Tim Stanley Dealing with my mother’s cancer CHARTERHOUSE, PAGE 20
David Howell Madrid was a turning point for the Pope COMMENT, PAGE 12
Sir Paul Coleridge Divorce could go the way of smoking INTERVIEW, PAGE 7
August 17 2012 £1.50 (Republic of Ireland €1.80)
Doctors say keeping very ill children alive may be torture
BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
RELIGIOUS PARENTS may be subjecting their terminally ill children to torture by resisting an end to “burdensome” or “invasive” care, an article in the Journal of Medical Ethics has suggested.
The paper, authored by two paediatricians from Great Ormond Street Hospital and its hospital chaplain, argued: “Article 3 of the Human Rights Act 1998... is specifically intended to ensure ‘no one shall be subjected to torture or to inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment’.”
They wrote: “Spending a lifetime attached to a mechanical ventilator having every bodily function supervised and sanitised by a carer or relative, leaving no dignity or privacy to the child or adult, has been argued as inhumane.”
Dr Joe Brierley and Dr Andy Petros of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Great Ormond Street, along with Rev Jim Linthicum, called for a default position in which the religious views of the parent do not determine decision-making on behalf of the child. They wrote: “The fervent belief that some parents hold, while often of comfort to themselves, does not always take into consideration the best interests of their child, who may not be old enough to have a religious belief... As Dawkins suggests, should we refer to the ‘child of Christian parents’ rather than a ‘Christian child’?”
The authors also cite financial concerns and the interests of society in support of stopping treatment in some circumstances. They write: “While we feel the best interests of the child in question are paramount, the interests of society, including the other children who might have used this valuable resource, cannot be ignored.” The paper reviews
The interests of society, including other children who might have used this resource, cannot be
For the latest Catholic education news, visit CatholicHerald.co.uk clinical cases over a three-year period during which 203 children had withdrawal or limitation of invasive care recommended by doctors. Eleven of those “involved challenging protracted discussions, largely based upon the belief in the sanctity of life as a result of the parents' religious convictions... Followers of the Muslim, Jewish and Roman Catholic faiths were also represented in this group.”
Dr David Albert Jones, Director of the Anscombe Bioethics Centre said: “This report should be treated with caution and it should first be noted that in the great majority of cases (over 91 per cent) agreement was reached immediately, and in a further six per cent it was reached by discussion.
“It is difficult to imagine the situation where a parent faces losing a child and it is understandable that many parents are unwilling to let go. This is true whether a parent has faith or not. In a third of cases of difficulty noted in the report, religious faith did not play any explicit role. It is not, therefore, a uniquely religious problem, but is fundamentally a question of how best to find agreement about what is in a child’s best interest.
Dr Jones emphasised that the law needed to strike a correct balance between competing interests.
He said: “The law must take into account a balance between the presumption in favour of preserving life, and the presumption in favour of parental responsibility, and rare cases where agreement cannot be reached on withdrawing treatment... Irrespective of the faith of parents, the default position should be for treatment decisions to be by agreement with the parents unless a court decides to take the matter out of their hands.” Editorial Comment: Page 13
Benedict XVI prays for victims of flooding
POPE BENEDICT XVI has asked Catholics around the world to pray and offer material assistance to flood victims in the Philippines (pictured) and China and victims of the earthquake in Iran.
The Pope said on Sunday after reciting the Angelus at the papal summer villa in Castel Gandolfo: “I ask you to join me in prayer for those who lost their lives and for all the people so harshly tried by such devastating calamities. May these brothers and sisters of ours not lack our solidarity and support.”
An estimated 270,000 people are homeless in Manila.
AP Photo/Aaron Favila
Historic pledge signed in Warsaw
BY STAFF REPORTER
THE CATHOLIC Church in Poland and the Russian Orthodox Church were due to make a historic step towards reconciliation today.
Archbishop Jozef Michalik, President of the Polish Episcopal Centre and Kirill I, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, were due to sign a joint declaration to signal their desire for reconciliation.
Archbishop Michalik told Poland’s Catholic Information Agency (KAI) that the declaration was a step “in this phase we cannot but take”.
He said: “This event must not be treated in political terms but as an indication of a path, a symbol and a sign of obedience to the will of Christ, an important step on the path of forgiveness.”
The President of the Polish Episcopal Centre said that the declaration for the people of Russia and Poland and the exchange of letters between the Polish and German bishops in 1965, stem “from the Gospel”.
In June 2010, following the announcement of the shared pledge, Archbishop Stanislaw Budzik, general secretary of the Polish bishops’ conference said: “During the history of our nations we have experienced glorious moments but also very painful ones. As Christians we should reflect on the history of our nations and call for mutual love and cooperation.”
September 2009 saw significant attempts to make peace by Russian monks, who visited the shrine of the Black Madonna of Czestochowa.
