Thursday, October 03, 2013
Saturday, June 08, 2013
Tuesday, January 01, 2013
Sanctity of Life
Saturday, December 15, 2012
New AFCMA OFFICE BEARERS
Thursday, October 04, 2012
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Happy Easter & UPDATE
Sunday, January 01, 2012
Christmas Message from Dr Loh
May the peace and Love of Christ be with you all.Today is indeed a happy day for us christians as we are celebrating the birth of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. This will be my last christmas message to you as my tenure of office will be over in oct.2012 at the 15th AFCMA congress in Bali, Indonesia.
As I reflect on the past events of the year the most significant event was the triple disasters of earthquake, tsunami and radiation leakage that affected the North East coast of Japan. Our Japanese colleagues from the Japan Association Catholic Medical Association led by Dr. buichi did a wonderful job in helping the victims of the tragedies. Our AFCMA member countries viz. Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan and Singapore responded magnificently to the call for help by our Brothers and sisters from JCMA by contributing generously to the JCMA Fund for Tsunami Disaster of Japan. This augurs well for AFCMA and shows the excellent co-operation and compassion that our fellow AFCMA member countries have for each other.
I would now like to remind you to attend the 15th AFCMA Congress in Bali, Indonesia which is co-hosted by the Indonesian Catholic Medical Community (ICMC whose President is Dr. Ignatius Harjadi) and PERDHAKI (Dr. Felix Gunawan is the Executixe Director).The Congress will be held from 18-21 Oct.2012 and the theme is "The Challenges of Catholic Doctors in the Changing World".The Organising Committee led by Dr. Albert Hendarta is working very hard to ensure the success of the Congress. They hope to have a total of 600 participants.
Year 2011 has not been a good year for us all as torrential rain and floods have played havoc to most of our Asian countries especially Thailand, Phillipines, Malaysia, etc resulting in loss of lives and damage to properties.
At the last AFCMA Congress in Hong Kong HE Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan exhorted us to reach out to those Asian countries which are not yet members of AFCMA.Actually India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka used to be members of AFCMA but unfortunately we have lost contact with their representatives. The previous contact from Pakistan Dr. Waris Khan has migrated. Fortunaetely God has Blessed us with two new countries viz. Vietnam and Cambodia. We look foward to seeing the Catholic Healthcare Workers Association of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (led by Dr. Pham Chi Lan and Rev. Father John Toai) and the Cambodian Catholic Healthcare Workers Association (led by Nurse Paola and soon to be Dr. Savoeun)at our 15th AFCMA Congress in Bali in Oct.2012.Dr. Jang Sang Park was elected to be in charge of memberships at the AFCMA Congress in 2008.We hope to get some more representatives from the Asian countries. So if you have any contact please let us know.
Another matter that I need to bring to your attention is the Bioethics Booklet. Dr. Edna Monzon Chair Person of our AFCMA Bioethics Committee has pledged to complete writing this important Booklet and hand it to us before the next Congress in Oct.2012. Meanwhile Dr. Edna is busily compiling all the relevant information together with the other Members of the Bioethics Committee. This is the Handbook on Bioethics for Catholic Healthcare Workers. It will be very useful for us Catholic Healthcare Givers as it will teach/remind us to follow the Teachings of the Magisterium and apply it to our daily lives.So please help us to pray for for the succesful completion of this Bioethics Booklet.
The above are two challenges that our AFCMA have to face with before the 15th AFCMA Congress in Bali in Oct.2012 viz. (1) to get more Asian countries to join AFCMA and
(2) the production of the Bioethics Booklet for Catholic Healthcare Workers. We sincerely hope that we will be able to achieve our targets.
Finally I conclude with St. Paul's Letter to the Phillipians 4:13----" I have the power to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me". This is to remind ourselves that if we have faith in Christ then nothing is impossible as He lives in us.
Thank you and God Bless and have a Blessed Christmas everyone!
In Jesus Christ,
Dr. Freddie Loh
Monday, December 12, 2011
Visit to VIETNAM
I have recently just came back from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam where I was fortunate to meet up with our Brothers and Sisters from the Catholic Healthcare Workers Association of Ho Chi Minh City to advise them to join AFCMA/FIAMC and also invited them to attend our 15th AFCMA Congress in Bali, Indonesia from 18-21 Oct.2012. The Catholic Healthcare Workers Association of Ho Chi Minh City has already been formed and Rev. Father John Toai is the Association's chaplain. Dr. Pham thi Chi Lan and Dr. Nhuyen Dang Phan are the Association's President and Vice-President respectively.
