NCPD News

National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness and Mental Illness Awareness Week 2012

The National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding is Tuesday, October 9, 2012 and Mental Illness Awareness Week 2012: Oct. 7-13, 2012

Resources for the day and week can be found in the resource manual “Welcomed and Valued” available on the NCPD website (click here). See the corresponding page numbers next to the following suggestions.

Some suggestions for that day and week:

For one of the regularly scheduled masses on the National Day of prayer, request that the mass intention be for people with mental illness and their families. Meet afterwards for discussion.

Have a prayer service for people with mental illness and their families. (see pg 60 for “Prayers and Reflections”)

In addition to the above, during Mental Illness Awareness Week parishes can offer the following:


NCPD Ethics Committee Points out Serious Flaws in Proposed Organ Donation Policy

The NCPD Board Ethics Committee has weighed in on the latest step in the proposal to change existing organ donation policies. For the full opinion click here. Certain excerpts are included below.

"It is hard not to conclude that the decision to change the Model Elements was made well before its comment period ended and that those who took the time to submit substantive comments were drawn into a futile gesture"

"Because of the obvious pressure placed on vulnerable patients and families, commenters further challenged the proposal’s refusal to keep separate the decision to donate from that to withdraw life-support. Even the OPTN Ethics Committee did “not agree with the OPO approaching the family prior to decision to withdraw treatment or support.”"

"[B]y extending DCD candidacy to patients whose “disease” is not necessarily terminal but that otherwise renders them dependent on life-support, the proposal singles out a class of persons, disabled under federal civil rights law, for adverse treatment. Comments warned this could jeopardize OPTN’s relation with HHS which is forbidden from entering into contractual arrangements with the purpose or effect of discriminating against people with disabilities."

 


PBS Video features member of the Mental Illness Council

The PBS video series Religion and Ethics Newsweekly features Connie Rakitan as she tells us about the Faith and Fellowship group in Chicago Illinois. Connie is council member of the NCPD Council on Mental Illness. Please click the image below to see this well made 8:00 minute video. The section on Faith and Fellowship begins about the 5:00 mark.

 


NCPD Submits Comments to UNOS Opposing Changes on Organ Donation Procedures

NCPD Urges the Rejection of the Proposed Changes in the Model Elements in Organ Donation

On behalf of NCPD and the fourteen million Catholics with disabilities it serves, I urge UNOS to reject the proposal for changing the DCD Model Elements.

The proposed changes aim “to maximize the number of donors and transplants by identifying … currently unrealized donor potential [.]” As laudable as that objective is, it cannot justify singling out a class of disabled people, those dependent on life-support, for adverse treatment. Under the proposal, for example, the hospital and local OPO may examine patients on life-support to determine their eligibility for organ donation without their knowledge or consent, even though they are neither terminal nor near death. Further, the hospital may initiate a request for donation of such patient’s organs before the decision to withdraw life-support is made. Finally, the OPO is not required to condition eligibility for organ donation on assurances that a conscious patient’s decision to have life-support withdrawn is voluntary and not a product of clinical depression.

Simply put, the proposed changes subject a class of disabled people to discriminatory treatment, while offering justifications that are inapposite, unconvincing, and clearly violative of patients’ rights.

 

To read the full set of comments click here.


Action Alert on Organ Donation

Action Alert

Proposed Modifications to the Requirements for Organ Donation Could Adversely Impact People with Disabilities – Send your Comments Today

The National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD) urges you to express your concerns directly by computer submission to stop serious threats to hospitalized persons with disabilities on life support. Such threats are due to occur if current proposals are put into effect that would increase pressure on individuals and families to decline further treatment in order for the patient’s organs to be donated.

The organization we are asking you to contact is the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network (OPTN)/ United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). OPTN was established by the U.S. Congress to act as a unified transplant network, but is operated by a private, non-profit organization under federal contract, in orderto ensure the success and efficiency of the U.S. organ transplant system. Under federal law, all U.S. transplant centers and organ procurement organizations must be members of this network to receive any funds through Medicare.


