Catholic Medical Quarterly Volume 72(2) May 2022

In This Issue

War in Ukraine

We have all looked aghast at the war in Ukraine, bringing death, destruction and indiscriminate bombing to bear upon so many. When we see evil it is, at times, truly shocking. At others, we grow used to it. One of our members alerted us to the needs of Fr Marcin, a Catholic priest in the Ukraine. As well as emptying the coffers of our Catholic Medical Missionary Society, many members have sent money to support the refugees. We publish Fr Marcin’s plea for help on page 7.

Saving the Ukrainian President

Also in this issue we reflect a little upon the wonderful CMA member Prof John Henry who famously saved the life of the Ukrainian President Yushchenko who was poisoned using Dioxin. John made the diagnosis when he saw his face on the television. We also publish in this issue a protocol for the care of the dying patient. This has been developed as a resource for Catholic Health Professionals.

Care of the dying

It is pro-life to be against killing, against war and to protect the vulnerable. It is also, very pro-life to passionately care about good care of the dying. We must therefore pray for an end to the awful war we are seeing. And also work to protect those who are most vulnerable. Where the world opposes any help or care given to those who are most vulnerable, those who serve the sick and vulnera-ble really should command our deepest respect. We are therefore pleased to publish a Protocol on care of the dying. Written by our nurse colleagues, it deserves a prominent place as a well thought through description of what makes up good care of the dying.

Assisted dying legislation increases the suicide rate in general

A recent paper by Prof David Jones is reviewed by Alex Scadenburg, from the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition in Canada on page 27. Assisted Suicide leads to more deaths by suicide generally. This is an important message. It makes sense. As a psychiatrist, I can see that in a world which increasingly talks about euthanasia and assisted suicide as a good thing, it will be increasingly difficult to do what psychiatrists do -i.e. to prevent suicide. If suicide is a ”reasonable option”, then preventing it appears irrational or even unkind. Actually, I know from repeated first hand experience, that preventing suicide leads to good outcomes and grateful patients.


It is also pro-life to be honest. The searing honesty of Francis Etheredge on page 25 of this issue is commendable and extraordinary. Do please read his article on Loneliness and Aloneness. -