I am enclosing some of the photos that we took together in Ho Chi Minh City. Please note these two places with the signboards viz. (1) Phong Kham Mai Khoi. This is the New Mai Khoi Clinic that The Japan catholic Medical Association (JCMA) led by Dr. Buichi, Catholic Doctors Association of Western Australia led by Dr. Lennard Chan and Catholic Doctors Association of Malaysia (CDAM) represented by me helped to relocate. The old Mai Khoi Clinic was situated in an old shophouse and the owner wanted to take it back. This New Mai Khoi Clinic is situated in a Church compound in HCMC and treats both normal patients and HIV patients. The signboard depicting "Phong Kham Mai Khoi" means Mai Khoi Clinic or Our Lady of the Rosary Clinic. I am indeed glad that I was able to visit the clinic with the Members of the Catholic Healthcare Association of Ho Chi Minh City and took the photo together with them to show it to our other members from AFCMA.
(2)Another place that I visited was Mai Am Mai Tam which is the Sheltered Home for abandoned children from 3 to 16 years old children whose parents have died of HIV. This place is situated in the Thu Duc District and is about 20 minutes from the HCMC centre. It houses 30 children and belongs to the Archdiocese of HCMC and under the pastoral care of Rev. Father John Toai. There are altogether 75 children housed in 3 separate Homes as each building can take in only 30 children. The children are divided into groups where 5 children are under the care of a "Mother" who herself had been treated for HIV.The "Mother" is paid a nominal salary to look after the children. Dr. Chi Lan informs me that it costs about USD4,000 per month to run the Mai Am Mai Tam Shelter or Shelter of Hope. The words Mai Am Mai Tam means Mary Immaculate Heart Shelter.
The members of the Catholic Healthcare Association of Ho Chi Minh City under the care of Dr. Chi Lan And Dr. Phan are a vibrant and enthusiastic group dedicated to doing God's work. They will be an asset to AFCMA/FIAMC. They have said that they wish to attend our 15th AFCMA Congress in Bali in Oct.2012 but will need some partial subsidy. We certainly look foward to welcoming them in Bali where Dr. Chi Lan can present the Country Report to tell us what and how their Association is doing to help the unfortunate and underprivileged members of their beloved country of Vietnam.
In Jesus Christ,
Dr. Freddie Loh,
Please paste the following website to your browser to assess the photographs taken in Vietnam:
Monday, November 21, 2011
President: Dr David Kumar
Vice President: Dr Melvin Raj
Secretary: Dr Juliet Matthew
Treasurer: Dr Beulah Rasan
Committee Members: Dr Freddie Loh
Dr Anthony Samy
Auditors: Dr Francis Lopez & Dr Gnanapragasam
We give the new council our best wishes on their new appointments and may Gob bless them and guide them in their mission.
Thursday, October 06, 2011
15th AFCMA Congress, 18th -21st Oct 2012, Bali, Indonesia
Please visit the above website if you need to register for the Congress.
For further information please contact Dr Albert Hendarta at following Email:
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
15th AFCMA Congress, Bali
Dear Fathers, Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
On behalf of the committee, it is my pleasure to announce that the 15th AFCMA Congress will be held on 18 – 21 October 2012, in Sanur Paradise Plaza Hotel in Bali, Indonesia. As you perhaps know, Indonesia was appointed as the host for the next AFCMA Congress. Please see attached the first announcement. The congress website is www.afcma2012.com, which will be updated from time to time.
I do hope that all of you, Board and Members of AFCMA will make a note in your calendar for this important date, so that you can schedule your presence at the congress from now on. I would also urge Board and Members in other regions within FIAMC to come and attend the Congress.
The Organizing Committee has chosen Bali as the location of this congress, to attract more participants. Most of you would have heard of Bali as one of the favorite tourist destinations in the world. We assure you that aside from the interesting topics that will be discussed in the congress, there will also be opportunity for you to see the beauty of the Paradise Island of Bali.
Please go through the following pages in this announcement, especially the Congress Programme. There are still some vacancies for congress speakers that you may be able to fill. The topic can be related to the main theme, subtheme or as free papers. Please let me know if you are interested to be one of the speakers.
