Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

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Bishop Clark: “… there has been no attempt to shorten Mr. Harvey’s life.”

December 3rd, 2010, Promulgated by Mike

Some of you might recall that last spring I wrote about the sad case of brain-damaged Gary Harvey, his wife’s efforts to prevent St. Joseph’s Hospital in Elmira from withdrawing his feeding and hydration tube, and Bishop Matthew Clark’s determination that the Catholic hospital had, in effect, done nothing wrong.

Sara Harvey has now informed me that Bobby Schindler (Terri Schiavo‘s brother) has become interested in Gary’s case and has recently published “The Truth About Death Panels” in Celebrate Life Magazine.

A large part of that article details Gary’s story (my emphasis)…

The Gary Harvey case

We have been involved in hundreds of cases, many of which concerned decisions made by these ethics committees. Nothing underscores how they threaten innocent lives more than the case of Gary and Sara Harvey of Horseheads, New York.

In January 2006, Gary fell down his basement steps and was left with profound cognitive disabilities. He had no advance directive and had only his wife, Sara, to protect him. Gary was admitted to the Che-mung County Nursing Facility in May 2006. Sara soon found herself in conflict with the facility over his care, which she describes as seriously negligent.

In February 2007, Chemung County stripped Sara of her rights as guardian of her husband, and Gary has remained a ward of the County ever since. In May 2009, he was transferred to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Elmira, where he remains. About two weeks later, the hospital’s ethics committee recommended the removal of Gary’s nutrition and hydration tube, and the issuance of a do-not-resuscitate order. This was done without the direction of Gary’s family and would have ensured his death.

In June 2009, Chemung County asked the state supreme court to authorize the removal of Gary’s feeding tube, but fortunately, Justice Judith O’Shea denied the request. Inexplicably, however, the DNR is still in effect and he remains under the control of Chemung County, despite the fact that it tried to end his life.

What is even worse is that these events have occurred at a Catholic health care facility. And Bishop Matthew Clark, of the Rochester diocese, has basically turned his back on the situation. Sara told me, “No bishop would help or the Catholic Church.” Sadly, this occurs more often than one would think.

According to WorldNetDaily (May 17), the National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse wrote to Bishop Clark in January, asking him to find out why “St. Joseph’s Hospital’s Ethics Committee chose to participate in what would have been Gary Harvey’s execution rather than prevent it.” His response, sent about a month later, according to NASGA: “I am convinced that St. Joseph Hospital complies with the Ethical Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, that the hospital is complying with the order of the court, and that there has been no attempt to shorten Mr. Harvey’s life.”

Pernicious scenarios similar to the Harveys’ ordeal take place often, but usually so silently that most people are simply unaware of the dangers.

Sara’s fight goes on.  There is a court hearing scheduled for December 10 during which she will attempt to gain custody of her husband.

Prayers would be appreciated.

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28 Responses to “Bishop Clark: “… there has been no attempt to shorten Mr. Harvey’s life.””

  1. avatar Choo Choo says:

    Thank you Mike for shedding light to this important matter. However thruth be known Bishop Clark promised to visit Gary Harvey and has yet to own up to it. He hides behind his robe like so many others do instead of doing the right thing.

  2. avatar Lou says:

    Please advise me on this because I am confused. Am I an idiot or… is Bishop Clark a liar???

    If St. Joseph’s Hospital in Elmira were to withdraw Mr. Harvey’s feeding and hydration tube as Chemung County requested in June 2009 then, surely Gary would die, right?? If Bishop Clark went without food and water since June 2009 would he be dead yet?? Would you??

    Clark said, “….there has been no attempt to shorten Mr. Harvey’s life.” This makes absolutely no sense to me. How can YOU starve someone to death and not shorten their life?

    Apparently this Roman Catholic Bishop does not read the same bible that I do.

    I am of the strong belief that either Clark is completed ignorant to the importance of food and water in a human life or he is a liar!

    Perhaps he will respond and advise me himself!

  3. avatar Choo Choo says:

    Lou,
    He is a liar. Get this, they still have a DNR on him that is unlawful. What has Bishop Clark done to correct that error? Oh no they do not want to shorten his life at all do they? Oh no Bishop Clark allows the hospital to keep Gary Harvey in isolation…to break this mans spirit. Well they have not succeeded yet have they? God is still in control..I hope Bishop Clark rhas not forgotten that.