Recent Activity by Ethics Committee

Just a sample of the latest items taken on by the Ethics Committee

The Maryland Catholic Conference has expressed its gratitude for the input provided by NCPD that helped defeat a legislative initiative which would have allowed harvesting of paired organs (e.g., one kidney) for organ donation from patients living in the persistent vegetative state. Georgia’s legislature has passed a law reversing the court decision that legalized physician assisted suicide in that state.  NCPD sent two letters encouraging the Governor to sign into law the ban [The Governor signed the legislation into law.]

Call to Action: Stop the Violation of the Right to Religious Liberty

Last August, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandated that under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act almost all private health plans are to include with no co-pay “preventive services for women.” These “services” will include sterilization, all FDA-approved birth control (such as the IUD, Depo-Provera, ‘morning-after’ pills, and the abortion-inducing drug Ella), and the “well-women preventive visits,” described as including prenatal screening for genetic or developmental conditions (thus, potentially “preventing” the birth of babies deemed unfit eugenically, since there are presently no available prenatal treatments for most of these conditions). The HHS exemption for a religious employer is so narrow that it is virtually meaningless. Despite an outcry from persons who respect our cherished tradition of religious freedom, on February 10 President Obama adopted this policy as a final rule “without change” (Federal Register, 2/15/12, 8725). Religious organizations which cannot qualify for the exemption will have an extra year to comply; but before the end of that period, an additional rule will be issued to make sure that their employees receive the mandated coverage despite the employer’s objection. 


May is Mental Health Awareness Month

The NCPD Council on Mental Illness has produced a variety of materials which can aid in observance of May as Mental Health Month. Click here for resources posted on the NCPD website.

 


Resources for Disability Ministry

 

Resources for Disability Ministry
 
Trainings
 
Available from the National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD):
Welcomed and Valued 1-day awareness workshop
One-day awareness workshop on supporting the pastoral needs of people with mental illness and their families, incorporating use of the 27-minute Welcomed and Valued DVD and Resource Manual. Training will be conducted by a member of the NCPD Council on Mental Illness, with input from local host as desired; can be adapted in length and content for local use. Intended audience: clergy, pastoral workers, diocesan and parish personnel
 
Ministry Foundations: Disability in Parish Life 1-day awareness workshop
One-day introductory awareness workshop on supporting the pastoral needs of people with a range of disabilities and their families, incorporating use of the 60-minute Ministry Foundation: Disability in Parish Life training DVD. Training will be conducted by members of the committee which developed this project, with input from local host as desired; can be adapted in length and content for local use. 
Intended audience: all whose ministry impacts Catholics with disabilities and their families—clergy and seminarians, catechetical leaders, pastoral workers in youth ministry and family life, Catholic school administrators and teachers, and other diocesan and parish personnel
 

April is Autism Awareness Month

Awareness

April is Autism Awareness Month April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day Let us join together once again to make it Autism Awareness Month in Parishes & Dioceses!

Bring this information to your Bishop so he is aware of your efforts to support the people of your diocese. The first link leads to many additional resources for pastoral and catechetical staff. Most resources can also be used to support those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Use the press release for your diocesan papers.

Find the resources below at our easy-to-remember link: catholicswithautism.org

Autism Resource Page Link Parent Interview Form   Strategies for Catechetical Instruction for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder   Strategic Components for Successfully Working with Individuals with ASD   A Prayer of St. Francis for Autism   Mass Petitions   Bulletin Anouncements   Press Release - Autism Awareness Month for Parishes and Dioceses  

March and April are both designated as Disability Awareness Months

March is known as Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month March is Brain Injury Awareness Month

Find creative and varied ways to highlight disability awareness in your parishes and dioceses. Ask your diocesan newspaper to feature articles they pick up on CNS and ones that you write or give them (see our press release for Autism Awareness Month above).

Put short announcements in your parish bulletin. Do a feature on Saints with disabilities or about a disability advocate who has entered the canonization process (see feature below). Pull prayers or petitions off our website to use at Mass, to share in your bulletin, or to use as an opening or closing prayer for a parish meeting during the month. In our national survey on The State of Ministry for those with Autism and their Families, the biggest need that the nearly 500 responding parishes identified was for parish awareness of disability! Don’t underestimate the impact your efforts for awareness can have. It can be one of the simplest yet most impacting things you do in your ministry.


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