Tuesday, 25 February 2014

URGENT: CMA to Begin Major Consultation on End of Life Care

-Larry Worthen, Executive Director CMDS

The CMA has started a major consultation with CMA members and the general public on end of life care. This includes euthanasia, advanced directives and palliative care. 

This is a signal that we are now in an all Canada debate over whether or not euthanasia should be legalized. The time has come to make our voices heard to protect human life. If we miss this chance it may be too late.  

We strongly recommend that all CMDS members participate in this process by:

If you are a member of the CMA: 

- logging in to https://cmadialogue.ca and registering to be part of the discussion - right away 
- continuing to participate in the discussion to make your views known throughout 
- attending the town halls and breakfast meetings scheduled by the CMA throughout the country for your input 

If you are not a member of the CMA:

- attending the town halls scheduled by the CMA throughout the country for your input 
- making your opinions known to the CMA via correspondence 

All of this input will be taken to the August 2014 meeting of the CMA. It is important that CMDS members get involved with the provincial associations in a formal capacity because only delegates will be able to speak and vote at the August meeting. 

Public meetings and breakfasts are scheduled throughout the country. 

Vancouver (March 24)
Whitehorse (April 16)
Regina (May 7)
Mississauga, Ont. (May 27)
Members in those areas should start now advising their church contacts, friends and family about the need to come out to these sessions. 

IT IS CRITICALLY IMPORTANT THAT WE ALL GET INVOLVED.  The experience of being in Quebec two weeks ago at Mc Gill was very disturbing. The proposed legislation requires that all physicians be involved by participating in referrals, and no institutions - hospitals, nursing homes or even hospices are exempt. Our members are concerned that it will be very difficult to practice in Quebec as a Christian physician. The can spread throughout Canada unless we act now to respond. 

Let's all pray together that this will NOT become legal in our country. 

God bless you 

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Pulse Conference Feedback

-Lester Liao

Last week I attended the Pulse Conference for Christian medical professionals in Toronto.  While it was a short conference spanning Friday evening to Saturday evening, it was certainly an informative one.  The conference was focused on providing spiritual care to patients, considering briefly its merits on the health of patients both in the conventional medical sense and spiritually, and also how it is practically done.  A number of sessions were dedicated to considering what spiritual care is including how to share the Gospel, the ethical implications of such care, the biblical impetus behind such care, and also the effects that such care has on patients.  Following these an afternoon was then set aside to practically engage the community in an effort to practice at least broaching the topic of spiritual care. This was finally followed by a wrap-up session discussing the conference and practicum.

This was only the second time it has ever been run, and a few speakers came up from the United States to share their expertise on the subject.  That being said, the conference is still in its infant stages.  From what I could gather there were some thirty to forty people in attendance at the conference, and they were from various backgrounds including nurses, social workers, physiotherapists, and of course physicians/medical students.  This multidisciplinary involvement was a highlight for me personally, as I was sitting beside a physiotherapist for the conference and found it particularly gratifying to meet a Christian in another medical field seeking to faithfully minister in his setting.  

The conference was certainly an interesting one.  The best way I can characterize it is that it was a primer to spiritual care for Christians.  Given the limited duration of the conference and its young nature, it was difficult to delve very deeply into the subject and the teaching portions were somewhat limited in scope.  Personally I would have liked to see a deeper exploration of the Bible's direction on such matters.  What the conference did provide much of, on the other hand, was testimonials on the impact of spiritual care on patients.  There was also a very heavy emphasis on being practical with what we were learning both during the conference and immediately in the workplace.  These being said I think the conference is a great place for people to begin considering the true merits of spiritual care and to receive guidance on how to do it.  It is also a wonderful place to be encouraged by other believers and to gain an appreciation for the Christian medical community seeking to serve Him in the workplace at large.  It should be noted that things will likely change not insignificantly for the conference in the years ahead, but I would wholeheartedly recommend doctors and medical students to partake in the conference to improve their ability to holistically care for patients and to see Christ glorified in medicine.  May God continue to raise up workers in healthcare that love patients and care for their souls. 