  4. avatar Ron says:

    Yes Choo Choo, God is in control.
    The “Word of God” warns us against false teachers in the end times. DO NOT… I repeat, DO NOT… listen to the man on the pulpit. Look to the Word. Gods Word does not give end of life decisions to man. I don’t care if this man wears a robe, calls himself “father” or flies to the moon. Our God reigns!!!
    As for your unhappiness with this bishop, just remember that “Vengence is mine says the Lord.” Pray that he falls to his knees and begs forgiveness.

  5. avatar Tim Lahrman says:

    “Woe unto you experts of the law for you hold the key to knowledge and you will allow no one to enter” Luke 11:?? [NIV]

    From what I have come to know of this matter Attorney Kevin Moshier NY Mental Hygiene Legal Services was sent in to do satan’s work, kill Gary with the help of Rita Ghoul and Linda Huffner, Commissioner of the Chemung County Department Of Social Services, and then sell to the populace that man is in control of deciding end-of-life issues. How wrong they are and the snake oil they peddle is about to be seen for the fraud and crime that this case truely is.

    As for Bishop Clark, pffft. He ought to be ashamed of himself to lie as he has and turn his back on a life that the Good Lord created. Clearly, he has burried his talent and left the good works for Sara and those who truly care.

    In close, Gary Harvey will be freed from his oppressors soon. I know because a little bird has told me that the storm has come to an end and the waters are receeding.

  6. avatar Patti Woodard says:

    There is no reason on earth or heaven for Gary to leave this life now. Only the most vile people will do anything to shorten or end his life and they shall burn in the hell fires of damnation no matter what they say they are or their lying reasons. You must give Sara back care of her husband and quit lying about her care of him because we have so much proof that you have tried many times to shorten his life probably for monetary gain. Do the right thing for Sara and Gary and let them live the rest of Gary’s life together in peace and love or you shall suffer the consequences of your evil ways. Make this situation right and avoid legal consequences that I will make sure you suffer in this life and you must believe suffer in the next life.

  7. The whole system is very, very sick!

    What’s in a name? Is Rita Ghoul (APS) “a person who derives pleasure from loathsome acts or things”? That’s what the dictionary says!

    Seriously, this despicable action by all concerned must end!

    Sara’s due in court on the 10th. That is the day she must prevail.

  8. avatar Jane Branson says:

    This is AMERICA! Not a hellish country that considers human life a disadvantage because a human has any type of disability. How dare you money hungry scum do this to an innocent person that has worked all his life to earn his “Own” way. While Gary lays flat on his back you perks come in and rob him of his life but that’s not enough you also want to end his life. NOT TODAY AND NOT TOMORROW “OR” ANY DAY, WILL YOU END GARY’S LIFE, because “NOW” your out in the open for all to see what you have done and there will be hell to pay for those that follow in your footsteps.

    New York And, Very Special People are working together to help Sara bring Gary Home where he belongs…Let us “All” step up and help Sara and Gary with our voices that is WRONG !

    God Bless you Sara and God Bless “Gary”

  9. avatar Maritza Torrent-Viola says:

    My mother was also at a “Catholic” hospital, the director of the hospital was a nun. when mother’s medicare days for hospital days were exausted, Sister Elizabeth called us to a meeting with mother’s doctor… she claimed to be giving us spiritual advise to accept the unavoidable- hospice as per account. Once we signed the hospital release papers, the hospice personnel ( hospice was at the same building/ hospital just different floor ) asked the same doctor who had been sitting on the “meeting” for mom’s diagnosis, and turned to me, and said, that mother was not ellible, as she did not have a terminal condition!!! that was in 2002. After the Probate court judge, appointed mother a professional guardian, and order that I had supervised visitations after finding out, that I had been documenting abuses upon my mother- in the way of taking pictures- and spent all of mother assests/ the worth of her paid, home…mother was deemed and indigent, and left as a medicaid ‘resident” with feeding tube and all… After years of litigation, letter writing, and emotional termoil, I was appointed mother legal guardian by the SAME judge who order mother into the guardianship, and forbade me from visiting… Once I had mother, her doctor took the undeed feeding tube off, and I took my mother back to visit with “sister Elizabeth” at the hospital. I only tood at her office door, and asked if she remember my mother. After she did, I just told her I knew, there was a special place in hell for her… so much for the Catholic church and its representative,.. it is all about money!

