presence

“Those of us who have spent time in the company of people with mortal illness have learned from them that we are always challenged to know more and to help more effectively but, above all, to listen.  Sometimes there will be no answers to give to those in apparently desperate situations, and we find ourselves […]

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“I work as a psychologist in a hospital, and I deal in particular with pregnancy issues. A woman and her husband tried to have children for a long time, and last February the long-awaited pregnancy finally began. One month later, the woman was diagnosed with cancer. The doctors didn’t give her any hope of survival, […]

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… would not be beautiful enough … In the past few days I had an experience that I want to verify with you, and I also want to ask you a question. My father got sick, apparently with the flu, then as the days went by, strange, worrisome symptoms appeared, to the point that on […]

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I talk to parents and to children, and they don’t know where to turn. They’re so frightened. They’re standing in front of the mystery and are suddenly asking themselves what they can do – they call it bargaining with God, but I think it’s much deeper than that. It’s realizing that you haven’t been busy […]

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The Supreme Court of British Columbia recently declared unconstitutional criminal code provisions prohibiting assisting in a suicide … effectively legalizing assisted suicide. The National Post story, BioEdge comments, from Margaret Somerville’s analysis … “People who support legalizing assisted suicide/euthanasia simply assume that individual autonomy is the value that takes priority. But research shows that the […]

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… the BMJ joins the AAHPM in adopting a position of “studied neutrality” in their paths toward Physician Assisted Suicide. From a letter to AAHPM from the Supportive Care Coalition at the time (2007) of the AAHPM’s change in position … “[We] oppose all efforts to legalize physician assisted suicide.  Precisely because you are a […]

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… for the person suffering it, but the hardest thing is not being able to experience sickness in a truly human way. Enzo: The Adventure of a FriendshipEnzo: The Adventure of a Friendship. Emilio Bonicelli. p. 50

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Adele V. (not her real name), mid-60s, morbidly obese, heart disease, diabetes, dependent edema that became painful by late afternoon … Adele’s husband, slim and well dressed, strides through the front door. He nods at his wife, then me, and sits without a word in the corner … What the room tells me, what her […]

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“When I look at a patient, in this case a dying patient, I really look at the primary core spiritual need that they are presenting to me. Is it a quest for meaning to try to determine what their life meant or what their faith means? Or, are they presenting a need for affirmation, support, […]

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Recently I asked my sober priest friend Monsignor Richey how I’d know if I was making any spiritual progress. The pious urge to pray many hours a day? I was thinking. Guru status? He pondered for a moment. “If crazy people aren’t afraid to come up to you and talk … that’s a pretty good […]

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