Yesterday, clinical medical students (especially 3rd years) were invited to attend an interfaith forum regarding medical proffesion. It was arranged by our Personal & Professional Develepment Modul Coordinator-Assctd Prof Harlina Siraj. It was very interesting, interactive and motivating.
SInce it was done on friday evening (where the mind of most of us towards weekends activities & going home), the attendence was between poor to satisfactory. Well, its everybody choice. ATTITUDE problem is one of the main reason. However, there are some who have teachings & long case(practical assessment) during that time.
SO, in summary here are some of things that were discussed. I only point out things that i'm confident of to share with some addition of my opinion.
In Islam, The prophet reminded us to remember about 5 things before 5 things like in Surah Al-Asr(Time) :
1.Health before ill 2.youth before old 3.wealth before poor 4.free before busy 5.life before death
WHY?? Life for Muslim is the intermediate phase as we belive in afterlife. The 5 things are the motivation for us to amal ma'aruf, nahi mungkar(do good and leave the bad things)as the preparation for afterlife later. In life we receives challanges to strenghten our faith to Allah (god).One of the challange is ILLNESS. A good believer will accept his fate but never stop losing hope to cure him/herself. Therefore, it does not mean that if you are extremely ill, you can kill yourself.
The Speaker from Buddhism(Dr Phang, a Psyhciatrist from UPM) mentioned about Karma. Karma is a concept of action or deed that causing the cycle of causes and effects.It was originating in India and applied in Eastern religions : Hinduism, Jain, Sikh and Buddhist. Basically Karma relates more to the power of your mind control.
Quoted from Wikipedia :Buddhism links karma directly to the motives behind an action. Motivation usually makes the difference between "good" and "bad" actions, but included in the motivation is also the aspect of ignorance such that a well-intended action from an ignorant mind can subsequently be interpreted as a "bad" action in the sense that it creates unpleasant results for the "actor".
There are mental and physical health.The mind can effect the health and vice versa.In medical we call the condition psychosomatic when someone thinks that he is sick but actually nothing wrong with him (physically).However, eventually he will get the physical problems also, as his minds make hime thinks he is sick.
Speaker from Christianity, Dr Lopez(Oncology Specialist) focused his presentation on abortion and ethuanasia. In Malaysia, 50 million abortions done yearly. A suprising fact indeed because Malaysia population is about 22-25 millions. Only the minority of the whole are due to medical reasons. Sad fact isn't it?/
Euthanasia..Eu means good, Thanasia means death..GOOD DEATH??Is there such thing? Ethuanasia is a mercy killing; the delibrate ending of a life of a person suffering from an incurable disease(Dorland's dictionary).However, all religion against it. Dr Lopez mentioned that Christians believed that life is sacred and humans was given the right to lead the world. In Islam, life is a GIFT from Allah(god)that we have to accept and makes good things out of it.It is not our decision to take our own life,and not even others.So far, only Netherlands legally allowed euthanasia.
Sadly, I was half awake during the 4th & last presentation from Dr Bala, Hinduism representative due to lack of sleep for long case assesment preparation (I had my long case assessment earlier on that day). Therefore, I googled and found an intresting article about Hinduism & Medical care. The basic concepts in Hinduism are Ahimsa (non-violence) and Karma. Ahisma is cause no harm either by action, word or thought(one of the reason why Hidus are vegetarian).
Karma in Hinduism is quite similar to Budddhism about good and bad that helps balance the person's soul. The Karma lets their believer ACCEPT challenges in life (eg: illness,death,fate)by thinking of the positive things out of the bad things that happens. Can read more about it from here http://www.angelfire.com/az/ambersukumaran/medicine.html
In Islam we believed in 'Qada' & 'Qadar' which is fate & Allah's will that we have to learn to accept and go through because in everything that happens there's always the 'hikmah'(good & benificial things) behind it.Only those who make an effort to find it,will able to feel it.This is because humans created with 'fitrah'(human nature) of finding goodness in life no matter how bad he was before.
During the Question & Answer(Q&A) session, a friend ask about what if the patient wants something (eg : sperm donation) that against the doctors' religion?? ANswer: Assctd Prof Harlina says, according to International Federation of Gynecology & Obstetrics (FIGO)on FIGO committee for study of ehtical aspects of Human reproductive and Women's Health published November 2006: If a physician is either unable or unwilling to provide a desired medical service for nonmedical reasons, he or she should make every effort to achieve appopriate refferel.
in simple word: if you decided that what patient wants is against your religion, you should respect them and reffered to a colleague that share the patient's belief.
In conclusion of the forum, i would like to quote the points by Dr Munnawar Hatta,the Islamic speaker in encouraging us to learn more about other religions for better understanding and respect among each other.
We live in the world of diversity.DOn't make the interfaith discussion as a battlefield to damage the relationship among us. Isn't the reason why Allah creates us in diversity is for us to learn to accept,learn about each other and be friends??
Therefore: 1. lets join interfaith forum in future 2. Learn about the similarity and differences 3. Respect other's belief 4. Don't be afraid or have stigma in interfaith discussion if the purpose to find an agreement instead of argument.