Ethics Training: Medicine and end-of-life care – Bronte Dobos

2 MINUTE READ

from Luke’s Journal CMDFA 2020 Vol 25 No 1

Having undertaken the first few years of my degree at a rural site, I relocated to Newcastle at the beginning of 2019. since moving here, I have been wrapped into rich fellowship with the CMDFA community and suddenly found many events and training opportunities more accessible.

One such event was held in February 2019, covering the CMDFA position on euthanasia and end-of-life care. This medical and biblical perspective was facilitated by two guests who travelled to the area especially for the event. The guest speakers were Dr Megan Best, a palliative care expert and senior lecturer at the University of Sydney and University of Notre Dame, and Dr Andrew Sloane, who is a senior lecturer in Old Testament and Christian Thought at Morling College.

Over the course of the session, we covered the prominence and importance of end-of-life care, the arguments for euthanasia, how to engage using arguments against euthanasia as well as the introduction and application of useful biblical and theological resources. This was followed by a question and answer session for any outstanding queries, as well as to prompt further discussion.

I loved that people from such a diverse variety of age groups and stages in life were able to gather to consider these issues. It was invaluable to have the opportunity to test knowledge and ideas against others who were more experienced and to hear concerns and thoughts raised that I had not previously considered. Most importantly, we approached this issue as brothers and sisters gathered before the Lord with a concern for His glory and the flourishing of others. It is in this framework that we are best equipped to discuss ethics and enact God’s love.

“It was invaluable to have the opportunity to test knowledge and ideas against others who were more experienced…”

It can be challenging to remain engaged in issues such as these, but these events facilitated by CMDFA are really helpful in doing so. This particular event was repeated a month later in Sydney and the talks have been made available online at http://www.cmdfa.org.au/Resources/Ethics/ethics

Throughout the year, I have heard people reference this training in conversation and I still refer back to the handouts we were given and the notes I made! This training opportunity has provided an excellent foundation which has assisted me to become steadier and more confident in my conversations with friends, at university, throughout my palliative care rotation, and during hospital in-services regarding euthanasia legislation.

Another medical student has said,

“The euthanasia ethics session really helped me to challenge and form educated opinions on an issue that is quickly coming to the forefront in legislation. It gave me a clearer understanding of my role in caring for those whose vulnerabilities have presented themselves, emphasising how important it is for Christian medical practitioners to have an informed, clear and understandable way of advocating for these people.”

If you have the opportunity, I would highly recommend that you attend the CMDFA training events. In addition, if you have the capacity, I would encourage you to consider facilitating a training event for the benefit of other fellow CMDFA members, or perhaps for your church or small group.

Bronte Dobos is a fifth-year medical student in Newcastle, NSW. Her husband is a school teacher and they are involved at Hunter Bible Church. Her first IMPACT was three years ago and she has loved the encouragement and sharpening of the wider CMDFA community ever since.

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