With this announcement I would like to welcome you to the 15th AFCMA Congress in Bali, and encourage you to register early.
With my warmest regards,
Albert Hendarta, MD, MPH.
Mobile: +62 811 21 9515
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Update from the President
Allow me to update you on two important happenings in Asia one recent and the other in Oct.2012.
In March 2011 North East Japan was struck with the triple disasters of Earthquake, Tsunami and RadiationLeakage from the Fukushima power plant. According to Dr. Buichi Ishijima President of the Japan Catholic Medical association (JCMA) thousands of people were dead or missing and 25 towns and villages along the North East coast of Japan were swept away. Tha JCMA responded magnificently by sending its members to help in the affected areas but were overwhelmed by the magnitude of the triple disasters.JCMA then appealed to the international community for help by sending donations to the "JCMA Fund For Tsunami Disaster of Japan".The money would be used to purchase drugs and other medical necessities fot those affected by the disasters. Our own member countries of AFCMA were shocked and distressed and chipped in by asking their members to help our Dear Japanese Brothers and Sisters by donating to the"JCMA Fund...".Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan and Singapore were among the countries which responded. Besides these our Asian countries also sent donations via Caritas from our local Churches raised from the parishioners..Due to the magnitude of the disasters Divine Intervention was essential. Therefor all of us offerred special prayers to ask our Lord Jesus to put a stop to the holocaust and comfort those affected by the disasters and help them to relive their lives again.
We are glad to say that the worse is over now and that Japan is on the road to recovery although the problem with the radiation leakage at the Fukushima power plants is not entirely over. The Japanese people and JCMA must be congratulated for their resilience in overcoming the grief and sufferings caused by the triple disasters.
I would now like to inform you that the 15th AFCMA Congress will be held in Bali Indonesia from 18-21 Oct.2011. The theme of the Congress is "The Challenges of Catholic Doctors in the Changing World".The Indonesian Catholic Medical Community (ICMC) and Perdhaki are jointly organising this important event. Some of the members of the Organising Committee are (1) Dr.Albert Hendarta-- Organising Chairman (2)Dr. Ignatius Widjaja-- President of ICMC and(3) Dr. Felix Gunawan-- Scientific Chairman.
Bali is a beautilful island with tropical forests, sandy beaches, coral reefs and fantastic shopping outlets. It will be a wonderful opportunity for those of you who have not been to Bali to come and join us in our 15th AFCMA Congress from 18-21 Oct.2012.On behalf of Dr. Albert Hendarta and the Organising Committee I would like to invite you to come for an Update on the many challenges that we Catholic Doctors are facing in the Changing World. After the Congress you can extend your stay in Bali to enjoy the many interesting facets that beautiful Bali has to offer.
Finally the Organising Committee will be sending out the First Announcement in the near future and we look foward to seeing some of you in Bali in from 18-21Oct.2012.Please keep those dates free.
Thank you and God Bless!
Dr. Freddie Loh,
Wednesday, May 04, 2011
Easter Greetings from Dr Freddie Loh
On Good Friday Jesus's last 3 words before he gave up his spirit was "It is finished" John 19.30 i.e. his mission on earth was accomplished. He came and died on the Cross in order to redeem our sins so that we can have eternal life!
On the 3rd day i.e. Easter Sunday He rose from the dead to show that He has conquered death and sin. All Praise and Glory go to our Lord Jesus Christ!
Today is Easter Sunday. Jesus Christ is risen. Hallellulia! We too have risen with Him. Let us all celebrate this joyous occassion together. Happy Easter everyone!
In Jesus Christ,
Dr. Freddie Loh.
Monday, January 24, 2011
Christmas Message from Dr Loh
It is time that once again we sit down and spend time together with our loved ones to celebrate the birth of our lord Jesus Christ. We are called to behave like the Holy Family i.e. like Joseph,Mother Mary and Jesus. While we celebrate Christmas we must thank God for giving us the wonderful things that he has given us and we must not forget that there are people out there who are marginalised, living in fear of the authorities and barely have enough food to eat for sustenance.
I wish to now inform you that I have just come back from Phnom Ponh Cambodia after a Medical mission Trip to Cambodia with Dr. John Lee and his Singapore group of Catholic Doctors and Dentists , Medical and Dental students and the Parishioners from different parishes of Singapore. I must thank John for allowing me to join in his Medical Mission to Cambodia called ACTS or Advent Cambodian Trips which have been an eye opener for me. I am sure that John and the Singapore Catholic Doctors Association (Dr. Sally Ho) will be describing to you more in detail at our next AFCMA Congress in Bali under Singapore's Country report.
