Tuesday, July 14, 2009

General Convention 2009: How Health Measures are Faring

As I’ve been at General Convention, I’ve been following some of the resolutions related to health, including those I have blogged about. Some of those matters have already been passed in General Convention, with perhaps some small changes.

Most important to me was Resolution D011, “End of Life: Principles for Decisions at the End of Life.” This was the same resolution I wrote for the 2006 General Convention, that was lost uncompleted at the end of business. (You can find the final version here; and my 2006 blog post here.) It was passed in the House of Bishops first, and was so strongly supported that it was presented in the Consent Calendar, as a resolution that should pass and isn’t subject to debate. While I would have loved to speak to this in the House (and did in the Legislative Committee), I was pleased that the Committee thought this so worthwhile. Among other things, it commends chaplains in AEHC and health ministers in NEHM, as well as chaplains and counselors certified by APC, ACPE, AAPC, and CPSP, as resources for the Church in areas of health care and ethical issues.

Another was Resolution A077, “Episcopal Health Ministries.” This was proposed by the Standing Commission on Health, and “urges the congregations of The Episcopal Church, which have not already done so, to explore and implement health ministry as an organizing concept or vital component of outreach and pastoral care of the congregations by 2012….” It was also passed as part of the Consent Calendar. (You can find the final form of the Resolution here. You can find my blog post here.)

In addition, three of the resolutions from the Executive COUncil Committee on HIV/AIDS have been adopted. Resolutions 159, 160, and 161 have all been approved in both houses. (I wrote about them here.)

This is just a brief update, but I’m trying to follow these issues. Last Convention was a tough one for health issues, because many were squeezed out by the time spent on responding to the Windsor Report and the wider Anglican Communion. This Convention is looking a whole lot better. Keep watching this space.

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