Catholic Health Association of Manitoba

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Welcome to Catholic Health Association of Manitoba

The Catholic Health Association of Manitoba (CHAM) is a voluntary, provincial association dedicated to the healing Ministry of the Catholic Church. Through its Ministries of education health care ethics, spiritual care, social justice and Catholic ownership, CHAM fulfills its mission.

Our members span the continuum of social services, long term and continuing care, acute care, and seniors’ services across Manitoba.

Each year, we strive to foster relationships between our members through regular correspondence along with events such as our Annual General Meeting, special events and conferences.

Through the ministries of education, healthcare ethics, spiritual care, Catholic ownership and social justice, CHAM fulfills its mission of compassionate concern and respect for all persons.

Catholic health care
a ministry | a mission | a movement

In Canada, Catholi health care has cared for people in small towns and urban centres for 400 years. Catholic women of faith laid the foundation for today’s health system. They were driven by audacious bravery, steadfast belief in the sacredness of each person, and unshakeable willingness to offer love and hope. In Manitoba, the Grey Nuns of Montreal arrived in 1844 and were the founders of this province's healthc are system.

Catholic health care starts with a spiritual purpose: a deep-rooted calling to serve everyone and to come to each other with vulnerability.

Today, Catholic health care is flourishing. We continue the legacy of the Sisters, working closely with funders and partners to be responsive to the changing and growing needs of individuals and families across the country. We are leaders and advocates, making the health system stronger.

We may be 400 years old, but we’ve only just begun.

Our programs and services span the continuum of care from cradling newborns to being present for those who are dying—and everything in between. Millions of Canadians seek care and services in our facilities each year. We respond with compassion and innovation, keeping patients, residents, clients, and their families at the centre of care.

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Recent News

Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim leaders sign declaration against euthanasia, physician-assist
October 31, 2019

Leaders of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam presented a signed declaration to Pope Francis expressing their total opposition to euthanasia and any form of physician-assisted suicide, as well as voicing their support of palliative end-of-life care.

The document was signed at the Vatican Oct. 28 by Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, head of the Pontifical Academy for Life, along with representatives of the Jewish and Islamic faiths. It was given to Pope Francis during an audience.

The position paper states that the three Abrahamic religions “oppose any form of euthanasia – that is the direct, deliberate and intentional act of taking life – as well as physician assisted suicide – that is the direct, deliberate and intentional support of committing suicide – because they fundamentally contradict the inalienable value of human life, and therefore are inherently and consequentially morally and religiously wrong, and should be forbidden without exceptions.”

The paper also affirms the right of healthcare workers to not be coerced or pressured into directly or indirectly assisting in the intentional death of a patient through assisted suicide or any form of euthanasia, especially when doing so would violate the provider’s religious beliefs.

In Canada, medically assisted suicide has been legal in all of Canada since 2016. Many Catholic doctors in Alberta are worried that they will soon be forced to provide referrals for the procedure.

Even if accepted by the local legal system, “moral objections regarding issues of life and death certainly fall into the category of conscientious objection that should be universally respected,” the paper declares.

Healthcare providers, it notes, have the responsibility “to provide the best possible cure for disease and maximal care of the sick.”

The idea for the declaration came from Rabbi Avraham Steinberg, an Israeli medical ethicist, who proposed it to Pope Francis. The pope entrusted the project to the Pontifical Academy for Life, which organized an interreligious committee to create the document.

In the nearly 2,000-word position paper, it is stated that the Catholic, Jewish, and Islamic faiths “share common goals and are in complete agreement in their approach to end-of-life situations.” It also notes that these principles are sometimes in conflict with “current secular humanistic values and practices.”

The preamble to the report notes that “the moral, religious, social and legal aspects of the treatment of the dying” are among the most complex and most widely discussed in medicine today.

The issues surrounding the end of life include “difficult dilemmas,” which have increased in recent years, it argues, because of scientific-technological developments, changes in the patient-doctor relationship, cultural changes, and a growing scarcity of resources related to the expense of medical care.

These dilemmas are not primarily medical or scientific, but “social, ethical, religious, legal, and cultural,” it declares, adding that human intervention in the form of medical treatment and technologies “are only justified in terms of the help they can provide.”

