MAID: A Catholic Response
The Diocese has a video series on the Catholic Response to Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID), presenting Bishop William McGrattan, Dr. Eric Wasylenko and Fr. Cristino Bouvette. Both Bishop McGrattan and Dr Wasylenko presented on this subject at our 2018 Diocesan CWL Convention.
Moral Theology of Catholic Decision Making
The legalization of Euthanasia in Canada is of concern to all Catholics, not only those employed in the medical profession. As euthanasia (often termed Medical Assistance in Dying or MAID) involves the intentional taking of a person’s life, it presents a challenge for all who are committed to upholding the dignity of life and protecting the most vulnerable in our society. In a thoughtful and considered presentation which is of significance to all who are committed to living the Gospel message faithfully, Bishop William McGrattan of the Diocese of Calgary, Alberta, identifies the many spiritual concerns which flow from the legalization of euthanasia – including many you may not have previously considered.
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How to Support Hospice or Palliative Care Initiatives
At the CWL 96th Annual Calgary Diocesan Convention, held at the Badlands Community Facility in Drumheller, Alberta from May 4, 5 & 6, 2018, over 150 members responded to two questions on supporting palliative care. The responses are varied and are important to share with all CWL members in the Diocese of Calgary. Some of these ideas presented are already being implemented by a council and some are planned for the future. All of our councils could consider attempting one or two, as we use this list to challenge ourselves and our councils. They are numbered, not to rank importance, but to make it easy for you to share your thoughts with others.
WAYS MY COUNCIL COULD SUPPORT HOSPICE PALLIATIVE CARE INITIATIVES IN OUR COMMUNITY:
- Prayer service for palliative persons.
- Participate on pastoral care team.
- Raise funds for palliative care.
- Take turns visiting.
- Offer a cross for a palliative care room.
- Advocate for mental health support for family.
- Donate comfort items.
- Donate personal items.
- Take sacraments to hospice.
- Offer to pray with a person when visiting.
- Pray as a council for palliative care.
- Visit and share a meal with person (if possible).
- Bring in a pet (if possible).
- Take person outside – walk or wheel around.
- Volunteer as a palliative care worker.
- Consider an annual donation to palliative care.
- Support the CWL initiative to lobby the government for better and more facilities for palliative care – write letters, send cards, participate in “12 hours of prayer for palliative care”.
- Provide spiritual support to a person – rosary, prayer cards, music, Divine Mercy Chaplet.
- Participate if the hospice in your community hosts an event for the public.
- Participate in education about palliative care (speakers, discussions, etc.) in your council, church and community
- Provide “treats” or cards of encouragement for staff of palliative care facilities, share appreciation.
- Sponsor a Mass of thanksgiving for those who serve in palliative care whether in a facility or in their homes.
- Make lap quilts or prayer shawls.
- Focus on those in care without family in the area.
- In 2’s or 3’s visit a palliative care centre.
- As a council, do a tour of a hospice (if possible).
- As a Council, make up a list of resources (211 can help) and have this list available for families with someone in palliative care or caregivers.
- We can publicly make our feelings as a large organization known.
- Speak about palliative care to family, friends, acquaintances, whenever the topic comes up. Don’t be afraid to speak up.
- Our Council makes “worry dolls” for Agape Hospice. Those are given to children as they visit either a parent or grandparent who is a patient.
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Seniors' Advocate Initiative
Pass the word - Seniors’ Advocate is now available for assistance - https://seniorsadvocateab.ca
The Alberta Mackenzie Provincial CWL Council is requesting that all CWL Councils participate in a provincial initiative to urge the Alberta government to amend the Alberta Health Act so that the Seniors' Advocate is an independent voice that reports to the Legislature. Click here to learn more.
2017 update report:
Dr. Sheree Kwong See, a University of Alberta psychology professor was named as the province’s new seniors advocate, ending a wait of more than two years for the government to fill the role. Sheree Kwong See, who has a PhD in experimental psychology with a specialization in aging, will take on the new job starting Sept. 1 for term that runs until the end of 2019.
“I am excited for this great opportunity and am eager to get to work on behalf of Alberta seniors,” Kwong See said in a written statement. The seniors advocate was established in 2014 under the former Progressive Conservative government, but Kwong See’s appointment represents the first time the province has hired someone for the role. As the first full-time advocate, Kwong See will have an opportunity to define the role. Ministerial orders call for the advocate to help seniors navigate the various publicly funded services available to them and provide education on issues affecting seniors, “including matters such as elder abuse, age friendly communities, older workers and ageism.“ The advocate can also request inspections of provincial facilities that cater to seniors and can refer reports of abuse to an investigator, though these powers have been rarely used. The government described Kwong See as expert on the physical, cognitive, and social aspects of aging. Her studies have included research on the impact of ageism as a factor in elder abuse. She was appointed through an open competition for the role. The advocate reports directly to Minister of Seniors and Housing Lori Sigurdson.