Register Radio: Rome's March for Life & Physician's Orders

Edward Pentin and Charlotte Hays

Rome's May 13th March for Life.
Rome's May 13th March for Life. (photo: Edward Pentin)

Today on Register Radio, in our first segment, the National Catholic Register’s Rome correspondent Edward Pentin provided some background on Rome’s inaugural March for Life which took place on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima and Mother's Day - May 13. While abortion has been legalized in Italy since 1978, this was Rome’s first March for Life. In addition to some 15,000 who attended the March from the Colosseum to St. Peter’s Basilica for Mass, the Mayor of Rome, the daughter of St. Gianna Molla, and Cardinal Raymond Burke also participated.

Edward explained that it was a grassroots effort with participation by as many as 150 different pro-life organizations throughout Italy.

Pentin said that Cardinal Burke felt that the March was a valuable witness of great importance for Italy and the world. Asked whether the vast number of young people in the March was a sign that the tide is turning, Cardinal Burke said that he believed that it was and has been for some time. “The spiritual forces will eventually triumph over the Culture of Death,” Cardinal Burke said.

Physician's Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment

In our second half, Register correspondent Charlotte Hays talked about the dangers associated with a new medical directive being increasingly used in hospitals and nursing homes. The Physician's Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment is a document signed by both the patient and a doctor, which directs what care the patient prefers, or doesn't prefer. It's been called a "living will on steroids."

Hays said that it differs from a Living Will in that it is a physician’s order that allows no room for discretion. It follows you wherever you receive treatment, and cannot easily be revoked.

She explained that the document "tilts towards non-treatment" and is being supported and pushed by euthanasia organizations. She recommended that patients and families concerned about it should appoint a trusted family member as power of attorney. Lacking a family member, she recommended asking a parish priest.

To learn more, listen to today's show at 2 p.m. EASTERN Friday on any EWTN Radio affiliate. The program re-airs at 7 p.m. EASTERN on Saturday and 11 a.m. EASTERN on Sunday, and is also available on the Register Radio web page, and via podcast.