“Therefore, their use requires responsible judgment about when life-sustaining and life-prolonging treatments truly support the goals of human life, and when they have reached their limits,” it claims.

The declaration states that “when death is imminent despite the means used, it is justified to make the decision to withhold certain forms of medical treatments that would only prolong a precarious life of suffering.”

However, both medical providers and society should respect the wish of a dying patient to prolong or preserve his/her life even for an additional short period of time by clinically appropriate medical measures,” it continues.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that a person may legitimately choose to discontinue medical procedures which are “over-zealous,” meaning “burdensome, dangerous, extraordinary, or disproportionate to the expected outcome..”

The position paper defines a “dying patient” as someone who has “a fatal, incurable, and irreversible disease” and is at a stage when their death will likely occur within a few months “as a result of the disease or its directly related complications, despite the best diagnostic and therapeutic efforts.”

The report offers encouragement and support for professional palliative care for everyone, everywhere and to commend laws and policies which protect the dignity of a dying person.

It also declares a commitment to engage with communities on the issue of bioethics, and to raise public awareness about palliative care.

The paper states a belief that society has an obligation to help patients not to feel like a burden and to know the value and dignity of their life, “which deserves care and support until its natural end.”

The declaration also calls on policymakers and healthcare providers to familiarize themselves with the perspective and teaching of these religions in order to better provide medical assistance in accord with their patients’ beliefs.

“While we applaud medical science for advances to prevent and cure disease, we recognize that every life will ultimately experience death,” it states. “Care for the dying is both part of our stewardship of the Divine gift of life when a cure is no longer possible, as well as our human and ethical responsibility toward the dying (and often) suffering patient.”

 

By Hannah Brockhaus, Catholic News Agency

WMA Declaration on Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide
October 31, 2019

 

Adopted by the 70th World Medical Association General Assembly,
Tbilisi, Georgia, October 2019

 

The WMA reiterates its strong commitment to the principles of medical ethics and that utmost respect has to be maintained for human life. Therefore, the WMA is firmly opposed to euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide.

For the purpose of this declaration, euthanasia is defined as a physician deliberately administering a lethal substance or carrying out an intervention to cause the death of a patient with decision-making capacity at the patient’s own voluntary request. Physician-assisted suicide refers to cases in which, at the voluntary request of a patient with decision-making capacity, a physician deliberately enables a patient to end his or her own life by prescribing or providing medical substances with the intent to bring about death.

No physician should be forced to participate in euthanasia or assisted suicide, nor should any physician be obliged to make referral decisions to this end.

Separately, the physician who respects the basic right of the patient to decline medical treatment does not act unethically in forgoing or withholding unwanted care, even if respecting such a wish results in the death of the patient.

National Catholic Healthcare Week
October 7, 2019

Thousands of interactions every day remind us that we each have our own stories of hope and sorrow, courage and fear, beginnings and endings.

The challenges and illnesses we come with are only one part of our story. In Catholic health care we seek to serve the whole person, approaching interactions with openness and vulnerability recognizing that it is a profound gift when our stories intertwine.

 

Click on this vido link: https://youtu.be/gwElBAljLMc 

 
 
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Gerrard, Friesen clash over personal care home staffing levels
October 4, 2019

For the first time in his 20-year Manitoba legislature career, Liberal MLA Jon Gerrard was asked to leave the chamber Thursday, following what the Speaker called "extremely rude and inappropriate behaviour."

During a question period exchange with Health Minister Cameron Friesen, Gerrard (River Heights) asked the minister about what he believes are inadequate staffing levels at personal care homes.

He also asked Friesen whether the government was prepared to invest in seniors care or if it thought of personal care homes as places where seniors are sent to die.

In his rebuttal, Friesen rebuked Gerrard for allegedly insulting staff who "(work) hard every day in personal care homes to provide exceptional care for our seniors." He said Gerrard should apologize to them for his remarks.

For the first time in his 20-year Manitoba legislature career, Liberal MLA Jon Gerrard was asked to leave the chamber Thursday, following what the Speaker called "extremely rude and inappropriate behaviour."