For those of you who wish to come to Cambodia you must visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. This was a former school converted into a prison by the Pol Pot Regime designed for the detention, interrogation, inhuman torture and killing of the detainees after their confession were received and documented. Altogether about 20,000 prisoners were killed. The Cambodian people had been living through a nightmare in the nineteen seventies. It is hoped that by making the crimes of the inhuman regime public it will prevent new Pol Pot from emerging anywhere on earth!
Different well meaning groups have come to help the people of Cambodia and to rebuild their lives. That is why John and Priscilla Lee's mission here is very welcome by the Cambodian people. The Don Bosco Salesian Sisters have set up schools to helpto educate the young childrenwho have to walk a few kilometers barefeet to school as there is no transport whilst the Missionaries of Mercy (Mother Teresa's) have a Home for the sick.
Dr. John Lee and myself met up with His Grace Bishop Olivier and he was very keen to my suggestion of setting up a Cambodian Catholic Health Care Association so that they will be more organised in their work. The Association can then apply to join AFCMA as a temporary affiliate member and join in our activities. Presently they have about 10 members mainly medical students which Savouen graduating next year.I sincerely hope that as promised by Ms Paola and Mr. Savouen that their Association will be formed within 6 months.
Finally I wish to remind those member countries who wish to help our Indonesian colleagues in Organising the15th AFCMA Congress to pay up their donation towards the AFCMA Sponsorship Fund now. Please pay to Perdhaki whose Banking details I have already given to you earlier. So far the Catholic Doctors Association of Malaysia (CDAM) have donated USD 500 whislt AFCMA itself contributed USD1,000.Please let me and Dr. Chong Khin Yam and myself know once your Association have donated so that it will be recorded in AFCMA's Treasurer's Report in 2012.
Thank you, God Bless Everyone and have a Blessed Christmas.
In Jesus Christ,
Dr. Freddie Loh,
Tuesday, November 02, 2010
Antidepressants and the Dying
Q: What are some ethical issues surrounding the taking of anti-depressants? Does their mood-altering effect raise moral problems for people preparing their consciences for death? -- K.N., Augusta, USA.
E. Christian Brugger offers the following response.
A: There are many brands of antidepressants on the market today divided over several drug categories (or classes). An older class known as tricyclics came into widespread use in the 1950s and 60s. Common brand names include Elavil and Pamelor. A newer class known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) came into common use in the late 1980s and 1990s and are still widely prescribed (including the famous drugs Prosac and Zoloft). One of the newest classes of the last 10 years, called selective serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSNRIs), includes the popular brands Cymbalta and Effexor. In addition to depression, antidepressant drugs are also prescribed for anxiety, bipolar disease, eating disorders and chronic pain.
All three classes work at the cellular level of the brain blocking the absorption of brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters, believed to be involved in mood. The two most common neurotransmitters targeted by these meds are serotonin and norepinephrine.
Some fear that because they are involved in the altering of a person's mood, taking antidepressants is morally analogous to the taking of illicit mood-altering drugs.
I believe this is incorrect. Neurotransmitter medications, at least for depression and anxiety, when effective -- and they often are ineffective even when medically indicated -- ordinarily do not induce a "high," but work rather by restoring mood to a measure of statistical normality in one whose mood has grown flat and darkened, or has been shadowed by anxiety.
Whether or not antidepressants are advisable or promise symptomatic relief for certain individuals is a clinical question; and nobody reading this article should take what I say as clinical advice. My purpose here is to address moral questions surrounding the legitimacy of taking antidepressants for clinically indicated conditions.
The principal purpose of legitimately prescribed medications is therapeutic, that is, ordered toward the restoration of health. People suffering from major depression, dysthymia (low level chronic depression), chronic anxiety, panic attacks or bipolar disease are suffering from real health disorders. Medicine has demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that these conditions have a distinct biological dimension. Data indicates that that dimension can be positively benefited by antidepressant medications.
