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www.networkshe.com11Vocation, Vocation, VocationUnder certain, strictly regulated circumstances doctors should be allowed to help their patient die. By 'help', I mean more than just withholding treatment - that has always happened and the law allows it - but by taking more active steps. Sarah was dubious. It flew in the face of everything she had been trained to do as a doctor and, more importantly, what she personally believed was ethically and morally acceptable. In the years following my father's death we agreed that we had been arguing about the wrong thing. This is not about a cold, clinical procedure in which a doctor stands at the bedside of a sick person and calmly administers the injection that will stop the heart beating. This is about recognising that there is such a thing as a life force or, if you prefer, the will to live, and what should happen when that disappears. There should be a recognition that, just as we expect to have control over our own lives, so we should have control over our own deaths. of this book alongside my own. She has the knowledge that only a doctor who has practised as a GP for many years can have. Good doctors not only help keep people alive; they help them die. More specifically, they help them have a good death. But Sarah make up the hospice community teams.In hospital, they have learnt that we are 'conquering' the diseases that used to kill you quickly - heart attack, heart failure, cancer. In general practice, they learn about the flip side - that some people just spend much longer dying.John's introductionIt's a risky business, writing about something you've never experienced. The problem with death is that there's no other way to do it - on the basis that once you've actually experienced it, that's it. We don't get a practise run. We can't come back and talk about it. We don't get a second crack at it if it went badly. It's not like giving birth: you can't change your views the second time around with the benefit of hindsight. On the other hand, there are plenty of people with tons of second-hand experience - doctors, nurses, hospice staff - who see it happening all the time. That's why the name of Dr. Sarah Jarvis is on the cover This is about recognising that there is such a thing as a life force or, if you prefer, the will to live, and what should happen when that disappearsJohn Humphrysand I had a few differences to sort out before we could put pen to paper. I have come to believe over the past few years - mostly because of the circumstances surrounding the death of my own father in 2003 - that there is a powerful case for some form of assisted suicide. CENTRAL PROMENADE, LLANDUDNO LL30 1BA (Next to Venue Cymru, Private Car Park)t: 01492 878101 e: info@caemorhotel.co.uk www.caemorhotel.co.ukSummer mid-week breaks from £54.50 pppn DBB Winter mid-week breaks from £49.50 pppn DBBTerms & conditions. Supplements apply for deluxe and superior rooms, single supplement applies, subject to availability, not available in conjunction with any other offer.MID-WEEK BREAKS,THEATRE BREAKS AND PRE-THEATRE MEALSLARGE PRIVATE CAR PARK AND NEXT TO VENUE CYMRU AND SHOPPING CENTRESTheatre Breaks from £80.00 pp DBB13342_185x107 ad_Layout 1 10/08/2012 09:43 Page 1

12Network She I Autumn/Winter 2012Vocation, Vocation, VocationSixteen year old novice Helena Flynn with little sister SoniaWhen I was about 12 or 13 years of age I saw a picture of a nun caring for a sick child, that I believe was the seed that was planted that made me consider a religious vocation. When I came to leave school I was thinking of going to Alder Hey Hospital to do my children's nursing. As I had never been away from home for any length of time the headmistress suggested that I go as a cadet nurse to a hospital in Manchester, run by religious sisters, where you received a good foundation in nursing.Habit of a LIFETIMEBefriending soap stars and nursing football legends such as George Best are some of the more surprising aspects of being a nun that nursing sister Helena Flynn revealsShe told me how she was imprisoned by the Japanese during the war, making me realise that life in religion could at times be very challenging. At the time of the takeover by the military junta in the 1960s, all none Burmese were expelled from the country, so I never got to Burma. Wales was the furthest foreign She also told me how she was imprisoned by the Japanese during the war. This made me realise that life in religion could at times be very challenging In the early '50s nobody commuted between Liverpool and Manchester as they do today to work. That suggestion from my headmistress was providential as it brought me in touch with a Missionary Congregation of Sisters. It was during my time there and listening to a sister, who was home from Burma, and hearing all they did for orphans and lepers that made me believe I wanted to be a nursing missionary sister. My parents were very supportive of me all the time I was considering a religious vocation. The English sister from Burma, became a great friend. country I got to and loved it and the people.For my religious formation I went to Marseille for two years, one year as a postulant where you got a basic training in Religious Life. It gives you time to see if you feel cut out for that kind of life, also for the Sisters to see if they think you are suitable. This was followed by a year as a