Thanks for posting the Live Action email today. They do good work and we at National Right to Life have Miss Rose speak at our annual convention each year. I thank you for your efforts to educate about the issue within the Seventh Day Adventist faith, which Jack Priest told me about and connected me to your emails. Seeing your Live Action email made me think of a recent one from NRLC that might resonate with Adventists.
Knowing the Adventist history of being some of the earliest and most committed anti-slavery advocates, I thought I would offer you this post that relates the two issues if you think it’s helpful to share. Two versions of it were posted last week around the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Adventists should rightly be proud of their advocacy on behalf of the oppressed in the 19th century, and if you think reminding people of that noble advocacy and equating it to the need to help those oppressed today might be persuasive you are welcome to use this.
Please feel free to remove the volunteer and donation ask at the end, which is more specific to NRLC’s membership. It’s the story equating the crusades to end the injustices of slavery and abortion that some might find enlightening. Also, feel free to send it sometime later if you wish so we don’t step on Live Action’s piece.
As always, thanks for your work to spread the word about the inherent value in every human life!
National Right to Life
Heroes from the past . . . heroes from today
British Member of Parliament William Wilberforce toiled for years – for many decades, actually – to end the scourge of slavery in Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries. At first, he was one of just a few voices to speak out. But after years of dedication, he helped pass a ban on the slave trade – not the complete ban on slavery he and others wanted, but a law that shouted out that slavery was wrong, putting it on the path to abolition.
Finally, after 40 years of service in the British Parliament and years more heading the Anti-Slavery Society in Britain, he finally saw his country ban slavery outright in 1833. He died three days later, having seen the work of his life come to fruition. Having commemorated the 41st anniversary of the tragic Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the U.S., we can take a lesson from Wilberforce. He knew the institutions that supported slavery were strong – in Parliament, in the commercial sectors, among investors.
He knew the struggle would take decades. But he knew if he and those he could persuade would continue to grow as a voice for the voiceless, they would win. Our struggle in the United States to end another injustice has also gone on for more than four decades. And we are growing in strength. New data suggests that today there are between 25% and 30% fewer abortions each year than there were 20 years ago. Polls show many more Americans consider themselves pro-life, with pro-life opinion especially strong among the young. Painful late abortions are now being banned in states around the country, something impossible under the early interpretations of Roe v. Wade. Historically, we are somewhere between Wilberforce’s ban on the horrific slave trade and the complete protection against slavery he and his colleagues finally achieved.
We’ve cut abortions substantially in the U.S. We’re sensitizing a nation to the suffering abortion causes unborn babies and their mothers. We’re moving the culture in our direction. Just as Wilberforce couldn’t possibly give up after his first major victories, we can’t possibly give up now. Please consider how you can help this great movement for the rights of the unborn. Contact us to get involved.
Join a chapter of Right to Life. Donate so we have the materials and resources needed to save lives, and as Wilberforce did . . . to change a culture. One person can make an enormous difference! On this anniversary of Roe v. Wade, let that person be you! If you can volunteer to help the Right to Life cause or join a local chapter, please email National Right to Life’s State Organizational Development Department with a brief note, including your contact information, at email@example.com.
We have many more volunteers than the pro-abortion side – you can imagine it’s not so easy for them to get volunteers for the kind of work they do and what they support! But they massively outspend us – because they get huge corporate, foundation, and government grants that we simply don’t receive. That’s why we need your help. People Power is our great advantage – that and knowing we fight for a just and selfless cause.
Maybe we don’t get multi-million dollar grants, but we have millions of potential pro-life supporters, who if they each gave $100, or $50, or $25 a month or as individual gifts, we could do so much to compete with – and defeat! – the pro-abortion forces in the United States.
Please click here to contribute generously to National Right to Life and to help continue building a pro-life America. Think how much we can do – and how many more lives we can save – with your sacrificial support. Thank you!
National Right to Life President
After five years of litigation which could have resulted in a maximum penalty of $100 million dollars, the Adventist Health System West decided to pay a much smaller settlement penalty amounting to $14.1 million dollars to the government and the whistleblowers. What follows is a number of comments I selected from several public media reports:
“Adventist Health System/West and its affiliated hospital White Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles will pay the government $14.1 million to resolve claims that they violated the False Claims Act. This was a whistleblower ( qui tam ) suit, and the two doctors who originally filed it will get $2,839,219.”
“The rest of the settlement will go to the U.S. Government ($11.5 million) and the California Department of Health Care Services ($2.6 million).”
“While Adventist does not need to admit fault in the settlement, the allegation in the suit was that it hospital, White Memorial, selling them medical and non-medical supplies and inventory at a discount that was less than fair market value and also paid the physicians more than fair market value to teach at the hospital’s family practice residency program.”
The legal and moral reasons for the penalty imposed on the Adventist Health System are quite explicit as evident from the following report:
“Doctors must make treatment decisions based on the best interests of their patients rather than on personal financial interests, which is why hospitals can’t pay doctors for patient referrals,” said Claire M. Sylvia, a whistleblower lawyer with Phillips & Cohen in San Francisco. “The government found out about what Adventist was doing only because two doctors challenged the system by filing a whistleblower lawsuit.”