These conditions might also have what clinical psychology calls a behavioral dimension. And I firmly believe that one's voluntary choosing and thinking can contribute to the exacerbation or minimization of the effects of many psychic disorders. It is unquestionably the case that for persons diagnosed with these types of disorders, some behavioral changes will be necessary to restoring long-term therapeutic health. But antidepressants can and should sometimes be part of a comprehensive therapeutic plan.
That said, antidepressants can cause significant side effects that burden one's life, affect one's relationships and limit one's range of activity. Moreover, similar to wearing glasses, one's neurochemistry after taking antidepressants for extended periods can establish new levels of normality on the medication. And so people who cease taking the meds will sometimes feel worse than before going on them. Finally, the newer classes of antidepressants are very expensive and can burden one's budget especially during economic downturns such as our own.
In making a good morally informed decision about beginning or continuing treatment with one of these drugs, consideration of these possible burdens should be factored in.
The question above asks specifically about the use of anti-depressants for persons preparing for death. The only uses of the meds for which I am familiar in end-of-life care are for treating the psychic states of those with terminal conditions. Those conditions, involving as they do bodily deterioration, can precipitate or exacerbate the types of neurochemical imbalances that correspond to states such as depression. In other words, as one's biology deteriorates, the biological basis for depression will often increase. Fear of dying might also play a role in one's mental state.
If such persons exhibit signs of depression, not only is it legitimate to treat them with antidepressant medications, it can be, in my opinion, a requisite part of palliative care (i.e., relieving distress involved in the dying process). Studies consistently illustrate that those patients most vulnerable to euthanasia are suffering from (among other things) treatable depression. For persons consigned to a bed because of incapacitating illness, behavioral options may be limited, so medications may be one of the few options available.
If health care workers appear unconcerned about the mood of the dying, then family members and other caregivers should insist that the patient's mood be taken seriously.
If the administration of antidepressants causes severe side effects that inhibit a person from conscientiously preparing himself or herself for death, then patients might rightly forgo their use as "excessively burdensome."
But if a patient is suffering from psychological distress of some sort as a (biological and/or environmental) result of a terminal condition, or if they have a history of mood disorders, and antidepressant medications can promise some relief, then treating them with these medications is no more morally suspect than treating them for chronic pain.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
I am enclosing the text of my letter addressed to the Editor of the Malaysian Herald Catholic Weekly News letter dated 19Sept.2010 issuefor your perusal and ? comments. This was written is in response to the letter written by a concerned Parishioner who was disturbed by the news that Japanese Medical scientists disposed of human embryos at the end of stem cell manoeuvers.
I refer to Bobby George's article on 'Defenceless embryos cannot cry: Time to act'. We wish to assure him that we Catholic doctors also firmly believe that life begins at conception and is inviolable and must be respected.'Thou shall not kill' is one of our main Commandments and 'I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly'
(John 10:10) are repeatedly mentioned in our Holy Father John Paul II's 'The Gospel of Life' reminding us of the sacredness of humanlife.
The Japan Catholic Medical Association (JCMA) together with the Central Bishops' Association of Japan had in July 2008 already sent their protests against their Government's draft proposal to create human embryos for 'research purposes' in Japan but their protests were ignored. This is the second time that the Ministry of Education and Science have again called for the final public opinion regarding their proposal to create human embryos for 'research purposes' as it is aware of the ethical considerations involved. Let us pray that the Japanese Government will listen to their own people and act wisely.
Recently the Catholic Doctors' Association of Taiwan R.O.C. was involved in opposing their Government's views on surrogate mothers.An Artificial Act on Reproduction passed in 2007 had regarded a woman's body and the foetus as tools which are dehumanising to the mother-child relationship. The Taiwanese doctors pointed out that the Catholic Church in Taiwan instead supported the natural way of promoting impregnation called Natural Procreative Technology or NAPRO. By using treatments that work together with the women's menstrual and fertility cycles at the Cardinal Tien Hospital, they have helped many couples to give birth succesfully. Many of these couples have been unsuccesful previously when they used artificial reproductive technology. Both NAPRO and BOM (Billings Ovulation Method) are accepted by the Catholic Church as natural family planning methods and have helped many sub-fertile women to conceive.
In conclusion we doctors including the Catholic Doctors Association of Malaysia (CDAM) are doing what we can to defend our Church's teachings in our daily lives at home and at work. We look froward to working closely with other health care workers in this respect as we are part of the team.
