Printed from the Society, Religion and Technology Project website: www.srtp.org.uk

Navigating Medical Crises: how to be prepared for the dilemmas and decisions

image Published: Jun 21, 2018

On the 11th and 12th of June, the Community Responsibility Committee of Glasgow Presbytery hosted a contribution to the Glasgow Science Festival. Professor Robin Taylor and Dr. Calvin Lightbody presented two separate but linked items on the issues which confront us when people are admitted to hospital with serious conditions which may be life threatening. There was particular emphasis on the dilemmas faced by patients, medical staff and relatives when the patient may be in the last year of life.

In the course of the evening we were asked to consider several different scenarios relating to the appropriate level of intervention which could or should be offered or undertaken in these circumstances. We were asked to consider what may contribute to a ‘good death’ as opposed to an undignified or distressing process culminating in the inevitable. We were also asked to consider the view in society which assumed that the doctor’s role was to fix everything compared with one which focused on appropriate palliative care as a preparation for a sensitive and dignified progression to the end of life in a natural way.

This was an extremely interesting and thought provoking topic which raised many challenging issues relating our personal approach to these matters, our understanding of what terms such as prognosis may mean and the general understanding within society of how we should deal with and prepare for the end of life.

On the 11th and 12th of June, the Community Responsibility Committee of Glasgow Presbytery hosted a contribution to the Glasgow Science Festival. Professor Robin Taylor and Dr. Calvin Lightbody presented two separate but linked items on the issues which confront us when people are admitted to hospital with serious conditions which may be life threatening. There was particular emphasis on the dilemmas faced by patients, medical staff and relatives when the patient may be in the last year of life. In the course of the evening we were asked to consider several different scenarios relating to the appropriate level of intervention which could or should be offered or undertaken in these circumstances. We were asked to consider what may contribute to a ‘good death’ as opposed to an undignified or distressing process culminating in the inevitable. We were also asked to consider the view in society which assumed that the doctor’s role was to fix everything compared with one which focused on appropriate palliative care as a preparation for a sensitive and dignified progression to the end of life in a natural way. This was an extremely interesting and thought provoking topic which raised many challenging issues relating our personal approach to these matters, our understanding of what terms such as prognosis may mean and the general understanding within society of how we should deal with and prepare for the end of life.

We were also urged to consider having an Anticipatory Care Plan in place before reaching a stage in life where we may not be able to make some decisions for ourselves. Healthcare Improvement Scotland and the Scottish Government have produced some very helpful literature on this which can be accessed online at www.myacp.scot.

The presentation was very well received and the Q&A session was very interesting. There is no doubt that what Professor Taylor and Dr Lightbody have to say deserves a much wider audience. It is to be hoped that they will receive many more invitations to speak in many more venues.

George Kelly, Convener of the Community Responsibility Committee of Glasgow Presbytery

Printed from www.srtp.org.uk on Sun, December 09, 2018
© The Church of Scotland 2018