Catholic Medical Quarterly Volume 64(4) November 2014



One of the great messages of Our Blessed Lord's ministry on earth was to treat the sick and especially to both cure and rehabilitate Lepers into society. Our Lord passionately pointed out that everyone was centrally important and that Lepers could not be outcasts as they were.

Ever since then, medicine has been imbued with a strong culture that understands the vocation of doctors and nurses to care for the sick and to risk their health in doing so.  At its most routine, this may involve going to work and risking catching flu during a flu epidemic, or working in an infectious diseases unit.  During the SARS epidemic in China, one of our members reported that as a critical care anaesthesiologist, and not knowing what would happen to those who caught SARS, he went to work and knew that after two weeks on duty he would be quarantined from his family for a further month, which makes saying goodbye to your family and going to work very difficult indeed.

Now is therefore the time to salute all those doctors and nurses and army personnel, who have gone to West Africa and cared for the victims of Ebola. The Spanish nurse who died after looking after a priest who also died of Ebola is but one case of an absolutely heroic nurse who paid the price of her generosity.

We must pray for all those with Ebola and all those caring them. May they be protected as they express their vocation with such heroism.

Editors note. The Catholic Medical Missionary Society is also sending money to support local services in doing this work.