GENERAL CONVENTION 2003
CARE FOR CHILDREN & FAMILIES
THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS WERE APPROVED BY THE CONVENTION:
Created a Standing Commission on Health. A Standing Commission on Health (A124) was created, despite arguments that the move would be at cross-purposes with efforts to reduce expenses for national meetings. The Rev. Willa Goodfellow of Iowa recalled testimony that "one day of one meeting for one person costs this church $900.
James Bradberry of Southern Virginia argued that "if we are going to have a meaningful voice in trying to bring health care issues into a proper perspective in the church, we need to have this commission working at a national level." In earlier discussions, deputies expressed "considerable interest" in addressing health care concerns, recalled J. Patrick Waddell of El Camino Real. He also pointed out that "the wording of the resolution also just provides the canonical language needed "if we decide to fund it."
Encouraged provision of health benefits as standard of compensation
Each diocese to develop standards and policies for protection of children from abuse, report to House of Bishops before Spring 2006. Broad guidelines given.
Approved stem cell research, with some limitations
Study of bioethics commended, using A Christian Response to our New Genetic Powers
Set guidelines for gene transfer and germline interventions
Genetic testing and gene research may be appropriate, but human reproductive cloning is not morally responsible
Dioceses to establish committees on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, to educate about substance abuse dependence and treatment
Encouraged all Episcopalians to learn about the plight of women and children in war torn areas and provide support
Health Care for Children
Resolved, the House of _____ concurring, That the 74th General Convention of the Episcopal Church
encourage dioceses and congregations to establish programs to assist parents to apply for services for eligible children offered by Medicaid, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); and be it further
Resolved, That the Office of Government Relations of the Episcopal Church work with the Office of the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture, the White House, and Congress to ensure that these programs are adequately funded to meet the needs of the participants they serve; and be it further
Resolved, That the Office of Government Relations urge the Office of the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the White House, the United States Congress and state legislatures to provide more adequate access to mental health services for children in a form that does not require the separation of children from their families; and be it further
Resolved, That the Episcopal Church encourage congregations to become educated about and involved in the prevention of violence and maltreatment perpetrated upon children; and be it further
Resolved, That the Office of Government Relations of the Episcopal Church request the Office of the Secretary of Health and Human Services to make regulatory changes in Medicare and Medicaid health plans to enable terminally ill children to receive more adequate palliative care and pain relief services and their families to receive appropriate supportive services.
The Episcopal Church, as a caring Christian community, has a call to help parents find resources to meet the health needs of their children, including basic medical care, nutritional supplementation, mental health care, and palliative care for children who are terminally ill. The church can carry out this responsibility by encouraging dioceses and congregations to assist families with children who are eligible for Medicaid, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), or the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) to enroll in these programs.
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