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Friday, September 30, 2016
Faith leaders unite in campaign for supportive care for the terminally ill
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¬†Faith leaders in Essex and East London have joined together today to champion the benefits of supportive (palliative) care for people living with terminal illness and their families. Terminal illnesses are widespread. One person in every three will develop some form of cancer in their lifetime, and for those under the age of 65, one in three will not survive. Supportive care helps people to make the most of every moment they have and achieve their personal goals. Each person has unique physical, emotional nd spiritual needs and every individual is treated as a whole person. The highest value is placed on respect, choice and empowerment. Supportive care includes hospice care and community care. Supportive care means pain control, symptom relief and skilled nursing, together with a full range of additional services ≠ counselling, complementary therapies, spiritual care, creative activities, physiotherapy and bereavement support. A team of professionals works together to help the patient and the family. The Roman Catholic Bishop of Brentwood, The Rt Revd Thomas McMahon, said: "It is vitally important to act now to safeguard, develop and fund supportive care services for people living with terminal illness and their families." The Anglican Bishop of Chelmsford, The Rt Revd John Gladwin, said: "It's not just about buildings but the care provided by hospices, Macmillan nurses and district nurses in people's homes and day care facilities. In addition we want to encourage policy makers to bring the valuable experience of supportive care into mainstream healthcare provision." Representatives of the Muslim, Jewish and Sikh faiths said: "We must be compassionate and caring to the old, the ill and the infirm; mindful of their contribution to society. After all, nothing is more precious than life itself."- Dr Ghayasuddin Siddiqui, Head of the Muslim Parliament of Great Britain "As a mediaeval Jewish poem says, 'With God's hand I lay my soul/ Both when I sleep and when I wake/ And with my soul my body too/ My God is close, I shall not fear.' " - Rabbi David Hulbert, Bet Tikvah Synagogue, Newbury Park, and the Sukkat Shalom Synagogue, Wanstead Mr Harmander Singh. Principal Advisor to Sikhs in England said: "In the present day climate of rationing resources, more effort could be made in reducing hospital administration to a minimum. Life is precious and beyond monetary value." The faith leaders have launched their positive campaign for supportive care against the background of doctor-assisted suicide promoted by the Assisted Dying Bill which is before Parliament. They are opposed to the Bill. For details about local hospices and palliative care services visit www.hospiceinformation.info Source: Diocese of Brentwood
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