Tag Archives: charles limandri

Alfie Evans Case — poster-child for health care ‘best interest’

Two months ago, the British court senselessly ordered two-year-old Alfie Evans to be taken off life support, despite his parents’ desperate pleas and a worldwide outcry. In the aftermath of Alfie’s government-mandated death, many of us are asking whether our government has the power to determine when life is simply too burdensome to justify saving. But with the federal government’s waning influence over individual health care as a result of the weakening of Obamacare regulations, another question arises: Whether the health care providers and insurance companies could trump the rights of families in cases like Alfie’s. After all, in many cases, providers and insurance companies do have the power to ration health care. The degree to which they do is up to us.

Currently, the federal government prohibits hospitals from withholding or withdrawing infant life support. There are, however, three exceptions. Life support may be withdrawn if: (1) the infant is chronically and irreversibly comatose; (2) life support would merely prolong dying or be futile in terms of the infant’s survival; or (3) the life support itself, under the circumstances, would be inhumane. These exceptions can give doctors too much power to make end-of-life decisions. Given the possibility of coercion or undue influence on parents, the current system is set up for an Alfie Evans-like tragedy here in America.

Moreover, many in the medical profession, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, are advocates for the “best interest standard,” which gives doctors the ability to make arbitrary decisions about what is in the best interest of infants. The standard does give parents a role in the decision making. However, parental rights can be seriously compromised by health care providers and insurance companies that may pressure parents to make the more “economical” choice under the guise of an infant’s “best interest” and against the backdrop of skyrocketing hospital bills.

Another source of pressure can come from hospital “ethics committees,” which many consider to act like “death panels.” For example, the Texas Advance Directives Act empowers hospital administrators to arbitrarily withdraw or withhold care, regardless of the reason and the patient’s condition. The danger of the Texas law is illustrated in the case of Christopher David Dunn. In that case, a “bioethics committee” ruled that a 46-year-old man’s life was not worth living, and it therefore withdrew his life support. His family vigorously pleaded for his life to no avail. While many have defended such committees as an appropriate way to strike a balance between the patient’s right to life and the medical professionals’ reasonable end-of- life treatment, the potential for abuse is enormous. Indeed, many ethics committees have little guidelines and accountability; and, with the pressure of insurance companies and other health care providers, the risk of exploitation is very real.

Most agree that prolonging a painful process of dying for a terminal patient is inhumane, and they argue that doctors should not be forced to provide such treatment. Moreover, there is no constitutional right to receiving medical care paid for by others. But, as advocates for life, we must be vigilant in ensuring that health care providers and insurance companies do not have the arbitrary power to decide if one life is worth more than that of another. Furthermore, the withholding of food and hydration to a patient in need of it can never be morally justified. This is in keeping with the mission of faithful Catholics, who started the hospital system long ago based on the belief that nothing is worth more than the life of a person created in the image and likeness of God.

ATTORNEY CHARLES S. LIMANDRI is a past member of the Legatus board of directors and a recipient of the Legatus “Ambassador of the Year” award. He is the president and chief counsel of the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (www.FCDFlegal.org).

Planned Parenthood videos rock abortion business

A little of two years ago the abortion industry was shaken by the public revelations that it had been illegally trafficking in the sale of the body parts of aborted babies. As a result, over 25 states have voted to defund Planned Parenthood and the U.S. Congress, with the support of the president, is close to doing so as well. I have had the privilege of representing David Daleiden, the young man who courageously brought to light these atrocities of Planned Parenthood and its cohorts in the abortion industry. In retaliation, they have viciously attacked him in the liberal media and in three lawsuits they filed in state and federal court.

Charles S. LiMandri, Esq.

The first lawsuit was brought in state court in Los Angeles by Stem Express, the largest broker of aborted baby body parts in the country. We were successful in getting the case dismissed. The second lawsuit was brought in federal court in San Francisco by the National Abortion Federation (NAF), the abortion industry’s powerful trade association. It soon became clear that the federal judge in that case, a proabortion Obama appointee, was leaning heavily toward NAF. At that point, Planned Parenthood jumped on board and filed its own suit against Daleiden, which is now also pending before the same federal judge. That judge, William Orrick, had previously helped establish one of the Planned Parenthood affiliates that is presently suing Daleiden, inside the offices of a nonprofit in San Francisco, while he served as an attorney on its board. As I write this article, our motion to disqualify him from that case for apparent bias is pending.

