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A task force of medical doctors, Homeland Security, Centers for Disease Control, and DHH recently set up guidelines for hospitals to use when widespread health care disasters from pandemics, epidemics, natural disasters, or war occur. While admitting that, "There are some real concerns here," the rules exclude care for the elderly, those with chronic diseases, and those whose wounds are severe or life-threatening, as to be too time-intensive. The government has allotted money to hospitals to buy portable disposable ventilators to prepare for a national emergency or mass casualties. Homeland Security has admitted that it is not a question of if, but of when, it happens. Having worked 27 years in intensive care, operating ventilators for critically ill patients, I recognize that no hospital in America is prepared for an influx of hundreds of critically ill patients, and that triage will be necessary to determine who will be given treatment and who will not.

However, I am more alarmed about the lack of concern for the causes of this dilemma, than for its consequences. Many are preparing for apocalyptic fallout, but nearly no one is preparing for conversion and repentance. Are our priests ready to give the sacraments to the dying under such horrific circumstances; to hear confessions and snatch from Satan's jaws those deep in sin, or will they just erroneously pronounce, "God forgives you," and run from the horror, leaving many in a state of despair. On that day, there will be only heroes (saints) and cowards (judases).

In our society, which prides itself on its advances in scientific technology and the progress it perceives as the result of an advanced evolutionary stage, and mocks the idea of an immortal soul made in God's image and likeness, my response to Phil Beavers' editorial is: Man reduces himself to "psychological slavery" when he attempts to reduce his existence to natural selection and negates his immortal soul!

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