“The whistleblowers alleged that Adventist Health violated the Stark Law and the Anti-Kickback Statute. The Stark Law states that hospitals may not seek reimbursement for claims based on referrals from physicians with whom they have a financial relationship. The Anti-Kickback Statute prohibits payment in exchange for referring, recommending or arranging for the purchase of any item or service paid for under a federal health care program such as Medicare or Medicaid. The complaint also alleged violations of the California Business and Professions Code and the California Welfare and Institutions Code, which prohibit compensation for patient referrals. Violations of these federal and state laws result in the submission of false claims for payment to Medicare and California’s Medi-Cal program, which violates the federal False Claims Act and the California False Claims Act.”
This was confirmed by a recent Los Angles Times report:
“Kickbacks and other unlawful financial arrangements cost taxpayer dollars and undermine the integrity of medical judgments,” said Stuart Delery, acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s civil division.”
“White Memorial is part of Adventist Health in Roseville, Calif., which runs 19 hospitals and more than 150 clinics in California, Oregon, Hawaii and Washington. The 353-bed nonprofit hospital near downtown Los Angeles was founded by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1913.”
As a member of the Adventist Church, I feel my share of shame to learn that a highly respectable organization created and sponsored by the church did allegedly engage in illegal practices for financial gain to the detriment of patients and taxpayers. We need to stay above even the apparent suspicion of moral turbidity.
“Stark Law prohibits a physician from referring Medicare patients for certain health services to any business or entity with which the doctor has a financial relationship.”
““The settlement announced today underscores one of the key purposes of the Stark and Anti-Kickback laws – to ensure that the judgment exercised by healthcare providers is based on legitimate patient needs and is not influenced by illegal payments,” said Benjamin B. Wagner, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California. …”
I noticed that in the recent response you received from the General Conference, you were directed to the Adventist “Guidelines on Abortion.” Some years ago, I received a similar answer from a representative of the GC, and I found the testimony of someone identified as “earlysda” who got the same response.
“I have writeen President Ted Wilson twice about this issue, and both times received a response referring me to the “Guidelines on Abortion” document that the church has. Does our church have “Guidelines on Sabbath-Breaking” or “Guidelines on Stealing” too?”
It looks like the reference to the Adventist “Guidelimnes on Abortion” is the standard reponse to everybody who writes to the General Conference regarding the issue of abortion. Do we deal that way on other important doctrinal issues? When someone asks us about the Sabbath, for example, do we say: Read our Guidelines on Sabbath Observance? No! We say, Read Exodus 20!
Why is it that when dealing with the violation of the Sixth Commandment instead of the Fourth, we refer people to our humanly created document dealing with abortion instead of the Decalogue? The apparent reason is that we have set aside what God wrote with his own hand on tables of stone and replaced it with rules of our own devising.
Since the creation of the Adventiust movement, we have emphasized the importance of avoiding the substitution of God’s Word with humanly devised tradition, and we have blamed Rome for having done that, but we now have made the same mistake. We have replaced God’s Word with our own tradition which tends to justify what the Lord has clearly forbidden: the shedding of innocent blood.
This seems to indicate that we have ceased to be God’s chosen people, those who keep God’s Commandments, and are no longer God’s special people with the last message of hope for a perishing world. My opinion is that it is high time for us to abandon those guidelines on killing the most innocent members of humanity and return to a “Thus said the Lord,” because Jesus said: “Inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of these you have done it to me!”
You might remember the case of Terri Schiavo who was starved to death for lack of food and water by order of the court. The picture of the ten year old boy who was arrested by the police for the crime of trying to give the dying woman a glass of water is still fresh in my mind.
Well, since then, there have been many similar cases with similar outcomes. So the question is: Is food and water extraordinary or basic care? Can relatives demand that a patient be deprived of food and water on the premise that water and nourishment represent extraordinary medical care?
This question was submitted to the British Columbia Supreme Court recently, and you will be surprised by the ruling of the court. I picked a few paragraphs from an article written by Colin Kerr and published by LifeSiteNews entitled “Food and water is basic care, not medical intervention: British Columbia Supreme Court.”
Vancouver, B.C., February 4, 2014 (LifeSite extNews.com) – A British Columbia court has ruled that food and water is basic care and so cannot be withdrawn as though it were an extraordinary medical intervention.
In a decision issued Monday, Justice Greyell of the Supreme Court of British Columbia ruled the nursing home where Alzheimer patient Margaret Bentley resides would be guilty of neglect were it to follow Bentley’s 1991 living will.
“Withdrawing oral nutrition and hydration for an adult that is not capable of making that decision would constitute neglect within the meaning of the Adult Guardianship Act,” he wrote.
Bentley’s family sought a declaration from the court that she “not be given nourishment or liquids,” asserting that she had “expressed strong wishes while she was mentally capable that she did not want to be given nourishment or liquids in her current condition,” the court documents stated.
Bentley, who is 82, is a patient at Maplewood Care, an elderly care facility in Abbotsford. The facility was among the parties opposing the family’s legal action. There she is being spoon- and cup-fed, but is not being force-fed.
Expert opinion heeded by the court determined that Bentley is at an advanced stage of Alzheimer’s, but is not, in fact, dying as a result of the disease. Because of this, the judge determined that the withdrawal of nourishment would be the cause of her death, and therefore illegal. …