During a question period exchange with Health Minister Cameron Friesen, Gerrard (River Heights) asked the minister about what he believes are inadequate staffing levels at personal care homes.

Liberal MLA Jon Gerrard was asked to leave the chamber Thursday, following what the Speaker called "extremely rude and inappropriate behaviour." (Chelsea Kemp / The Brandon Sun files)

He also asked Friesen whether the government was prepared to invest in seniors care or if it thought of personal care homes as places where seniors are sent to die.

In his rebuttal, Friesen rebuked Gerrard for allegedly insulting staff who "(work) hard every day in personal care homes to provide exceptional care for our seniors." He said Gerrard should apologize to them for his remarks.

Gerrard could then be heard shouting across the chamber that Friesen should be the one apologizing.

Speaker Myrna Driedger asked Gerrard three times to apologize and withdraw his comments. With his arms crossed, the Liberal MLA stood in his place and refused. Driedger then told him to leave the chamber for the rest of the day.

"The minister was accusing me of going after people who are working in personal care homes, when the problem in personal care homes is that they are short of staff and they are short of training," Gerrard said.

"And the minister should have been looking after that... Instead, he was trying to cast aspersions on me, who is standing up for seniors. I wasn’t going to apologize for standing up for seniors."

Friesen defended the care being provided and touted a new 143-bed personal care home being built in Steinbach.

"Our personal care homes are fully-staffed... We have health-care aides. We have RNs and other nurses. We have psychiatry. We have an array of volunteers who assist on a daily basis and we should give a shout-out to all of the people who volunteer in personal care homes," Friesen said.

The minister invited Gerrard to come to his office with any particular issues.

Dolores Minkus-Hofley watched the exchange from the gallery and was shaking her head. She said her husband has Parkinson's disease and has been living in a personal care home for more than three years. She reported his level of care has declined significantly.

"What we were told (is): ‘They’ll be looked after, they’ll be okay.’ And it’s just gotten worse and worse every year," Minkus-Hofley said, adding she's heard similar complaints from many whose loved ones are living in personal care homes.

"We just need staff. We need bodies. We need people. We need training. We need money," she said. "And (with) the governments — whether it was the NDP or (the Tories) — this is an ongoing issue that needs to be brought to the fore."

Gerrard's ejection from the chamber was the first in recent memory in Manitoba. In 2006, Liberal MLA (now MP) Kevin Lamoureux was asked to leave by Speaker George Hickes for using unparliamentary language.

jessica.botelho@freepress.mb.ca

FEDERAL ELECTION CALL TO CARE
September 25, 2019

This election you can support the CALL TO CARE

Six Million Seniors are calling on you to Care

Long-term care homes provide physical, medical, social, spiritual and emotional support to more than 200,000 seniors across Canada. Today seniors live longer and enjoy their homes longer, which means seniors are arriving at care homes much later in years.  They are arriving with more complex health issues and more physically frail than ever before.  The prevalence of multiple chronic conditions and cognitive impairment among residents has increased dramatically over the last decade.  Canada’s long-term care homes support people at this stage of their lives, which can include extensive or complete support with everyday activities such as getting dressed, getting in and out of bed, eating and going to the bathroom.

Unfortunately, long-term care is not seen as a priority by federal policy makers. While the Federal Government has embarked on a number of initiatives to support seniors, none of these initiatives support seniors living in long-term care.

Therefore, the Long Term and Continuing Care Association of Manitoba (LTCAM) is putting forward two key recommendations to address the aging crisis:

  1. Digital Health: Supporting innovation in health care with evidence based decisions.
  2. Invest in seniors’ housing where care is provided by expanding federal infrastructure funding to include long-term care and commit to funding new long-term care residences.

The Long Term and Continuing Care Association of Manitoba wants to make sure your voice is heard this election!

To read the full report Go to www.roadtocare.ca/CalltoCare2019/english

or   www.roadtocare.ca/CalltoCare2019/francais

Simply complete the email form found there, and we will send a letter to all party candidates letting them know that Six Million Seniors are calling on them to Care

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