Many of us live in areas where winter is harsh and we eagerly look forward to enjoying the resurrection of a vibrant spring, witnessing new life. It is a time to spend hours preparing the soil and planting in order to reap the fruits of our labors in the coming months.
We encourage you also to prepare for the future by cultivating your knowledge about the challenges you or your loved ones may one day face in healthcare settings and learning how to advocate for patients in difficult situations. Please visit our website, www.halorganization.com. There you will find essential information and resources to help yourself and others grow in knowledge and prepare for unexpected medical situations. We are continually adding new materials, so we encourage you to visit the website often.
Our past newsletters are available on our website and are well worth reading more than once. For instance, last month, the HALO Monthly newsletter included a father’s account of his tragic experience – “My Son’s Story Must be Told: Young Man, Healthy Organs—Ideal Organ Donor” – a warning about the undue pressure to donate organs that is often brought to bear on reluctant families. We encourage you to read this personal story and others in the Case in Point series.
We also publish fact sheets written by HALO’s president and newsletter editor, Julie Grimstad, with the assistance of various experts in their fields of medicine. These are available as pdf documents which can be printed for your personal use. Our newest fact sheet, “Are Organ Donors Truly Dead Before Their Organs are Taken?”, is intended to help you decide whether to be an organ donor. Years ago, I had checked the box on my driver’s license to be an organ donor. After researching this topic, I now carry the “I Refuse to be an Organ Donor” wallet card. If you decide that you don’t want to be an organ donor and have ever signed an organ donor card or have “organ donor” on your driver’s license, it would be wise to request that your name be removed from your state’s organ donor registry. You can obtain the “I Refuse to be an Organ Donor” card by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. When you make your request, be certain to include your mailing address.
Julie recently wrote a timely article, “Is There Moral Certainty that ‘Brain Dead’ Organ Donors Are Dead?” It was published by Renew America and reprinted in LifeSite News, April 29, 2019, under the title “Re-examining ‘brain death’: Doctors may be harvesting organs before donors are dead.” There is a link to this article on the HALO website under Resources/Organ Donors.
Finally, the Life-Affirming Medical Proxy (LAMP) document can be downloaded free, and is especially important in case of an emergency surgery or a serious accident if you or a loved one does not already have a life-protective power of attorney for healthcare. On the main page of the HALO website, simply click on your state or province in the red box and information about the form you need will pop up. Ideally, you should have a life-protective directive in place now. Don’t wait for an emergency when it may be difficult or impossible to appoint a trusted proxy to make medical decisions for you when you are unable to do so.
Remember, it is good to understand treatment options and to evaluate these choices before you face a medical situation in which you or others may need this information. Please take advantage of HALO’s free, accessible materials.
“Bloom where you are planted.” You can become a partner with HALO by protecting and defending the lives of those you care about—family, friends and others in your community. Educate yourself and then share what you have learned with everyone you know.
Please write to me, Mary Merritt, at email@example.com. Tell me what you are doing as a HALO partner and I will share your emails in future newsletters to inspire others. Thank you!