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ss nucleus - spring 2004,  Letters

Letters

Editor,

As I sat reading Nucleus in a desperate attempt to do some work without actually working, I found myself stumbling across the words 'why did I ever take up medicine?' This immediately caught my eye. I was in my fourth year of medical school, getting closer and closer to actually completing the degree I was growing to resent, and had totally forgotten why I was doing it. In a word, I was disillusioned. I had lost all motivation and focus. But, on finishing the article, I found myself not only reminded that I am studying this course because it is what God wants me to do; it is what I am instructed to do to the best of my ability! So thank you for keeping me on the track God has planned for me.

Sam Adcock
University of Leicester

Editor,

I recently discovered a piece in the January 1998 edition of Nucleus: 'The Power of the Pen' by Chris Barnsdale. He challenged readers to put pen to paper on hearing something we disagreed with, advising us to channel anger about injustice into constructively critical letters to MPs, newspapers or even Nucleus.

In June Lord Joffe's private member's bill on euthanasia had its second reading in the House of Lords. Finding hours of revision getting me down, I decided to write letters to all 400 plus members of the House outlining my opposition to this.

Yes it took me a long time to print, sign and seal all those envelopes, but what a revelation - almost all the lords replied. Most poignant of all was one who shared the story of his late wife; he was supporting the bill as he believed that, although she did not want assistance to die herself, she would have wanted him to give others the choice.

A couple of months later I was sent a copy of Hansard, the record of speeches in Parliament, by a Baroness who remembered my letter. I was amazed to read this excerpt from Lord Patten's speech on June 6th:

... I should like to borrow the words of Jocelyn Cherry, a medical student... who wrote to me out of the blue on 19th May to say: 'There are good treatments available for symptoms prompting euthanasia requests and we should be using them, offering our patients the best care possible, not killing them' - and going on to opine - 'Euthanasia seems to me to promote "lazy medicine"'.

Issues raised in Nucleus must polarise the readership, but this is not reflected in your letters page. I would encourage students to put pen to paper and sound their voice. When aligned with God's word, expressing our views glorifies him.

Jocelyn Cherry
University of Bristol

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