‘Suffering’ Category Archives


EUTHANASIA AND THE “CONSCIENCE VOTE”: by the way, what does “conscience” mean?

by Arnold Jago in Australia, Death, Ethics, Health, Justice, Suffering, Truth

Victorian state MPs may soon participate in a “conscience vote” about legalising euthanasia by doctor-assisted suicide.
What do these people think “conscience” means?
For most it seems to mean “what I feel comfortable with”.
Being comfortable is a feeling — not the same as using one’s intelligence or willing good to another person.
If you’re uncomfortable witnessing somebody in a weakened or undignified state or having to bear incompletely-controlled pain, there’s a simple, only-too-obvious solution — kill that person or help him/her suicide.
Less convenient is the alternative — the attention to detail of good nursing and medication-dosage plus one-to-one spiritual support in facing the lonely truth of the situation.
Traditionally “conscience” means putting into practice what is one’s best understanding of Moral Truth — seeking the best possible fulfilment of the person of the sufferer, given the present situation.
Why? Because we love that person.
By contrast, killing is a cop-out.

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DR RODNEY SYME AND THE VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT: doing the wrong thing by terminal patients.

by Arnold Jago in crime, Death, Ethics, Health, Justice, Politics, Suffering

In early 2016, a Victorian man with advanced tongue cancer was offered Nembutal (illegal lethal tablets) by euthanasia-promoting doctor, Dr Rodney Syme.
The patient’s GP complained and the Medical Board of Victoria put a ban on Dr Syme from practising end-of-life patient care – describing him as a “serious risk”.
Dr Syme appealed to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) which has reversed the ban.
Assisting a patient to commit suicide is against the law in Victoria and carries a 5-year prison sentence.
That is an excellent law, designed to protect vulnerable people from falling into the hands of the euthanasia types — while, hopefully, accessing care from proper palliative care doctors.
The Victorian government plans to reverse that law — a bad move which would endanger the frail, the despairing, the weak and the elderly.



by Arnold Jago in Common Sense, Death, Ethics, Health, Suffering

In 50 years of practising medicine, including in the third world, often with no palliative care practitioner or any other doctor available to discuss near-death care, I only ever had one serious request for euthanasia.
This patient did, in fact, find another doctor to consult. I never heard the outcome.
I think Australia’s media cover the euthanasia issue badly.
They imply that without legal euthanasia, patients will be left in artificially-prolonged suffering when already irretrievably in the process of dying.
This falsifies what opponents of euthanasia are saying.
I think the truth is best summed this way:
“An act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his Creator….
“Discontinuing medical procedures that are burdensome, dangerous, extraordinary, or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be legitimate; it is the refusal of ‘over-zealous’ treatment. Here one does not will death; one’s inability to impede it is merely accepted….”
(quote from Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2277-2278)


WHITE RIBBON DAY: not just pure emotivism one hopes?

by Arnold Jago in Family, Justice, Lifestyle, Suffering, Women

White Ribbon Day?

The day we’re told yet again that domestic violence is bad and that men shouldn’t hit women.

Which is true enough.

But why no mention of female-inflicted violence and cruelty?

If a man is slapped, belittled, spat upon, given the silence treatment, lied about — where can he turn?

No bruises, lacerations etc. to show.

If he suicides, the statistic won’t be acknowledged as caused by female domestic abuse.

As a doctor, I have come across this only too often.

If you have doubts, ask your own GP.



A JOBS-BASED RECOVERY? what kind of Jobs?

by Arnold Jago in Ethics, Politics, Suffering

Every political party seems to say the same things:

“We’re the party of change.”

“We’re the party for small business.”

“We’re the party to create more jobs.”

Hang on a minute…. Are more jobs good? Always?

Does the local baby want mummy gone to a job (a job not looking after local baby)?

More jobs – spelt as above – are a two-edged sword.

What we do need is more Jobs (spelt with a capital “J”).

As per the Bible. Read the Book of Job. You’ll seldom find a better story.

It’s about re-considering our grievances re God permitting suffering — in the context of God’s almighty goodness.

Also how the only ethics that can change the world are the ethics of Virtue.

Virtues including Faith, Hope, Love, Fortitude, Temperance and Justice. Plus — last-but-not-least — Prudence.

The Prophet Job had these virtues.

We need more Jobs — more people like Job.

Soon, before everybody is blown up or beheaded.

Or falls asleep in front of the TV.




CHILD ABUSE: the Pope makes a definitive move

by Arnold Jago in Faith, Justice, Modern Church, Suffering, Youth

Last week, Pope Francis warned Catholic clergy never to try to cover up sexual abuse.

“Families need to know,” he said, “that the Church is making every effort to protect their children….

“Consequently, priority must not be given to any other kind of concern, whatever its nature — such as the desire to avoid scandal — since there is absolutely no place in ministry for those who abuse minors.”

A new Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors is to be led by America’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley plus priests and lay people from many countries, including two victims of paedophile priests.

Last November, a former altar boy, now 25, wrote to Francis saying he had been molested by priests in Spain from the age of 7 to 18.

The pope called him back personally and told him to go straight to his bishop, to whom Francis wrote with orders to open an investigation.

And he has written reminding all bishops that they must ensure that Vatican instructions on how to handle sexual abuse cases are implemented.

“Pastors and those in charge of religious communities should be available to meet with victims and their loved ones: such meetings are valuable opportunities for listening to those who have greatly suffered and for asking their forgiveness,” he said.

I was very happy to hear this news.