Wednesday, 6 February 2008


Last month we helped organise a conference on ethics for Christian doctors which helped get the Greater Mumbai Network of the EMFI (Evangelical Medical Fellowship of India) off the ground.

One of the things we did was do a simple survey among church members - and then gave the same survey to the conference participants. You can see the survey results at:

A key question was the one about end of life care.

When is it right to stop trying to cure - and let the person pass away?

Its a hard question - with no one clear cookie-cutter answer.

This evening in an appartment very close to us a man is in a coma.

He has HIV. He has not responded to the various treatments we have given.

His wife is at her own wits end. The other day she even slipped out the question of whether we would give something to help him go. Recently her brother came to help look after Mr. Taragan (as we will call him). The brother is a trained nurse and gave a full body sponge bath.

Our staff meet Mr. Taragan every day. He has not eaten or drank for days. He gets a few drops of water through a cotton wool. But we still talk to him - and let him know that he is special. He cannot talk and does not respond to various stimuli - and his breathing is laboured.

Next to me are the book of death certificates - which Sheba will take over to his home if his wife calls to tell that he died tonight.

A life on the brink of eternity.

When will it be my turn. When yours?

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