Public policy Update
Contribution to Nuffield report on 'naturalness'
Philippa Taylor, Head of Public Policy, was one of four people invited to give oral evidence about naturalness to The Nuffield Council on Bioethics, for a new report they are preparing. It is a theme that often emerges in public discourse. Nuffield explains: 'From genetic modification and synthetic biology to reproductive technologies and cloning, the idea that if something is unnatural, it raises ethical problems is a theme that runs through many discussions. Similarly public debate often reflects an idea that it is good for certain things, such as ingredients in food or cosmetics, to be natural.' The final report was published on 30 November.
Organ donation: the case for opt-in
Following a written response to the Scottish Parliament's Health & Sport Committee on a proposal to amend organ donation law in Scotland, Philippa Taylor was invited to give oral evidence to the Committee. CMF had already made a submission, indicating support for organ donation but arguing that donation of organs should be a positive choice by each individual.
Oxford group considers abortion and disability
The Oxford Pro-Life group, which hosted a recent talk by Philippa Taylor on abortion and disability, say they learnt five important things from her presentation: the law current law is ambiguous; ethical questions over disability are similar to sex-selective abortion; whatever the law, numerous difficult issues will always arise; society should treat those it can, and care for those it can't; peri-natal hospices can provide the support needed (most of the audience had never heard of these hospices).
Other CMF submissions
- NICE guidance on care of the dying adult
- Screening for Down syndrome in pregnancy
- Read the full submissions at: cmf.org.uk/publicpolicy/submissions
Meet Graham Crosbie - CMF's new Membership and IT Manager
Graham joined CMF staff in September as Membership and IT Manager in succession to Martin Parsons. We asked him a few questions:
What attracted you to this role?
The work of CMF intrigued me and it's also rare to find an organisation these days that's uncompromising in taking such a clear biblical stand on issues. Earlier this year I prayed about the sort of role that should be my next career step and my role here at CMF is the answer to that prayer.
Tell us something of your past experience
I have nearly 30 years' experience in IT across roles in support, software and web development, and project management. Recently I have worked primarily in the non-profit sector helping organisations of all shapes and sizes on a variety of web and digital engagement projects.
Tell us about your church involvement
I moved to London nearly six years ago to be part of the core team planting Hope Church Newham in Stratford, East London. I serve the church in a number of ways: as part of the leadership team, as a small group leader, in heading up our web and social media team, and admin support for our pastor.
Tell us about your family life
I've been married to Ursula, a civil servant, for over 18 years. We live in east London.
The importance of local connections
Important things happen when Christian doctors and students meet to share and - most importantly - pray. It is at local level that we are the Fellowship.
As I travel around the country I become more and more convinced of the importance of members connecting locally. This may happen by members attending a regional conference or Saline Solution, welcoming junior doctors or opening their homes. All this demonstrates the vital importance of CMF Links. We constantly need to recruit new people: please prayerfully consider if this is something for you.
Autumn is probably the busiest time of year for our Graduates Team. We now coordinate 15 Breakfasts during annual meetings of the Royal Colleges and other medical societies.
We have just completed a wonderful menu of regional conferences. Early in September our annual Careers Day for juniors and final-year students, held in London, was enthusiastically received. This year we also did something a little different, offering a programme based on the theme 'Serving in Babylon' at several regional events, most recently the Midlands and Northern conferences. Some of the speakers were different at each venue but members appreciated engaging with a theme that helps us to think and speak in the face of increasingly hostility to the Christian faith.
Our biennial Retirees' Conferenceaddressed the challenge of finishing well: the 'long' view of what we do in life. It may sometimes be many years before the fruits of what we have begun will become visible. Paul Adams, a retired doctor and pastor presented Bible readings on the theme by focusing on the last instructions of the apostle Paul, the prophet Elijah and the leader Joshua. At our Scotland Conference, William Harrison, a portfolio GP and teaching church elder from Aberdeen offered case studies from the lives of Abel, Abraham and Jacob (from Hebrews 11) and moved on to Jesus 'the author and finisher of our faith' (Hebrews 12).
Head of Graduate Ministries.
Mining for flecks of gold
Fifty of us gathered in November to hear Will van der Hart of Mind and Soul speak on 'Growing in gratitude and compassion'. The spiritual and psychological benefits of 'mining' gratitude were convincingly taught: we sometimes need to pan among the grit and sand of life for the tiniest flecks of gold for which to thank God.
Compassion - especially towards ourselves - is the other side of this coin, with healthy self-love and acceptance so often a struggle for healthcare professionals. Testimonies from two afternoon speakers catalysed discussion and prayer, and many encouraging conversations were held in between sessions. Nurses, student nurses and medical students joined a 50:50 balance of hospital and GP colleagues at all stages for a lively and encouraging day.
Julian Churcher, London & SE staffworker