Catholic Medical Quarterly Volume 72 (3) August 2022

Recent Meetings

The 2022 Annual Conference of the CMA (UK). St Mary’s Twickenham
“Palliative Care: The Christian way”

Symposium photoThe annual conference of the CMA in St Mary’s University Twickenham was a great success with 70 people attending and a wide range of speakers.

After two years without any face to face conference or Annual General Meeting, St Mary’s University was chosen as a venue for the 2022 Conference and AGM. The chosen subject was “Palliative Care: The Christian way“ with the purpose of promoting education in end of life Care and discussing both the recently produced Protocol for Dying and the Lancet commission on Dying. With open discussion it was hoped that there could be produced a specific treatment pathway incorporating aspects supporting a Christian Philosophy in dealing with the very difficult issues which are encountered in Palliative care.

Speakers were chosen from differing perspectives and included those who were religious in outlook but also from those with no religious persuasion . A Humanist atheist was included.

David Jones and Pia Matthews provided an up to date analysis of the Theological and Ethical issues which were relevant and current considerations in clinical practice. Professor Bill Noble addressed the outline of historical development of services with an emphasis on promoting education and protocols. His position as Professor of Palliative Care and his previous experience as Director of the Marie Curie  services gave a broad perspective to his excellent talk.

Dominic Whitehouse gave an in depth review of clinical services from the point of view of a Hospice Medical Director. He was able to interweave ethical issues of importance in everyday practice.

Philip Howard as both lawyer and clinician gave an outline of legal matters with case studies from past experience together with ethical observances.

Teresa Lynch presented the recently produced Protocol for treatment of the dying from a Christian perspective . This protocol was discussed as a template for the future to include ethical and practical issues. Also considered was the more recent Lancet Commission report on considering the value of dying which is an alternative document on Palliative Care.

Dementia handTo give breadth to the subject matter Dr. Adrian Treloar gave a description of his Community Dementia services of which he was Clinical Director. Dementia is not seen an illness that merits a Palliative approach.

Question and answer sessions were encouraged throughout but the final session drawing together all that had been discussed was chaired by Consultant Rheumatologist Dr. Adrian Farrell.

The meeting was concluded with Mass in the University Chapel followed by Dinner. Considering the restrictions of Covid attendance was good at both the conference and dinner The following morning the AGM and council meeting were held.

Sussex Branch:
Healing in the Bible

Arundel CathedralSussex branch had an excellent meeting in the very beautiful Arundel Cathedral. We started with Mass .Edward Hopkins, a seminarian in Arundel and Brighton Diocese and he gave a wonderful talk on spirituality in medicine. We hope that he will write this up for the CMQ in future.

In the book of Sirach (part of the apocrypha) we ae told to “Give doctors the honor they deserve, for the Lord gave them their work to do. Their skill came from the Most High, and kings reward them for it. Their knowledge gives them a position of importance, and powerful people hold them in high regard.

The Lord created medicines from the earth, and a sensible person will not hesitate to use them. Didn't a tree once make bitter water fit to drink, so that the Lord's power[b] might be known? He gave medical knowledge to human beings, so that we would praise him for the miracles he performs.” (Sirach 38 1-8)

This was a most inspiring day and along with the Annual Conference among our first physical meetings since the start of the pandemic. We hope to publish Edward’s paper on this subject in the November edition of the Quarterly.

Portsmouth Branch
Towards a Spirituality of Medicine.

Also met and heard from Fr James McTavish. You can read what he said in this edition of the CMQ