Dr. Jim Asher is a graduate of Marquette University and Des Moines University. He earned a master’s degree in bioethics from Midwestern University. He and his wife of 50 years, Rose Neidhoefer of Milwaukee, have seven children and 14 grandchildren. He is a retired family physician. He is a parishioner at Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral, an officer in the Catholic Physician’s Guild, and a member of the Knights of Columbus.
Opinions expressed are the writers' and not necessarily the views of The Catholic Sun or the Diocese of Phoenix.
In 2008, 53-year-old Randy Stroup applied to the state of Oregon for cancer treatment. It was refused, but he was offered legally assisted suicide, which is also legal now in Washington, Montana and Vermont.
We don't see much of severely disabled children in America. Years ago, many were institutionalized. In Arizona that meant the Children's Colony in Coolidge or the State Hospital in Phoenix. Today various services facilitate their living in the community, sometimes with family.
I just returned from one of my favorite annual activities – 4 days spent in Pomona, working with second year osteopathic medical students. My job was to supervise and direct their enthusiasm, idealism, and energy, as they tried to learn some of the intricacies of cranial treatment. I also tried to unobtrusively probe their commitment to Christian values.