In the meantime, Planned Parenthood helped orchestrate a bogus criminal indictment of Daleiden in Houston, Texas, with the assistance of a pro-abortion assistant district attorney. Fortunately, that ill-conceived case has also been dismissed. Not to be outdone, the then-pro-abortion attorney general in California, Kamala Harris, used her office to initiate another politically motivated prosecution of Daleiden, and his nonprofit — the Center for Medical Progress (CMP). That action is still pending. CMP’s separate criminal defense attorneys recently released additional videos of abortionists revealing details of their heinous activities in selling baby body parts. In response, Judge Orrick found them, Daleiden and CMP, in contempt of court for violating his preliminary injunction blocking the release of those incriminating videos.

That contempt order is on appeal to the Ninth Circuit, and the preliminary injunction is on appeal to the United States Supreme Court. At issue in those appeals are important Constitutional rights including the First Amendment freedom of speech. Also at issue are the common and necessary practices used by investigative journalists to uncover the criminal activities of bad actors like those suing Daleiden. Indeed, the United States House of Representatives’ Select Committee on Infant Lives has already extensively investigated their practices and referred Planned Parenthood and Stem Express to the FBI and the Justice Department for further investigation and prosecution.

The videos give proof to the lie that what abortionists are removing is not just a “clump of cells.” Rather, what they are seeking to harvest are well-developed fetal organs like hearts, lungs, livers, and brains. Obviously, this also gives proof to the lie that this is not just about what a woman chooses to do with her own body. Rather, it is not the organs of the woman’s body that are being harvested, but those of the separate living human being inside of her. The videos further graphically illustrate how the abortion industry is big business and the abortionists are most interested in maximizing their “bottom line,” even if it means engaging in immoral practices that violate the law and our human dignity.

Please make sure that your congressmen and senators in Washington hear from you about the necessity of defunding Planned Parenthood’s half-billion of your tax dollars per year. And please pray for the ultimate success of David Daleiden and CMP as they defend themselves against the attacks of an increasingly desperate abortion industry, backed by an army of lawyers

Attorney CHARLES S. LIMANDRI is a past member of the Legatus board of directors and a recipient of the Legatus “Ambassador of the Year” award. He is the president and chief counsel of the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (www.FCDFlegal.org).

Religious liberty on the line

Legate CHARLES LiMANDRI leads a landmark David-versus-Goliath case in New Jersey . . .

Charles LiMandri

Charles LiMandri

by Brian Fraga

This summer, a jury in New Jersey will hear arguments in Ferguson v. JONAH, which promises to be one of the most important religious liberty cases in years.

In a first-of-its-kind lawsuit, the left-leaning Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is using New Jersey’s state Consumer Fraud Act against Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH), a religious nonprofit that works with and helps people who are struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction to find counseling.

Assisted by the SPLC, four former JONAH clients and their mothers are suing the nonprofit, partially on grounds that JONAH commits consumer fraud by claiming that people can overcome same-sex desires and that homosexual behavior itself is disordered.

Charles LiMandri, president and chief counsel for the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund, is defending JONAH. A member of Legatus’ San Diego Chapter, LiMandri spoke with Legatus magazine about the upcoming trial — and the possible ramifications for Catholics who hold fast to Church teachings on same-sex behavior.

When and where will the trial be held?

The trial is scheduled to begin June 1 in Jersey City, N.J. Because this is such an important and controversial case, the judge is going to have us show up on May 29 to start selecting a jury.

What is this trial about? What is at stake?

Basically what we have is the Southern Poverty Law Center, which is probably the most extreme liberal group in the country, filing a lawsuit that they themselves call a first of its kind in the history of the United States. And indeed it is.

They think they can get a judicial ruling to silence organized religion and say that God is wrong on homosexuality. It’s the first case of its kind where they’ve gone after people for having an opposing worldview because they believe that worldview to be oppressive and hurtful.

The SPLC’s lawsuit violates the basic right to self-determination and it sets the stage for outlawing counseling that the Left does not like, including counseling by the clergy. We have to stop them here, or we are going to be fighting them all over the country. They are poised to take this nationwide.

How do you plan to argue this case?

A major theme for us, which we believe is going to resonate even with liberals, is that this is case all about the right to self-determination, free choice and free will. The other side is trying to stop people who have any opposition to homosexual behavior. The position of the Southern Poverty Law Center now is to declare that nobody should have the right to say that.

The Consumer Fraud Act has never been used to further an ideological viewpoint. It was written to stop the sale of fraudulent consumer products or fraudulent services.

We believe we can and will win this one as long as we don’t get our hands tied by unfair court rulings. As we stand, I’m confident we have a winning case because we have the truth on our side, and the party with the truth on their side, in my experience, will win 80% of the time.

