In this edition, focusing on Issues of Life, we hear from Bishop John Sherrington, Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Westminster and Bishop for Life at the Catholic Bishops' Conference, and Dr Sian Davies, Palliative Care Specialist.
With the rise of questions around how we can better protect life, Bishop John explores the question of developing a whole life ethic, protecting life from conception to natural death. Speaking ahead of the second reading of Baroness Meacher's Bill on Assisted Dying, he draws the distinction between the false compassion of physician assisted suicide and the true compassion of palliative care, saying;
'Compassion comes from the Latin words cum passio, meaning "to suffer with". Suffering-with is not ending life, or terminating life. True compassion is standing with, being with, living with others in their suffering and therefore you can't present killing as compassion.'
Dr Sian shares her personal testimony of working in palliative care for over 30 years, and journeying with people at the end of their lives. She explains that palliative care means 'the care we give is of benefit to such a broad range of people; patients, and their families and carers, all with a differing history, and wealth of relationships.'
'This care should help mean that the memories of such a time, for families and carers, are as full of life, and free of regret, as may be, in the midst of such sadness. Indeed, to quote Dame Cicely Saunders, founder of the Modern Hospice Movement, "How people die remains in the memory of those who live on".'