In turn, the Russian Orthodox delegation received a copy of the Icon of the Black Madonna of Czestochowa from Archbishop Stanislaw Nowak of Czestochowa and Fr Izydor Matuszewski, prior general of Pauline Fathers and custodian of the shrine.
Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev, head of the Russian Orthodox Church’s external relations department, said: “Our aim is to call for mutual forgiveness and reconciliation so the errors of the past are not repeated in the future.”
Kinnoull Centre for Spirituality
HomeoftheRedemptoristsinScotland Our Seven Week Renewal Courses are specifically designed to meet the needs of those who are looking for a shorter renewal course with a clear focus on personal renewal through Prayer, Scripture, Inner Healing and an integrated Spirituality of True Self-Esteem. One of the highlights is our week on Celtic Spirituality and a Pilgrimage to Columba’s isle of Iona.
OUR SEVEN WEEK SABBATICAL FOR PRIESTS AND RELIGIOUS 22 Oct-6 Dec 2012 & 20 May-4 July 2013
The weeks include: Spirituality of True Self Esteem
28 Oct-2 Nov 12 / 26-31 May 13 Fr. Jim McManus CSsR & Ms Marie Hogg
The Healing Ministry
4-8 Nov 12 / 2-7 June 13 Fr. Jim McManus CSsR Pilgrimage to Iona & a week of Celtic Studies & Spirituality
8-15 Nov 12 / 6-14 June 13
Fr. JJ O’Riordan CSsR Jesus in the Gospels 18-22 Nov 12 / 16-21 June 13
Fr. Robert Hill Transitions in Life 25-30 Nov 12 / 23-28 June 13
Fr. Ronnie McAinsh CSsR Prof. Elizabeth L. Leo will also lead some days through the course on: ‘Person - centred Leadership and Learning’ It is now possible to choose one or two weeks on the Renewal course in Perth that interest you. These Renewal Weeks and Retreats are open to all. Redemptorist Centre of Spirituality Telephone: 01738 624075 / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.kinnoullmonastery.co.uk
Priest is heckled on radio as he says believers are often ridiculed BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
THE DIRECTOR OF the National Office for Vocations of England and Wales was heckled on a radio programme as he began to tell the audience that people of faith often have their views dismissed or ridiculed in the public square.
Appearing as a panellist on the Radio 4 programme Any Questions, Fr Christopher Jamison said: “I think what concerns me is that there is a kind of new discrimination emerging which is that we are very keen to have a neutral public square which is quite right and proper in a secular democracy. One of the difficulties for people of faith is trying to get their views heard in that public square,” but members of the audience then heckled him. When the presenter Eddie Mair asked Fr Jamison why he thought he was heckled, he replied: “Well, I was intrigued, it sort of slightly proved the point.”
Fr Jamison, who is former abbot of Worth Abbey in Sussex, was replying to the question of whether he had ever faced discrimination. After being heckled he continued: “There is a real tension here because sometimes it can appear that if you believe certain things, although your opinion will be listened to often it will be ridiculed rather quickly.”
Fr Jamison told the audience: “At the time of the Papal Visit we had a fantastic opportunity afterwards where the British Humanist Association asked to meet a group of Catholic spokespeople and it was a really amazing dialogue. We said that actually there had been too much grandstanding around the time of the Papal visit and it had been a dialogue of the deaf. And when a group of us sat down and talked about the thing more personally there was a much more real engagement of listening and trying to understand.”
Paralympian raised by Sisters in Iraq
BY MARK GREAVES
AN ORPHAN raised by the Missionaries of Charity in Baghdad is to compete in a sprint swimming event at the London Paralympics.
Ahmed Kelly, who grew up in Australia after being adopted aged nine, will race in the 50m breaststroke. He has already broken a world record twice at 100m.
Kelly, who was born with severely underdeveloped a rms and l egs, was l e f t outside the Sisters’ orphanage in Baghdad and raised there until he was adopted, along with his brother, by Moira Kelly, an Australian humanitarian worker.
In Australia he had surgery on h i s l egs and, fitted with prosthetic limbs, played Aussie rules football for h i s school and c lub before taking up swimming.
Moira Kelly, who founded the Children First Foundation, was herself inspired by Mother Teresa to become an a id worker. Ahmed’s brother, Emmanuel, starred in the US version of The X Factor.
Athlete wins race with Virgin Mary BY DAVID V BARRETT
WHEN ETHIOPIAN athlete Meseret Defar won gold in the 5,000 metre race the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Christ Child were with her.
As she crossed the finishing line she pulled a piece of cloth with an image of the Mother and, Child from under her jersey and with tears in her eyes, showed it to the cameras and then held i t to her face in prayer.
Orthodox Christian, had entrusted her race to God with the Sign of the Cross.
Press agencies did not seem to know how to caption their pictures. AP called the icon simply “a picture”.
Defar won the race with a time of 15:04, beat-
ing the favourite to win, fellow Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba, who came third. Vivian Cheruiyot of
Kenya won silver.
Defar, a d e v o u t
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