On 14 May 2004, I received a morning call via SMS from a friend who is a keen volunteer. She was feeling very
disappointed and puzzled as her dying friend had just rejected her help because of her religion.
I told her to take it easy as strange and incomprehensible mindsets of certain individuals exists and is nothing
alarming as I had come across many such instances since the launch of CancerStory.com in September 2000.
I told my friend to read my write-up on 'Religion - a sensitive barrier'.
However, I was baffled when my friend threw the following question :
"Do patients ask their doctor's RELIGION before consultation?"
Wow! She had struck the bull's-eye.
I could fully understand my friend's emotions as I also constantly faced many man-made obstacles in my
voluntary work. I advised my friend to "let go" her call for human's wisdom and reserve her "kindness" to help the next
I also shared with my friend the fact that patients will make wiser decisions when choices are limited, and under such
difficult circumstances, religion will go "out-of-place". I related the following incident to her :
On 8 May 2004, I received a morning call asking for help to ease the cancer pain of an ovarian cancer patient.
This patient was having severe pains even after taking the painkiller prescribed by her oncologist. As she was not given a
referral letter to receive support from hospices that are accredited to the public hospitals, I referred her to seek help
from a non-profit Methodist hospice care group. This patient is a Buddhist and willingly, she accepted my suggestion. The hospice doctor and volunteer attended to her on the same day and her pain was relieved by the medications prescribed by the kind doctor. It is even more heartwarming to know that she can open her heart freely to the volunteer, an elderly knowledgeable gentleman, even though they are of different beliefs. I feel that the truth of all religions is to love, embrace and help each other unconditionally.
My principle :
"Help must be given unconditionally and be received whole-heartedly. It is never a circumstance of coercion."
Posted on 15 May 2004