Shirva deanery Health Commission holds Seminar on ‘Respect for Human Life-Challenges in Modern Times’

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Shirva deanery Health Commission holds Seminar on ‘Respect for Human Life-Challenges in Modern Times’

Pics By Ankith Shetty

Udupi: One hundred and twenty Doctors, Nurses and Paramedics belonging to twelve parishes of Shirva Deanery participated in a seminar on the theme ‘Respect For Human Life-Challenges in Modern Times’ at Saude Bhavan, in the premises of Our Lady of Health Church, Shirva on Monday, 26 November.

The seminar was jointly organized by the Health Commission of Our Lady of Health Church, Health Commission of Shirva Deanery and Central Health Commission of Udupi Diocese in association with USWAS Foundation-Shirva.

Bishop of Udupi, Most Rev. Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo presided over the inaugural function. Other dignitaries on the dais included Fr Denis D’Sa-Parish Priest of Our Lady of Health Church, Dean of Shirva Varado and of Director of Shirva Deanery Health Commission, Dr Edward Lobo-Director of Central Health Commission of Udupi Diocese, Fr Praveen Leo Lasrado and Fr Rockwin Pinto, Professors in St Joseph’s Seminary, Mangalore, Gretta Menezes-Secretary of Health commission, Shirva Deanery and Wilson D’Souza-Vice President of Parish Pastoral Council.

Soon after the prayer, Fr Denis D’Sa welcomed the guests. Thereafter, the Bishop unveiled the basic medical equipment symbolizing medical profession. Bishop Gerald Lobo formally inaugurated the seminar by lighting the lamp on a specially arranged stand through a candle which in turn was lighted from the lamp carried by a participant dressed as Florence Nightingale, the role model for nurses. The Bishop was followed by other dignitaries and conveners of Health commissions from 12 parishes.

In his introductory remarks, Dr Edward Lobo said that since he took the charge as the Director of the Central Health Commission of the Diocese, he has been visiting different Deaneries and organizing Deanery level seminars for doctors, nurses and paramedics. The seminar in the Shirva Deanery was the fourth one out of five deaneries. He thanked the Bishop for giving him an opportunity to serve the diocese as the Director of the Health Commission of the Diocese.

In his presidential message, Bishop Gerald Lobo said that in His life Jesus went on doing good to the people and healing the sick and afflicted of various diseases. He narrated various examples to highlight the healing mission of Jesus Christ. He further said that professionals like doctors, nurses and paramedics have a mission to continue the healing and caring work of Jesus through love and compassion. Speaking about the importance of life, the Bishop said that God is the giver of life. We do not have authority over our lives, however, we have the responsibility to respect and protect not only our own lives but others’ also. He appreciated the service rendered by Dr Edward Lobo as the Director of the Diocesan Health Commission and Dr Leslie Lewis of KMC Manipal as the Director of Diocesan Family Commission.

Bishop Gerald Lobo felicitated Fr Ashwin Aranha, Assistant Parish Priest of Shirva on the occasion of his birthday by presenting him a flower bouquet.

Gretta Menezes delivered the vote of thanks Priya Fernandes compered the inaugural programme.

The seminar was divided into three sessions. Rev. Dr Praveen Leo Lasrado was the resource person for the first session who spoke on “The Concept of Human Dignity and Respect for Life in Relation to the Recent Supreme Court Judgment on Euthanasia”. In his presentation, Dr Praveen Lasrado narrated the circumstances that led to the Supreme Court passing the judgment on Euthanasia citing the case of Aruna Shanbaug, a nurse in KEM Hospital, Mumbai who was in a vegetative condition in the hospital for 42 years following rape and strangulation by one of the male staff from the hospital. When Aruna Shanbaug’s journalist friend Pinki Virani made an appeal to the Supreme Court on 24 January 2011 for Euthanasia for Aruna, the SC rejected her appeal on 7 March 2011. Aruna Shanbaug died on 18 May 2015. Later an NGO named Common Cause made an appeal to the SC for permitting Euthanasia in India. The five judges Bench of the SC in its judgment of 9 March 2018 permitted passive Euthanasia.

Dr Praveen Lasrado explained the meaning and various types of Euthanasia and teachings of the Church in this respect. He also highlighted the importance of organ and body donation, death with dignity, Living Will and Palliative care such as providing necessary nutrition, hydration (water) and pain management.

The second session was conducted by Dr Leslie Lewis of KMC Hospital, Manipal. He spoke on “Role of Catholic Doctors, Nurses and Para-Medics” while practicing their profession.

The third session on the topic “Challenges for Effective Health care in India” was conducted by Fr Rockwin Pinto. In his presentation, Fr Rockwin Pinto highlighted five major challenges in India: (1) Wide gap between urban and rural areas, (2) Corruption in health sector, (3) Weakened Doctor-Patient Relationship, (4) Lack of Government expenditure in health sector, and (5) Relying on excessive pharmaceutical care.

Msgr. Baptist Menezes, who had earlier served as the Director of Fr Mullers Hospital, Mangalore gave his expert opinion following each session. There was an interaction between the resource persons and the participants.

At the end of the third session, Fr Denis D’Sa summed up the proceedings of all the three sessions.

Dr Deepti from Fr Mullers Hospital, Mangalore and Mrs. Priscilla Noronha, Staff Nurse from KMC Manipal gave their feedback on the seminar.

Bishop Gerald Lobo distributed certificates of participation to the conveners of Health Commission of different parishes to be distributed to their respective participants in the seminar.

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