What are the religious liberty implications? What could be the impact of this case?

The SPLC lawsuit is a direct attack on religious liberty. The SPLC has targeted on its website 70 other organizations — including Catholic, Evangelical and Mormon organizations — and they are soliciting people to sue these organizations now if they win the case. I predict $100 million in legal fees will be generated by people suing these organizations.

It’s a very important case in terms of the direction of our society. They’re going to trumpet the case as though it’s at the U.S. Supreme Court and, who knows, the case could end up there. The case will almost certainly go up on appeal. It’s going to end up making some kind of law at the appellate level.

Whoever wins at the trial court level is going to have a tremendous platform to trumpet to the rest of the world either a major victory or a major defeat because the issues are so very important.

With an endowment of more than $300 million, the Southern Poverty Law Center is well-funded and well-staffed with attorneys. How much of a factor has their financial strength been in bringing the case to trial?

We can’t compete with their money. Producing thousands of documents and conducting 40 depositions in 12 states is expensive. It’s been a huge undertaking for us to take this to trial.

It really is a David-versus-Goliath situation. I’m basically going month-to-month, bringing this case to trial by the grace of God through donations. Money is a big issue for us with volunteer attorneys and people working for the bare minimum. I’m talking close to minimum wage. But I have attorneys helping me out because they realize how important this is.

BRIAN FRAGA is Legatus magazine’s editorial assistant.

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15 symptoms not to ignore

Here are some very helpful tips from our friends at Healthnetwork Foundation . . .

We often wonder whether symptoms will go away on their own or whether they should be attended to immediately. Here are some symptoms that require medical attention, some more urgently than others.

1. Chest pain. If the pain goes away with an antacid, it’s less likely to be related to the heart. Pain that is a dull, pressure-like sensation with or without pain running down the left arm should be evaluated immediately.

2. Shortness of breath. If you are unable to catch your breath or find yourself gasping and wheezing, these symptoms may need to be evaluated.

3. Sudden weakness, loss of vision or speech. These symptoms could be signs of a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) and should be evaluated immediately.

4. Severe headaches. These symptoms require medical attention: Sudden onset of a severe headache “like a clap of thunder,” headache accompanied by fever, stiff neck, rash, confusion or seizures — or a one-sided headache near the temple in a middle-aged person.

5. Abdominal pain. The characteristics of the pain are important: Is it related to eating? Where does it radiate? What makes it feel worse? Is it positional? Abdominal pain that persists more than a few hours warrants a call to your doctor.

6. Delirium. Sudden confusion and rapid changes in your mental state should be assessed quickly.

7. Flashes of light. These may indicate retinal detachment and treatment should be sought immediately.

8. Persistent or high fever. Temperatures over 102°F for three days or high fevers over 104°F require medical attention.

9. Hot, red, swollen joint. This could be a joint infection, which should be treated immediately. It could also be a sign of gout or arthritis.

10. Unexplained weight loss. A loss of 10% of your weight within six months unrelated to dieting should be discussed with a medical professional.

11. Unexplained change in bowel habits. The presence of these symptoms may require medical attention: blood, black or tarry stools, extended periods of constipation or diarrhea.

12. Bruising and bleeding. If you have spontaneous, recurrent bruising or unusual bleeding that will not stop, please seek medical attention.

13. New moles or change in appearance of old moles. Changes in color, shape or size could indicate a skin cancer.

14. Early satiety. Seek medical attention if you have feelings of being full after eating smaller portions than usual, especially if accompanied by nausea, vomiting or bloating.

15. Sadness/loss of interest in life. Depression is treatable and care may begin with your primary care physician.

If you’re experiencing symptoms that require immediate medical assistance, please go directly to the emergency room and/or call 911.

Susan Locke, MD, is Healthnetwork Foundation’s medical director.

Healthnetwork is a Legatus membership benefit, a health care “concierge service” that provides members and their families access to some of the most respected hospitals in the world. One Call Starts It All: (866) 968-2467 or (440) 893-0830. Email: help@healthnetworkfoundation.org


A Legate says ‘Thank you’…

Charles LiMandri

Our experience with Healthnetwork and Scripps Health was excellent. My wife was in extreme pain when I called Healthnetwork for her. Through your efforts, Scripps got her in to see a top specialist in the field within hours. As a result, she is recovering nicely and is now practically pain free.

The service that Healthnetwork provided was truly exceptional. We could not have been more impressed with the treatment that we received. May God continue to bless you in your fine work!

Charles S. LiMandri
San Diego Chapter Member,
Legatus Board of Governors