1. Let Alta Fixsler Go, Jewish law and values come up against the U.K.’s National Health Service., By William McGurn, The Wall Street Journal, August 10, 2021, Pg. A13, Opinion
In the Book of Exodus, the Lord tells the children of Israel that he is a jealous God and warns them not to put others before him. Today the plight of a 2-year-old Jewish girl named Alta Fixsler suggests the U.K.’s National Health Service has come to regard its own authority with an almost Old Testament jealousy.
Alta sustained a severe brain injury and was born showing no signs of life until she was resuscitated. Today she is a patient at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. Her parents, who are Hasidic Jews and Israeli citizens (her father is also a U.S. citizen), wish to take her overseas for treatment, to Israel or the U.S. The U.K. health authorities have refused to let her go, while also insisting her life-sustaining treatment end.

It would be one thing if the authorities were saying simply that they can no longer justify the expense of extraordinary life support for someone with no prospect of recovery. Medicine has always had to factor in cost, especially when others are picking up the tab.
But that is not an issue here. The medical professionals treating her are insisting on something more monstrous: That even if it wouldn’t cost the NHS a penny, Alta Fixsler must be denied the possibility of treatment elsewhere because the experts and her assigned guardian have concluded, as the Hon. Mr. Justice Alistair MacDonald ably summed up in his decision, that she “has no quality of life” and “the burdens of Alta’s life outweigh any benefits.”

Certainly there’s an argument for withdrawing life support and precluding further treatment in such conditions, as the British authorities say. But not for the assumption on which their decision rests, which is that Jewish moral reasoning and judgments are inherently inferior to their own. For if little Alta Fixsler’s story tells us anything, it is that the Jewish prophets and sages and their teachings on the inviolable sanctity of each human life are more relevant for our world than they’ve ever been.
2. Does respect for human life mean vaccine mandates? Among religious groups, there is wide disagreement., By Michelle Boorstein, The Washington Post, August 10, 2021, 8:00 AM
Bishop Kevin Rhoades, as leader of the Catholic diocese of Indiana and chairman of the doctrine committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, guides a diverse flock of Catholics when it comes to opinions on vaccines and mandates. However, the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life — its body dedicated to promoting church teaching protecting life and to researching bioethics — has said there is a “moral responsibility” to get vaccinated and Pope Francis has decried what he calls vaccine misinformation and “suicidal denialism” among people who don’t take it.
Rhoades said his committee issued a statement not demanding or attempting to mandate that Catholics get vaccinated, but urging them to get the vaccine “as an act of charity towards other members of our community. It’s an act of love of neighbor.” In Catholicism, each regional bishop makes policy — such as rules for employees of Catholic schools and hospitals — for their area.
The Vatican’s doctrine arm wrote in December that it does not recommend mandates.
3. Amicus Brief in Dobbs Features 3-D and 4-D Fetal Ultrasounds, By Alexandra Desanctis, National Review, August 9, 2021, 1:25 PM, Opinion
In one of the 80 amicus curiae briefs submitted to the Supreme Court on behalf of Mississippi in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, three medical doctors obtained special permission to include images of unborn children, including ultrasound images.
The brief was filed by attorney Heather Hacker on behalf of medical doctors Monique Chireau, Grazie Pozo Christie, and Colleen Malloy, as well as the Catholic Association Foundation, where Christie is a policy adviser.
In addition to offering other arguments against the Court’s rulings in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the brief takes aim at the flawed medical science on which the justices based their decisions. It points out that the “viability” standard used by the justices in both rulings is long outdated because newborn infants are able to survive after birth at a much earlier gestational age than was possible when the cases were decided.
The brief also points out that medical technology has advanced to the point of allowing us to capture 3-D and 4-D ultrasound images of unborn children — at most stages of pregnancy a clear illustration of the humanity denied by the Court. In fact, these types of technological advancements have led the medical field to begin treating unborn children as patients in every context but abortion, even developing the capacity for surgery performed on children in the womb.

In other words, the brief illustrates the inescapable reality of the humanity of the unborn, a reality ignored and often outright denied by supporters of abortion and the Court’s abortion jurisprudence.
4. Catholic priest’s murder in France: List of recent priest killings worldwide, By Matt Hadro, Catholic News Agency, August 9, 2021, 1:00 PM
The murder of a French priest on Monday was the latest in a number of killings of priests around the world.
On Monday, Fr. Olivier Maire was murdered in Saint-Laurent-sur-Sèvre, a commune in the French province of Vendée. Maire was the provincial superior of the Montfort Missionaries (Company of Mary).
The murder suspect who turned himself in to police, 40-year-old Emmanuel Abayisenga, is a Rwandan man who had also been charged with committing arson at Nantes cathedral in 2020.
5. Military archdiocese supports Covid vaccine mandate for servicemen, By Christine Rousselle, Catholic News Agency, August 9, 2021, 5:13 PM
The Pentagon is reportedly set to require that all troops receive a COVID-19 vaccine, according to a memo that was first obtained Monday by the Associated Press.

The move to mandate the vaccinations is supported by Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services. Broglio told Catholic News Agency on Monday that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, along with Pope Francis, “had recognized the morality of the vaccine.”

TCA Media Monitoring provides a snapshot from national newspapers and major Catholic press outlets of coverage regarding significant Catholic Church news and current issues with which the Catholic Church is traditionally or prominently engaged. The opinions and views expressed in the articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Catholic Association.
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