Health and health care

Doctors prescribe a healthy dose of Church beliefs through support of Catholic Medical Association

Doctors from the St. Louis Guild of the Catholic Medical Association prayed the Rosary in their white medical coats outside Planned Parenthood for an end to abortion, for the families affected, and for the workers at Planned Parenthood. They then processed to the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis for the annual White Mass, celebrated by Archbishop Robert J. Carlson.

When Dr. David Stansfield joined the Catholic Medical Association about eight years ago, he was prescribing birth-control pills to patients in his private family medicine practice in Hillsboro.

His desire to join the association's local guild was fueled in part by his Catholic upbringing and the chance to connect with other Catholic doctors.

It also opened his heart in a new way.

"It was because of my involvement that I stopped prescribing" the pill, he said. "Sometimes, a physician comes into the Catholic Medical Association, and they learn that it's OK to be Catholic."

Holocaust survivor uses past to stress medical ethics

Dr. Raul Artal, who recently retired, is involved in a program to teach about medicine during the Holocaust, when healers became killers, and how to apply this knowledge to today’s practice. “The fact that someone is a physician doesn’t mean they have a right to be God and decide who lives and who dies,” Artal said.

Raul Artal was born by breech delivery in a barn, hidden from authorities.

It was 1943 in Bersad, a concentration camp in a part of Ukraine called Transnistria administered by Romania under Nazi control.

Sometimes the Nazis would sweep through the camp on killing sprees, and Artal's parents would frantically hide him, as children and babies in particular were targeted for extermination. His parents would cover him so he was not discovered, and he was trained not to cry.

Award is a testament to Mercy sister's impact on health care

It was a small news item in the St. Louis Review in 1969 when St. John's Mercy Hospital announced the appointment of the director of nursing service as the new hospital administrator.

The article detailed the service of the previous administrator, but stated nothing more about Sister Mary Roch Rocklage.

Patient grateful for connection with surgeon

Paula Elfrink, right, is filled with gratitude for the professional and personal relationship she developed with Dr. Stephanie Schnepp, which grew out of her battle with breast cancer. She met Schnepp, left, who was her surgeon at St. Mary’s Hospital.

Tears welled in her eyes and her voice broke as Paula Elfrink apologized to her doctor for calling her Stephanie instead of Dr. Schnepp.

Elfrink explained that she was emotional because she looks at her doctor as she does one of her daughters. Elfrink told the doctor: "I'm sure your mother is so very proud of you."

Catholic Medical Association in St. Louis making a comeback

Dr. Elizabeth Abraham is an assistant professor of pediatrics at the St. Louis Unveristy School of Medicine Division of Nephrology. She is part of a group of physicians re-establishing the Catholic Medical Association St. Louis chapter. She was in the dialysis lab of SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center with nurse Jacque Tanquary.

The local guild of the Catholic Medical Association is undergoing a resuscitation, so to speak, as a resource for Catholic medical professionals and the wider community.

The Catholic Medical Association, a national, physician-led community of health care professionals who uphold principles of the Catholic faith in the science and practice of medicine, has had a presence in St. Louis for years, but in recent years its activities have fallen dormant. An inaugural event will be held April 28 at the Cardinal Rigali Center. The local guild will install its new officers at the event.

Two types of HHS mandate cases are at different points in legal process

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court is involved in two types of issues related to claims by employers who say they should not have to provide coverage of contraceptives in their workers' health insurance plans because this violates the employers' faith-based moral objections.

Both matters revolve around requirements in the Affordable Care Act that employer-provided health insurance include coverage of contraceptives, sterilizations and abortifacients.

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