The Desert's Christian Radio



I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick
and you looked after me...Matt. 25:36a, NIV

June 2005

Dear friend of KHCS,

Not long ago the world’s attention was captured by the plight of a disabled Florida woman, Terri Schindler-Shiavo, who suffered major a loss of brain function in 1990.  After years of refusing any rehabilitative therapy, her husband, Michael Schiavo, finally won the right to have her feeding tube removed, causing her to die of dehydration and starvation.  This, to me, was beyond a tragedy.  It was a disgrace. 

It also strikes home to me, as my father went through something similar at Eisenhower Medical Center in 1998.  After having a tracheotomy removed, he was unable to swallow and needed a feeding tube.  One day, he pulled it out and the doctor insisted that he was depressed and wanted to die. 

Now, read this carefully as it may save your life or that of a loved one.  I grabbed a clipboard and some paper and asked my father to write down what he wanted.  Well, the result looked like a seismograph and was totally illegible.  So I wrote some words and phrases on the paper and asked him to point to what it was he wanted.  It turned out that he pulled the feeding tube because it hurt, and he wanted something to eat.

The doctors said he could aspirate the food, catch pneumonia and die.

I told them that without food, he positively would die, so which was the better risk management?  That brought them up short.  It seems that Eisenhower Medical Center has a Department of Risk Management or something similar.  We were able to scrounge some pudding and get a few spoonfuls down.  My wife Carolyn and I visited several times a day, feeding my father baby food and pudding.  We were able to get him well enough to bring him home. 

Now, I have some suggestions, learned from experience:

1.  Prepare a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and an Advance Directive for every adult member of your family, and have these notarized.  You can use a printed form, a software program, or try the Christian Medical and Dental Association website,   Having a limited financial power of attorney to manage assets is a good idea too.

2.  If you are named executor of a Power of Attorney for someone who is in a hospital and has difficulty communicating, show up at the hospital as often as you can.  Several times a day, if possible.  Don’t be afraid to be a pest; show that you are paying attention and expect proper care.

3.  If the patient has difficulty communicating, don’t expect the doctors and nurses to take the time to try.  They won’t.  You have to do it.  It may take over an hour to communicate one thought.  This requires patience and creativity. 

4.  Don’t be afraid to get a second opinion.  When Eisenhower’s resident psychiatrist declared my father to be depressed and wanting to die, I called in another psychiatrist to provide a contrary diagnosis.  You say the insurance company won’t pay for it?  Then pay for it yourself.  You’re not their slave.

5.  In the event that a loved one does pass on, I hope that they have a valid will or Living Trust to designate the disbursement of assets.  This could provide some certainty to your family in what is already an emotionally trying time. 

Designating a portion of your will to worthy ministries such as your church or the ministry of Joy 92-FM will help ensure that the Lord’s work continues even when you’re with Him.  Your own financial advisor can help you with this, or, if you don’t have one, please contact us here at KHCS.

In other news . . . your responses to our recent survey show that you want KHCS to bring you interviews with local Christian leaders, and issues of community interest.  As our staff is “maxxed-out” with our current work-load, we need additional personnel to bring you the programming enhancements you want to hear.  Your generous, tax-deductible contributions are needed immediately to help us provide these much-desired improvements to our programming lineup.  

Please contribute as generously and as faithfully as you can.

In His joy!

Glen Kippel

Glen Kippel
General Manager

P.S.  Our goal is to provide maximum ministry to the maximum number of listeners.  It is important that you return your survey as soon as you can.

Click here for a copy of the 2005 Survey

Mailing Address:
KHCS - Joy92
PO Box 2507
Palm Springs, CA  92263