Editorial: Dying and Palliative Care – Dr Iain Poi

The Journey Home


From Luke’s Journal 2021 | Dying & Palliative Care | Vol.26 No.2

Cover Theme Photo: Eleasa Sieh 

We are generally optimistic about our work in healthcare: happy that we can usually relieve pain or alleviate suffering.  

Yet, there comes a point when traditional remedies cease to work, when the curse of death starts to take over the gift of life, and our stewardship of it begins to visibly and miserably fail. What do we do then?

In this issue of Luke’s Journal, Christian healthcare practitioners from all around Australia have been sharing their experiences and ways to deal with this issue.

Where there is life, we are called to sustain and salvage it, little though there may be.

Palliative care can be immensely painful. Sustaining a deteriorating and withering patient (whilst watching them grow weaker and weaker) may seem like trying to rescue a drowning person who is chained to a sinking Titanic – heavy, somber, dire and alarming. Yet, where there is life, we are called to sustain and salvage it, little though there may be.

If they are not Christian, we can only try to shed a little Christ-like light into our patient’s lives, humbly until the very end. If we have a long-standing relationship and consent, there might even possibly be an opportunity to share with them the eternal and perfect cure to be found in Jesus Christ. If Christian, we can share in their joy and hope as we fare them well on their journey home back to the Father and King.

Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must be clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.

When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come to pass: “Death
has been swallowed up in victory.”

“Where, O Death, is your victory?
Where, O Death, is your sting?”
1 Corinthians 15:51-55

On behalf of Luke’s Journal Editorial team and its contributors, we present to you Dying and Palliative Care – The Journey Home and hope you are edified by it.

Dr Iain Poi
Dr Iain Poi is a general dentist who works in private practice, aged care and prisons around Victoria. 

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