  10. avatar Fred says:

    Agreed Maritza, it must be about the money! In fact I heard that it wasn’t until Sara Harvey and her insurance company were not going to pay the bill that Chemung County wanted to murder Gary. Yep it would be about money! I’ll bet if someone checks into this they would find Sara Harvey IS paying the bill for these criminals while she fights for Gary.

    Does this man/Gary have a mother, father or children that love him? Where are they in this fight?

  11. avatar Tim Lahrman says:

    Gary’s mother, and likely the children and cousins too, got some of Gary’s money/estate [a good sum by the way] and then voted to kill him …. that is where they are. Waiting at hell’s door where they belong.

    and yes, Chemung County has been charging Sara for Gary’s abuse and neglect.

    This case should make the masses sick, it sure has me.

  12. avatar Deb Wood says:

    Another sickening aspect is the lack of physical therapy Gary has received. When Gary went into that facility he had more than 90% mobility in all of his joints and limbs. Now he is so atrophied that they are pumping him full of pain killers. Oh, and yes, I understand that they have been billing for phisical therapy all along!

  13. avatar ElaineRenoire says:

    It is hypocritical for the Catholic Church to condemn abortion and yet participate in a Catholic hospital’s attempt to purposely and willfully terminate a person’s life.

    NASGA not only wrote Bishop Clark to inform him of St. Joseph’s wrongful actions against Gary Harvey and ask for his help, but also sent the Bishop evidence – including a copy of the Ethics Committee’s report and a copy of the guardian’s court filing indicating their intent to attach a DNR to Gary Harvey and then have his nutrition removed (thereby starving and dehydrating him to death).

    St. Joseph’s Hospital in Elmira is under Bishop Clark’s purview.

    He has an obligation to his church and to his community to protect the vulnerable, and he has failed both.

    Yours,
    Elaine Renoire
    NASGA
    http://www.StopGuardianAbuse.org
    http://www.AnOpenLetterToCongress.info
    http://NASGA-StopGuardianAbuse.blogspot.com

  14. avatar snowshoes says:

    Thank you, Mike et al,

    How can we help? Please detail the most effective ways that we as citizens and Christians may apply the appropriate pressure, and be the leaven to save Gary’s life and bring our culture and all its systems back into line with the truth of the Gospel. Where to send donations? Oremus!

  15. avatar Nerina says:

    I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that they revoked guardianship from Gary’s wife, yet Michael Schiavo maintained guardianship over his wife, Terri.

    This is certainly a time for concentrated prayer. Those poor people. All while under the care of a Catholic hospital. Do we believe in anything in this diocese? Or is this another example of the local church being disconnected from the universal Church?

    What is so frustrating about this story is that a wife is trying to fulfill the commitment she made to her husband on their wedding day – to love and honor him in sickness and in health. She should be getting suppport from the Church for this witness to suffering and instead she is betrayed. What a tragedy.

  16. avatar David Henke says:

    This is a sad case. Gary’s wife has everything at stake and knows his wishes not some group of outsiders holding a file. Gary has already defied the odds proving his rehab potential and his desire to live. Why was he not provided that option years ago? Clearly the medical attendants misjudged his injury, rehab potential, and opted to write him off rather than providing optimal care as any of us deserve. Where is the compassion for the preservation of life? This is clearly not a demonstration of medical ability but rather of medical hostage taking. When does he get his life back and when will his wife reunite with her husband? Enough with the court knows best…Enough with the unaffected staff that has no stake in his life. Return his rights and allow him to go home in the care and love of his wife. That is all any of us would hope for.

  17. avatar Betty says:

    Good point David and Nerina. What happened to the marriage vows? are they not sacred anymore. Is that not an advance directive?

  18. avatar Holly says:

    This is the saddest story I have ever seen and as a guardianship abuse advocate, I have seen some!!

    David, I think you hit the nail on the head. Sounds like, “medical hostage taking.”