Dr. Freddie Loh,
Asian Federation of Catholic Medical Associations (AFCMA)"
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Update on Billings Ovulation Method
1/1/1999 – 31/12/2003
Study conducted by Research Team of Ovulation Method Research and
Reference Centre of Australia Ltd
Summary of Results
Study involved all couples who expressed a desire to achieve a pregnancy and
who attended 17 Australian Billings Ovulation Method™ clinics within the required
Total Participants 449
Outcome known 358
Outcome unknown 91
Total pregnancies 278 of 358
Pregnancy Rate 78%
Known Live Birth rate 61%
Possible Live Birth rate*
*14 still pregnant at end of study;
outcome of pregnancy unknown for 62 couples.
Average months trying to achieve for all couples in study
before coming to Billings Ovulation Method™ clinic 15 months
Average months from initial instruction in Billings Ovulation Method™ to conception 4.7 months
Couples who were childless 60%
Prior knowledge of signs of fertility 18%
207 women in the study were classified as sub-fertile – trying to achieve a pregnancy for more than 12 months
(e.g. 20 couples had been unsuccessful with IVF/AI – 7 achieved pregnancy with Billings Ovulation Method™) Outcome known for 172:
Known pregnancy rate for this sub-fertile group 111/172 65%
65 subjects over 38 yrs old - known pregnancy rate 32/48 66%
93% stated they were satisfied and would recommend Billings Ovulation Method™ to others.
95% stated that the Billings Ovulation Method™ gave an understanding of fertility and infertility
From: Marian Corkill
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
FIAMC Lourdes Congress 6th to 9th May 2010
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Here is a brief summary of the 23rd FIAMC's Lourdes Congress that was recently successfully concluded. Prior to the Congress the FIAMC Exco. Committee meeting was held and Dr. Peter Au-Yeong and Dr. Edna Monzon graciously agreed to represent Dr. Buichi Ishijima and myself at short notice as we were unable to attend in time.Dr. Peter Au-Yeong read the AFCMA's President report prepared by me.
AFCMA was well represented at the Congress. The following show the country and their no. of representatives:
(1) Indonesia 24 headed by Dr. Ignatius and Dr. Albert Hendarta(the Organising Chairman of the 15th AFCMA Congress in Bali in 2012)
(2)Malaysia 13 headed by Dr. Frederick Yap
(3)Singapore 11 headed by Dr. John Lee and Father Gino
(4)Hong Kong 4 headed by Dr. Peter Au-yeong
(5)Phillipines 2 headed by Dr. Edna Monzon and
(6) India 4 headed by Father Dr. Stephen Fernandes
(7)Vietnam 1 rep.by Dr. Pham Chi Lan
(8)Myanmar by Dr. May Thu Lynn (our new AFCMA member)
Also present was Dr. Eamonn from Australia who represented Oceana.
The Theme of the Congress was "Our Faith As Physicians" with 4 sub-themes viz. God the Creator, Jesus Christ Suffering and Healing, the Spirit of Life, and The Church, The Body of Christ.There was also a session on Pro-Life.
The Congress was officially declared open by His Excellency Mgr. Zymunt ZIMOWSKI President of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Health Care on 6 May 2010.
Besides the Scientific Program we also had other activities as this was also our pilgrimage to Lourdes. We had masses at the Grotto (where our Lady appeared to St. Bernadette),Rosary Basilica and the underground Basilica St. Pius X.We walked along with the others at the Marian Procession carrying candles at night and also the Eucharistic Procession,Adoration and Blessing of the Sick. We drank the holy water from the "Taps" of Lourdes and carriedthe water home in bottles in the figurine of our Lady to be given to our relatives and friends. Some members were fortunate to be able to have their "Bath".
Here are some excerpts from a few of the speakers during the Congress:
(1)Dr. Richard Watson(USA)who spoke on 'Should Christian Physicians incorporate prayer as part of therapy?'said that prayer must be for the truly Catholic Doctor at the very core of the doctor-patient relationship.Every time we come into contact with a patient the interface reflects, 'Chritus Medicus'-Christ the Divine Physician our Healer and Savior interfaces with 'Christus Patiens'Christ the Patient, our Redeemer who sufferred for us and saved us by His wounds.
