CMDFA End of Life Resources – Dr Michael Nicholson

“Were you there when they hung him on a tree? Were you?”


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

The haunting tune and stark question in this hymn from Africa shocks us out of our relatively safe and free lives.

Can you imagine if we had been there?

Even most of the Apostles were not there.

That Christ, God – yet truly Human, went through the unimaginable brutality of being crucified, forces us to face the reality of that great lesson ancient Judaism gave the world (on which our own civilisation is based):

“Thou shalt not (kill) murder”

Of course we, “Tremble, tremble, tremble,” to realise that our nation is legalising killing in the name of compassion.

Not that it is many years since we ceased to kill criminals.

Oh yes – all the safeguards get written into law, and then are quietly watered down when the shouting and the tumult dies.

Children, we now hear – below the age of consent – are being euthanised; as are those with dementia – without the capacity to give consent – even being sedated beforehand to make it more dignified for the killers!

Compassion starts with Care. Care offers Hope and, with Palliative Care, the tri-unity of spirit, soul and body come together to encourage the growth that brings a Good Death.

The case for Palliative Care and not Euthanasia is sensitively and expertly put by Dr Megan Best in two CMDFA resources: Euthanasia (booklet form1) and End of Life care seminar (in six 20-minute podcasts2). Two further 15-minute videos are available from the CMDFA office at

They are a valuable addition to bringing reason back to the debate.

Dr Michael Nicholson
Dr Michael Nicholson is a retired rural GP currently living in Newcastle. 



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