    Gary Harvey through Sara has much evidence to support his position in the form of court documents appearing contrary to law and photographs of absolute neglect all the while he appears to be held hostage. Those who know Gary Harvey know that he did/does NOT want to die, so why do these people want him to?? WHAT do they have to hide?? What did they do to Gary?? He was a strong healthy man when this accident occured. With proper care & rehabilitative therapy, how does one go from being strong and healthy to atrophied in a couple of years??

    I am of the firm belief that the only way to explain Gary’s deteriorate is lack of care, therapy, stimulation, neglect, etc. Rita Gould does everything in her power to keep Gary Harvey alone in isolation and flat on his back, appearing contrary to Gary’s best interest!

    Chemung County ought to take a good hard look at their employees & clean house.

    I too believe the tables are turning because of good citizens willing to step up to assist & support Gary Harvey’s fight for his very own life, through his “wife/next-friend”

  19. avatar derrick says:

    “Every knee shall bow…” including those in Chemung County, NY

  20. avatar Tim Lahrman says:

    The marriage vows are an “Advance Directive” licensed and recognized by the State when they issue the Marriage Certificate.

    There is fundamental liberty interest protected by due process of law and equal protection under the law in the right of a family to remain united. The power of the state to intrude into the family unit — especially by nefarious means rife with nefarious self-serving motives and deliberate indifference, is not boundless nor will it go unchecked. For the County Social Services to end up as Gary’s guardian, by the means and processes that they did, and then see to it that Chemung County Nursing Facility had a “resident/patient” and an annual income is nothing short of a kidnapping, or as David said — hostage-taking for profit….. or as the statute reads, “ransom, reward, or otherwise.”

    In close, it is never the crime but rather the cover-up that brings down the game and who should know this better than the Vatican. Bishop Clark, come out come out wherever you are … your Ethics Committee is engaged in commiting crimes against humanity ….. Your comment please.

  21. avatar Box Lady says:

    Think about the “Case Precedent” this would have set in NY if this would have gone through per the Guardian’s “Faustian” plan of action. NY is only 1 of 2 states that does not allow for the Withholding/Withdrawing of Nutrition and Hydration. Most other states have Public Health Law Statues allowing but also distinguishing the TPN tube from Assisted Suicide, Suicide or Euthanasia. Chemung County thought they’d re-interpret the rules that apply only to a DNR to mean Medical Surrogate Decision Making for subject matter that had no jurisdiction. Palliative care DOES NOT enter in this argument and can NOT be used as an argument. Plain and simple, it was an attempt of “Euthanasia” and in NY, any act and decision made by someone that knowingly will result in death of another person is an act of manslaughter at the very least. My money’s on CHOO CHOO and Willy Boy.

  22. avatar Amanda says:

    This seems to be a divided opinion on Gary Harvey’s medical prognosis.
    If the doctors agree, that there is no chance of recovery, it is their right, to voice that opinion. It is not anyones right, to remove life support. If the hospital is unable to do anymore for this man, and if the insurance coverage has expired,Sara should be given the right to remove her husband from institutionalized care, and have her take care of him as she desires.
    We do not have socialized medicine, where one can expect to be cared for, therefore, in a profit driven system, they have the right to refuse care – BUT they must turn over the care to the person, in this case his wife, who wishes to take care of him and believes in a recovery.

  23. avatar Diane says:

    Amanda, lets make this clear. Gary Harvey is not on life support. There seems to be a big issue with what is considered to be life support itself. Starving and dehydrating some one is not. Babies have to have nutrition hen they are born. We have to feed them. When ones loses that capacity do we just stop? On this subject, Pope John Paul II has said, “I should like particularly to underline how the administration of water and food, even when provided by artificial means, always represents a natural means of preserving life, not a medical act. Its use, furthermore, should be considered, in principle, ordinary and proportionate, and as such morally obligatory…”

    In 2007, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said “The administration of food and water even by artificial means is, in principle, an ordinary and proportionate means of preserving life. It is therefore obligatory to the extent to which, and for as long as, it is shown to accomplish its proper finality, which is the hydration and nourishment of the patient. In this way suffering and death by starvation and dehydration are prevented.”

  24. avatar Tim Lahrman says:

    Amanda,

    Gary and Sara are not afforded the right to refuse treatment because the Chemung County Department of Social Services is acting as Gary’s court appointed guardian and is therefore, in their mind, free to make whatever decision they choose.

