” To which we answered that the hospital in Jackson had told us that neither U of M nor St. Joe’s took patients on both a ventilator and IV nutrition. The nurse looked incredulous. “That’s what we do here; we have tons of patients on both a vent and IV nutrition! So does U of M!”

      So, to sum up my long story (for which I apologize, but which I wanted to tell in order to make several points): (1) My mom, who was severely incapacitated even before her final 2 1/2 years, needed lots of highly skilled, 24/7 care in hospitals and subacute facilities during her last 2 1/2 years; (2) The hospital lied to us when they said that my mom couldn’t be transferred to a better hospital; (3) They lied about U of M and St. Joe’s so that they could keep her in-house and use her as a cash cow for Medicare payments; (4) They switched her to Medicare without my dad’s knowledge or consent, because if he had known that Blue Cross didn’t consider their subacute to be good enough to pay for, he would have insisted that Mom be transferred to U of M or St. Joe’s rather than be kept in a sub-par subacute facility; (5) The hospital yanked from the rotation the one doctor who was actually trying to help my mom; (6) They tried to kill my mother by concocting a story about her being depressed and wanting to die, by lying to us about the date and time of the psychiatric evaluation, and by attempting to sneak in the “evaluation” long after all visitors were supposed to have left the facility.

      The hospital had decided that my mom’s life was an “existence only” and was no longer worth living. They didn’t care that my mom loved life and that we loved her. They made a calculation that she had to go; and their plan would have succeeded if my dad hadn’t arrived home exactly when he did, and if the Holy Spirit or my Guardian Angel hadn’t prompted me to go back to the subacute facility that Saturday night (I’m convinced that she’d have been dead by morning, and the hospital would have called us with the sad news and some fabricated excuse). When she escaped their planned death, they dishonestly milked her Medicare and then kicked her to the curb. They tried to get her sent almost 200 miles away so that she could die on somebody else’s watch (and perhaps keep their dirty deeds from being discovered).

      Mary Anne, although I disagree with your reasoning, I do believe and appreciate that your intentions are good. But please forgive me if I do not trust doctors and bureaucratic panels to make unappealable life-ending decisions for patients when those patients and their families want to choose life.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Wow, Mick! Just WOW!!! Charlie’s foundational points in this discussion have been illustrated in living color by your sharing. Not at all long, Mick. It is a riveting account of horrific abuse of power with evil actions. And this was how many years ago? We’ve only sunk more deeply into depravity with these kinds of situations. Maranatha!

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Beckita, my mother entered the hospital in Jackson in July 2006; she passed away at St. Joe’s Hospital in November 2009. And you’re right: things have only gotten worse.

          Liked by 3 people

        2. Indeed, Beckita. Especially since organ harvesting has become so lucrative. In the late 1980s and early 90s when I worked in healthcare business/finance, there were panels that determined the treatment schedule and the length of stay based on insurance alone, not the needs of the patient.

          I can’t tell you how many time when I responded that a patient had HMO, the hospital administrator(s) would simply say how many more days do we have, followed by the medical team being instructed to get him/her out before then.

          My sister, who is an RN has hands-on care/lack thereof stories that most likely mirror the neglect and abuses that lead to harm/death of patients at most if not all, to some degree, medical facilities.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Sad to say, I also have stories to tell about overhearing conversations between doctors in hospital hallways about the “rules” of treatment for certain patients. Mick, you and your family are the examples of how God works His miracles. I am in awe of how He used you in His exquisite plan to call your beloved mother home to Himself in the fullness of time. Your fiat has thus called down graces upon some members of the healthcare industry by setting an example for them to see that evil will not prevail. God bless you and your family for being the sign hope for those in similar circumstances.
            And thank you for telling the story of your mother’s fiat. What a saintly woman. I hope to meet her.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Thank you, Joyful; and may God also bless you and yours.

              My mother was the most incredible person I have ever known; my dad is the second most incredible. What a privilege and honor it is to be their kid.

              Liked by 2 people

      2. Thanks be to God for the blessed events that allowed your dear mother to remain with you.

        When my daughter was hospitalized, they tried to pull the pysch/depressed nonsense on her too. I/we, she having just turned 18 years old, refused!

        God bless you and your family Mick! ❤

        Liked by 3 people

      3. Wow Mick….. what a shocking and sickening story you shared with us. God Bless You and your family for persevering through your mom’s horrible time spent in the hospital. Thank God you found some good people who were actually trying to help her! It certainly causes me to worry about all the aged people in my own family and what the future might hold!

        Liked by 4 people

  32. No to death panels. Yes, to each getting to Heaven as soon as possible.

    I gave my kids explicit instructions. If I happen to lose my marbles they can have a bit of fun with me for a couple of days, or if the end is clearly nigh from something debilitating, their instructions are clear: get me out to the wilderness and simply sit me against a decent tree so I can pass happily and with some dignity.

    I realize I may be in a minority, but I don’t care to spend one second more here than God wills. I hope that last gasp of mine won’t be a futile clinging to this life, but an exhalation of joy as I embrace the next… and real one.

    Liked by 3 people

  33. W e elderly baby boomers won’t have as many choices as in the past or we would leave our children with no money to take care of their own health. Everyone needs $250,000 to take care of what Medicare won’t cover if they choose to want to prolong their lives beyond a natural death now; what will inflation do? I hope to have a natural death and understand the way heathcare has to be as it gets more expensive. Anyone who chooses to be a Dr. or Nurse has to want to serve humanity; it is both physically and mentally hard but can be so rewarding! I was lucky enough to retire just before Obamacare began. Medical tech and making good choices in our younger years help most of us age better. Obesity is bad and Diabetes needs a cure; young ones, you have to watch how you live your lives and have God in your heart!


  34. I just want you all to know that I have figured out how to get back into ASOH but can’t like anything, nor can I read the messages indicated for me up in the right hand corner. I click on it…but nothing happens. so just want you to know that I love Charlie and this blog and will hang in here until WP drives me so crazy that I can’t do it anymore. I was taken by ambulance on a four hour ride back to the hospital in Milwaukee a week ago, for a complication resulting from my bladder nursery of six weeks ago. They put a drain in my side and I’m now back home again. Just want you to know how dearly I consider each of you here and pray for you each day. May you have a wonderful, Christmas and all good in 2020. God Bless You, Everyone!

    Liked by 4 people

  35. I am so grateful to God for the gift of saving my mother from the “natural death” that the first doctor had planned for her (do not resuscitate = do not treat). A quarter million is a piece of dust when I compare it to the graces my family received from the prolongation of her life. The litany of graces is too long to mention here save one: Sacrificing need for control of life (and death) gives someone else the blessing of making a sacrifice and, so, an opportunity to get to heaven. Taking care of mom and dad changed us. There is no dollar amount for that.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. Forgive me for posting here instead of the prayer chain but it appears that both updates I tried to post there have disappeared.
    My son- in- law Jerry has been hospitalized since Dec. 6th with cancer and endless complications. We are praying for a miracle, that he will be home and healed by Christmas and able to support and raise his two pre- school aged children. Jerry is the most humble human I have ever met. Please join us in praying for him. Thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Kris, I’m clearing this comment as well as the one in the Prayer Requests section of the site. This way, we can all hold Jerry in prayer… as well as all of you who are accompanying him in his suffering.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Beckita, it’s so weird… I checked three times and none of my comments appeared to have posted. Sorry I duplicated. Thanks to everyone for your prayers!


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