Value life that God gave us

Contributed by RAYMOND ANTHONY FERNANDO – 

Two heart-rending reports in the Straits Time caught my attention on Tuesday morning.

The first report was on a beautiful young American woman, Ms Brittany Maynard who at 29 years suffered brain cancer in the report, “Brain cancer patient’s death sparks controversy” ; ST Nov 4).

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Ms Maynard was given six months to live in January and told that her death would be painful due to the aggressive nature of her cancer.

 

It Was All Planned

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A ‘right-to-die’?

She and her husband whom she had recently married decided to move to Oregon which is one of a few states in the US with a “right-to-die” law.  A doctor later prescribed her the medication to end her life where she was surrounded by her family and friends.  Ms Maynard felt that rather than suffer so much pain, she wanted to die with dignity.

 As a Roman Catholic, I do not support such a procedure because although it is painful for the sufferer and her loved ones, God gave us life, and only God can take it away from us.

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I share the view of legislative counsel for the US national Right to Life Committee Ms Jennifer Popik, who said that each suicide in states with right-to-die laws “is a preventable tragedy.” She added that “These laws do not offer a patient ‘dignity’ but only abandonment from health-care workers who are supposed to care for patients and loved ones in these dire times.”

 

Could My Wife Have Been Saved?

On a more personal level, when my wife was admitted to hospital in April for the life-threatening illness–pneumonia, I was asked by the treating doctors if I wished to put her in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). I was told that her chances of surviving were slim and that I could only leave in ICU for 22 days.  I was made to understand that it would cost me $1,000 a day to put in ICU. That works out to a staggering $22,000 in all. Many people in Singapore will not be able to afford such a hefty sum.

Do we need to measure a person’s life with money? Or do we measure a person’s life with love and compassion? And with some dignity?  

In the end, I had little choice, but to leave my beloved Doris’ faith in the hands of God and she died on Maundy Thursday (17th April 2014) – the eve of Good Friday.  And it was on Good Friday that I first set eyes on her.  

 

Loneliness Tearing a Woman Apart

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Friends and Family play an integral role in the healing process.

The second heart-breaking story (“ ‘Loneliness is worse’ for text-drive crash victim”; ST, Nov 4)  was about another beautiful young American lady, Ms Liz Marks who is going through severe emotional pain after her text-drive crash. 

In today’s world, it is so easy to find friends when you are doing well.  But it is rare for a person to find a true-blue friend that will be there for you in bad times.

After her car crashed, Ms Marks who once had stunning good looks to die for; is now one eye blind and has facial injuries that has caused all her friends to shun from her.  

Because of her injuries, she is now is isolated, lonely and most likely depressed as she feels abandoned by all her friends whom she said earlier, “could not bear being disconnected from.”

If it is any consolation, I urge Ms Mark to trust in the power of Prayer because God never abandons anyone.  He will be there for you – in good and bad times.  God is a trusted and loyal friend and He is in no way a fair-weathered friend.  In my own isolated and lonely journey now that Doris is gone, I see the Lord as my most trusted friend because you cannot depend on human beings to be there for you when you desperately need them.   With my wife’s passing, I have now moved closer to the church and the Lord always gives me Divine Inspiration to write my articles and my books. Alleluia!

 I wish Ms Liz Mark a speedy recovery. Do take care and value life because God gave it to us. And if nobody wants to be your friend, Liz, I will.

By Raymond Anthony Fernando

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