    In this case, fact is, Gary receives no rehabilitative treatment whatsoever and therefore his quality of life has deteriorated under the negligent and deliberately indifferent care custody and control of a Chemung County DSS guardianship. Fact is, as we know, the Chemung County DSS actually once petitioned the court to starve Gary to death, which is a crime in and of itself under several sections of the NY Penal Code.

    Having visited Gary one day briefly not so long ago it is clear, and reasonably expected by all concerned parties including his wife, that “recovery” for Gary is not the expectation. What is the expectation is his quality of life going forward and who best knows and cares best for his quality of life going forward. Yet a very sad truth at present is this, Gary has been denied and deprived rehabilitative treatment for many years now, add to this the chemical restraints, sensory deprivation, drugs and narcotics, negligent care and unnecessary invasive procedures, and the question of Gary’s present and future capacity is but a mystery shrouded by reasonable expectations. In sum, an independent extensive medical evaluation of Gary will be required before one can say where Gary may be a year or two from now. What can be said with certainly at this juncture is this; Gary’s wife has the fundamental right to care for Gary and best articulate what are Gary’s best interests, personal wishes, preferences and desires. Their marriage contract is deserving of legal protection and it is her care plan that has been deemed superior by qualified industry professionals. Why Gary is not in the care custody and control of his loving wife is the issue at present, an issue that is currently before the court and an issue that will undoubtedly be resolved in favor of Gary’s wife.

    There is a lot to this story, so please consider becoming involved and anyone who wishes to be a part of the effort to bring Gary home and correct this injustice feel free to contact me at timlahrman@aol.com. Also visit http://www.helpbringgaryhome.com

  25. avatar Tim Lahrman says:

    Rally your congregations for the celebration when Gary is freed. If anyone feels they have a desire to contribute and/or offer any specialized help, gift or talent for Gary and Sara going forward, please feel free to email me or visit http://www.helpbringgaryhome.com

    Happy holidays to all, and may Gary and Sara’s be the best Christmas holiday ever!!!!

  26. avatar Anonymous says:

    Ok lets consider that this man would not be alive were it not for the medical skills and technology that have been applied. The question is in my mind is whether we should have saved his life to beging with. This is not a life, this is a travesty. I believe firmly that when it is your time to die, we should have the courage to let it happen. This is not a religious issue, nor is it an ethical issue, it is a practical issue. We need as a society to have the courage to let death happen. It is unfortunate for this poor man that the courts, his family, the hospital and all the other mentioned are messing with his life. Let the poor fellow go.

  27. avatar Mike says:

    Anon. 4:58,

    From the U.S. Holocaust Museum web site (my emphasis):

    On July 14, 1933, the German government instituted the “Law for the Prevention of Progeny with Hereditary Diseases.” This law called for the sterilization of all persons who suffered from diseases considered hereditary, including mental illness, learning disabilities, physical deformity, epilepsy, blindness, deafness, and severe alcoholism. With the law’s passage the Third Reich also stepped up its propaganda against the disabled, regularly labeling them “life unworthy of life” or “useless eaters” and highlighting their burden upon society.

    “Life unworthy of life”? Sounds like you description of Mr. Harvey.

    People who somehow feel qualified to play God worry scare me. Humanity has been down that path many times, with sickening results every time.

  28. avatar Tim Lahrman says:

    To anonymous from January 7, 2011

    Gary Harvey is NOT — I repeat — NOT being kept alive by medical science. He is being kept alive by the good graces of God that he can one day return to his home and loving wife where his days can be lived out in the peace and comfort of a loving environment.

    Yet as it is today, not unlike yesterday and the many days before …. Gary Harvey is merely an instrument of commerce being kept under guardianship and isolated from his wife not for the sake of his needing protection as the county insists — but rather, for the sake of a profit to be derived by the greedy liars who are the puppet-masters in this sick game of Adult Protective Services guardianship.

    Let Gary Harvey come home to his loving wife and a loving envoironment — and when the Good Lord calls Gary to his final resting place, all who fight the good fight for Gary will be at peace, right along with Gary. Until then ……

    The corrupt “powers-to-be” in this case, and they know who they are —- are nothing short of a pack of liars and thieves. I hope they sue me for slander so I can prove my point.


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