Katherine Ginkel has a unique job as educator of St Jude Hospice staff personnel on the Ethical and Religious Directives (ERDs) for Catholic Health Care Workers. These Directives were developed by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops to set a standard of care that is to be expected by all Catholic health care institutions and their employees and associates. These ERDs are periodically updated to reflect the ever changing threats to the dignified treatment and care of those who are in need of care in clinics, hospitals and in all critical and end-of-life care situations. For example, the ERDs absolutely forbid abortion and euthanasia.
The hospice industry is not always respectful of the dignity of human persons and their right to a natural death. Hospice care can be on opportunity for euthanasia as we reported in one of last year’s “The Quest for a Culture of Life in America” programs. The vocabulary now includes the phrase “stealth euthanasia” to describe the over dosing of pain medications to cause death.
St Jude Hospice was started by Tom Moreland as an authentically Catholic (loyal to Church teaching as reflected in the ERDs) alternative to secular hospice. In 2008, Tom started Saint Jude Healthcare, which eventually became the parent to Saint Jude Hospice and Spirit Homecare. Tom managed or owned hospices from Ohio to Mississippi, and Minnesota to California. There are now 13 St Jude Hospice locations in Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas. Tom has requests from several bishops to open new locations in their dioceses.