For Catholic nurse, her job is to sanctify human life, against abortion and euthanasia

November 6, 2015 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

AbortionMumbai, November 02, 2015: Theresa Cheong, president for Asia of the International Catholic Committee of Nurses and Medical Social Assistants (CICIAMS*) told AsiaNews that a nurse, “by vocation and mission, is obliged to save life at any cost, without discrimination of sex, race or religion.” Their primary mission “is to support the sanctity of life and the dignity of the person, until a patient’s natural death.”

Originally, from Singapore, Ms Cheong is a member of the Catholic Nurses Guild (CNG) and is currently in India for the National Conference of Nurses. She worked for five years in the Department of Critical Care and then for another ten years in the Maternity Ward at the Singapore General Hospital, before switching to training new nurses at the School of Health Sciences at Singapore’s Nanyang Polytechnic.

Speaking of her teaching experience, she said, “Students should be taught a culture of life. This is the fundamental basis for a nurse. Alongside the theoretical and academic knowledge, students must imbue their vocation with practical training.”

“Teaching nursing skills is a challenge,” she noted. “Being pro-life and anti-abortion and euthanasia means affirming that life is sacred, that all human beings are sacred, because life is God’s creation. We are all called to bear witness to this in our work serving the sick, with dedication, and providing high quality medical care.”

Speaking about the fight against euthanasia, the nurse noted that “as Catholic health care workers, in addition to professional skills, we have to accompany spiritually the terminally ill. We must support patients and their families from the spiritual point of view during the painful end of life.”

For Theresa Cheong, preaching Gospel values ​​through patient care is important. At the same time, Catholic nurses also need physical and psychological support, because of their gruelling shifts and long hours of work. In this regard, she said that the CNG provides its members with an excellent support system, which motivates and encourages them.

“We organise monthly meetings,” she said, “including prayer gatherings, Eucharistic celebrations and festivities, which bind our service to God and our patients.”

For Ms Cheong, one of the biggest challenges in today’s society is economic growth and the changes in mind-set that it generates. “Every day we face issues such as surrogate motherhood, euthanasia, and abortion,” she explained. “We need to counter these trends towards a ‘culture of death’.”

“Utilitarian and deontological issues affect the debate of quality in medical care. If we want to offer high quality medical care and alleviate the suffering of patients, we must uphold the principle of the sanctity of human life,” she said. “This is not negotiable”.

“The role of nurses in India is to promote a culture of life and the respect for the teachings of the Catholic Church through medical programmes that enhance the dignity of human life.”

– asianews

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