The end of an era. What does this mean to you? For some deep in mourning over England's recent performance in the World Cup, the era of hope that we would ever win again may have ended. For ministers in the previous government, the months since the last issue of Nucleus have seen the end of 13 years in power. For many medical students, this summer brings the end of years of training. Yet it also marks a beginning. Just as recent football events might eventually herald a new age of English sporting greatness (at least once a few changes are made!), the end of medical training also heralds the first weeks and months of work as a doctor, with many changes.
Starting work will change our spiritual lives. Students are often well supported by dedicated church workers, CMF and UCCF, and other Christian students. It isn't always like this in the early months of work as a doctor. Fellowship can of course be found through CMF and in church, but often more effort is needed to find it.
A common early difficulty is putting into practice what has been learnt. There's often a tendency for students to hold very 'black and white' views about ethics. Sometimes this is entirely appropriate. Certain things are just plain wrong. But tensions arise when we aren't so sure. The abortion request, thought through in detail in a CMF student meeting, may seem very different with an upset patient sat opposite, expecting to get exactly what she wants. Black and white can seem grey.
The world is often against us when we want to do right. Often those who came to power with the best of intentions enact unjust law, and perpetuate the system they once vowed to change. It is all too easy for us to become part of the problem.
Against such opposition, we need better Bible understanding than a simple 'proof text'. To help, Matt Lillicrap considers how and why we use the Bible in ethical decision making. Zoe Greaves looks at how to act when the law of the land conflicts with the Bible, and Karim Fouad Alber explores what protest if any we should make when we see something wrong.
Those starting work must also consider what place spiritual care has in medicine. Emma Ditchfield argues against the idea that it should be left to others. To care for the whole person, we have to understand something of the image of God - explained in this issue by Jo Lovell. We thank Siôn Glaze, who has handed on editing the news review after becoming National Student Committee chair. We also welcome the long overdue return of the crossword to Nucleus!
We once again hope that this largely student authored edition of Nucleus will help you meet the challenges of living God's way in the medical world.
Article written by Laurence Crutchlow