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

CMDS Executive Director to participate in Physician Conscience Rights discussion

Larry Worthen has been asked to participate for the full hour of the CBC noon hour phone in show Ontario Today on February 25th from 12:00 to 1:00 PM (EST).  The topic of discussion will be on Physician Conscience Rights.

The idea for the show came from a recent conflict between a patient and a doctor in Ottawa who has chosen to exclude contraceptives from his practice. It has come to light that three physicians in Ottawa have taken this step. Ottawa Clinic Doctors' Refusal

CMDS supports the right of physicians to determine their response to patient needs based on their medical judgement, moral concerns and religious beliefs. 

This will be the substance of the hour long phone in show. An activist group that publicized this issue will be given a prerecorded interview, then the rest of the hour will be taken up with people phoning in.

Please pray for Larry as he takes on this endeavor to uphold the conscience rights of physicians and medical professionals. You may also wish to listen in to the program, or even call.

We urge you to call in to give your opinion. The toll free number to call in is: 1-888-817-8995.

Larry Worthen BA, MA (Th.), LLB
Executive Director
Christian Medical and Dental Society of Canada
Cell: (902) 880-2495

Thursday, 13 February 2014

"Quebecers call out to the world to stop Euthanasia Bill 52"

From CoalitionMD.org
MONTREAL, Feb. 9, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - As Quebec prepares to become the first province in Canada and the first place in the Americas to enact a law permitting euthanasia without a referendum, Quebecers call out to the world to ask their help to influence the government of Quebec not to  pass the legislation. In this video different citizens from a cross section of Quebec society share their personal stories and explain the dangers and abuses that would follow if such a law is enacted.
Nadine who is currently 16 years old and has conquered an aggressive form of leukemia including a harrowing experience with a bone marrow transplant, describes how she would have refused lifesaving chemotherapy when she was only 14 years old if the proposed law was in force. The law would allow 14 year olds to refuse treatment without the consent of their parents. Thankfully the law was not in place and Nadine is alive and well. Her mother Claude testifies to the importance of family and love in supporting young people through the most vulnerable time of their lives.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

"Mixing medicine and religion"

From the Duke Chronicle Herald, 

Interdisciplinarity, usually an ill-defined buzzword at Duke, has found a concrete purpose in a partnership between the Divinity School and the School of Medicine. The jointly launched Theology, Medicine and Culture initiative seeks to "deepen theological reflection, church practice, and community formation related to the human experience of illness, suffering and death."

Founded in 2013, TMC offers Divinity students the option of pursuing a certificate program and medical students the opportunity to attain a dual degree. Ray Barfield, the program’s director, stresses TMC’s role in promoting holistic medicine, noting that, “medicine is failing, and one of the main reasons is because the only language it has access to is the incredibly efficient and devastatingly limited language of biology.”
By broadening doctors’ vocabularies, the joint program seeks to address two common criticisms of health care delivery: the inability of many doctors to communicate effectively with patients and a lack of cultural competency among health care providers.
Doctors who coolly treat their patients as test subjects or who fail to connect with them can sow mistrust and, in some cases, worsen health outcomes. Cultural tone-deafness—doctors failing to understand a patient’s background—can cause patients to remain wary of their health care providers and lead to poor treatment.
It seems plausible that theological study would help doctors better communicate with and understand the beliefs of their Christian patients. [Read more: http://www.dukechronicle.com/articles/2014/02/05/mixing-medicine-and-religion]

Monday, 10 February 2014

ICMDA World Congress

-Jennifer Derwey

The ICMDA XVth World Congress will take place in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. 

19 - 22 July 2014 Students and Junior Graduates’ Congress

The theme of the congress will be SERVE SHARE SHINE. The Student and Junior Graduates' Congress will focus on the nature of our identities – both as Christians and as medical and dental students and professionals – and explore how these may be integrated.

Keynote speakers: Jan Kunene, Pablo Martinez, Florence Muindi

Bible speaker: Lindsay Brown