DOCTOR'S FORUM AT STRATHMORE UNIVERSITY 22ND JULY 2016 By Rt. Rev. Bishop Joseph Mbatia  Rt. Rev. Paul Kariuki, Bishop of Embu Catholic Diocese and Chairman of the Heath Commission of the Catholic Church in Kenya. Rev. Fathers, Rev. Sisters, Ms. Jacinta Mutegi, Executive Secretary of the Health Commission, the Doctors who are our esteemed collaborators in the Healing Ministry in the church. Our/ Dear brothers and Sisters in Christ, KCCB Staff. Good morning……... The Lord is Good…. And all the time…… The building of the Kingdom of God must involve all the stakeholders of the church; these are the clergy, religious and the laity. “The Holy Father, Pope John II, said that, “Since they are members of the church by virtue of their baptism, all Christians share responsibility for missionary activity. Missionary cooperation is the expression used to describe the sharing by communities and individual Christians in the right and duty” (Redemptoris Missio 77, AG. 35). Each individual Christian participates in his/her capacities according to each person’s situation in life. But we know that life of witness is a major tool in the work of Evangelization. The Sunday Christians who do not live the Gospel outside the church building stalls the growth of the Kingdom of God. The gospel is lived and as is lived, the Kingdom of God is enhanced through life of witness. It means that the root of evangelizing activity is the healthy relationship with Christ. Missionary cooperation is rooted and lived, above all, in personal union with Christ. Only if we are united to him as the branches to the vine (Cf. Jn. 15:58) can we produce good fruit. Pope St. Paul VI in his Exhortation “Evangeli Nuntiadi; said “Lay people whose particular vocation places them in the midst of the world and in charge of the most valued temporal tasks, must for this very research exercise a very special form of Evangelization.” (EN 70) The doctors who fall on the lay category as a major component as stakeholder of the church, as Christians must participate in this missionary activity of the church. We have already cited that a life of witness is vital in the work of missions. Therefore, the Doctor who believes in God and who affirms God’s creation positively, and treats his patients, with dignity with the intention of providing adequate health care to them, is said to be actively involved in the missionary work. Any other person in his/her state in life, the undertakings must be geared towards building the kingdom of God. A doctor who participates in the restoration of the health of a person shares in God’s creative activity. St. John in the book of Revelation says, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth.” (Rev. 21:1). The reason for this is that “The joy and hope, the grief and anguish of the men of our time, especially of those who are poor or afflicted in any way, are the joy and hope, the grief and anguish of the men of our time, especially of those who are poor or afflicted in any way, are the joy and hope, the grief and anguish of the follower of Christ as well” (GS 1). By relieving the suffering and pain from our people in the spirit of serving God, Doctors participate in the mission of God, of saving the world. So, as people who are experts in the field of medicine, we can help the church greatly not only by providing healthcare to the people but also to defend the population from any sinister motive that might be put across by the so called experts in the world. They play the character of the agents of HOPE to the population. The fact that we are experts of different areas in the same discipline of medicine, is a great blessing to the church, for she will have a wide range of watch against those experts who are out to regard and use the human beings as objects; and to control their consciences and intellectual capacity. Amongst the doctors, we have today, not many are prolifers, most of them have become agents of death. Abortionists/murders practicing all form of reproductive health services. Just read on what is written on their signboards, either on their door sides or on separate signboard. Aborted foetus are found in dustbins and riverbeds especially in major towns. Most of the times this Heinous is done by a medical practitioner. A culture of death has cropped up in our country. We must arrest the situation. The Document “Humanae Vitae” was meant for arresting the culture of death which came after a breakthrough on the crude methods of controlling birth. (The Pill) The introduction of contraception as an instrument of death, has left so many doctors unable to make their own decision and guide accordingly. Good Doctors will tell their patients the danger of using contraceptives. Mostly they do not, they just provide the users with them. It is in obstetrical emergencies and conditions, that some doctors do base themselves to terminate a life. The principle of double effect is applied even when we can manage to save both lives. As I mentioned earlier, is because we have doctors who are agents of death other than life. When a doctor is dealing with a patient, he/she must aim at restoring the health of the human person in his wholeness. “The Declaration of Alma-Ata in September 1978, defined health as ‘a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity. Health care may therefore be viewed as the maintaining and restoration of one’s well-being or wholeness by treatment and prevention of disease, especially by trained and licensed professionals.” Okoth, Peter Oluoch, Biomedical Moral Theology, 25th May 2015 pg. 15. As a Catholic doctor, as a Christian for that matter the words of the Gospel of St John do apply where Jesus says “I came so that they may have life” (Jn 10:10). The medical doctor guided by this principle must promote the culture of life defending it under all cost. Wherever Jesus went he was restoring the whole person, those who were ailing in the community. The doctor is called to imitate him and to carry out this ministry on his behalf. Today, because of the fact that those who promote the culture of death are bodies with power not possible to reckon with, as an individual, formation of an association is of paramount importance if we are to counteract the trend of the culture of death. No one can be a lone ranger. United we can change the situation. Due to their inadequate knowledge in the field of science and technology, the bishops have always sought assistance from the doctors who are experts in the medical field. Guided by the moral principles, we can have a common focus, one objective one goal of promoting life under all cost. May God bless us all in this endeavour.

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