(2) Father Dr. Stephen Fernandez(India) spoke on 'Life in the Spirit and the Challenging Mission of Medical Professionals'. He said that evetyoneis called to meet the Lord in a life experience and bear witness to Him through personal testimony and through their works of faith and justice.We can never live a full Christian Life without experiencing the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.The Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles at Pentecost and transformed their lives.Dr. Stephen then spoke onthe many challengesthat medical professionals are facing in Asia and esp. in India viz. 3.1 million people in India are living with Aids/Hiv, the resurgence of tuberculosis,etc..
(3) Dr. Nicola NAPOLI (Rome) spoke on new therapeutic approacheswith adult stem cells for regenerative medicine.He said that a major task of contemporary medicine is restoration of human tissues and organs lost to diseaseand trauma.Many approaches to tissue engineering have been hindered by factors such as rejectionby the immune system, limited blood supply or morbidity of the donor site. An interesting development has been the discovery of harvesting adipose derived stem cells. This brings new hope as adipose tissue can be easily harvested in adults and can represent an abundant source of therapeutic cells.
Finally at the General Assembly Dr. Simon Castellvi was re-elected as President of FIAMC. Our own Dr. John Lee (Singapore) was also re-elected as Vice- President of FIAMC for another term of 4 years. Bombay has been selected to host the next FIAMC Congress.
In Jesue Christ,
Dr. Freddie Loh
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Doctor say many are cured in LOURDES
Doctor Patrick Theillier, who retired from leadership of the Lourdes Medical bureau last year, stated this in an interview with France Catholique.
The cure, he explained, "might not be as spectacular as to be considered a miracle."
However, the physician added, it can affect "in a profound and lasting way the person who experiences it, in all his being, body, soul and spirit."
Doctor Theillier affirmed that "these cures are truly innumerable."
The bureau is a medical organization run by doctors that operates within the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, which, among other things, is responsible for the medical investigation of cures associated with the shrine.
The doctor noted that there are, of course, miraculous cures as well in Lourdes, and 67 have been officially recognized as such.
He affirmed that these miracles are sometimes "necessary," such as at the beginning of the Church. "For faith to increase, it must be supported by miracles," Doctor Theillier said.
Yet today, he continued, perhaps more than a century ago, we have a need "to be relieved from moral sufferings and the wounds of life, of a psychological-spiritual order, which goes beyond medicine."
"Here is where Lourdes responds to a very present need, which undoubtedly corresponds more to its original message," the physician stated.
He asserted that these types of "miracles" are "much greater" than the bodily cures, as souls are "regenerated." These miracles, he said, can take place if you desire them, hope with faith, and pray to God.
"Extraordinary physical cures have become rare," Doctor Theillier observed, given that "God acts in the first place through human mediation, through medicine and doctors."
This year, Lourdes will be the site of the international congress for the World Federation for the Catholic Medical Associations. The theme for this May 6-7 event will be "Medicine and Faith."
Doctor Theillier issued an invitation for all doctors worldwide to go to Lourdes on this occasion in order to network with colleagues, hear addresses on the application of faith to medicine, and make a pilgrimage as an "occasion to experience the cure that we all need."
"My hope at this time is that numerous Catholic doctors who suffer much at present because of their faith […] will come to find by Our Lady's side consolation and cure," he said.
He invited all Catholics, "Speak with your doctor!"
The physician concluded, "As those who have come to previous congresses have shown, the doctors who attend will be able to experience God's mercy in this place of graces."
Saturday, January 02, 2010
Christmas Message from Dr Freddie Loh
The Peace of our Risen Christ be with you!
It has been one year that your New AFCMA Council took office. I will give you a brief outline of some of our activities for the past year.
(1) Relocation of MAI KHOI CLINIC in HCMC, Vietnam. I am glad to inform you that The Catholic Doctors Association of Malaysia (CDAM), Japan Catholic Medical Association (JCMA) led by Dr. Buichi Ishijima together with the Catholic Doctors of Western Australia represented by Dr. Leonard Chan and Dr. Michael Shanahan we managed to raise sufficient funds for our Vietnamese colleagues led by Father John Toai for the latter to relocate their HIV Clinic to new premises in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
(2)Year 2009 was not a good year for our Asian countries.
a) first of all we were all affected by the HINI flu epidemic. Some countries were badly affected resulting in numerous deaths. Our members helped their own countries by giving vaccinations, Tamiflu treatment and advising their Church authorities and the public on preventive measures.
b)Natural disasters also affectedour countries and especially Typhoon Ketsana in the Phillipines and Padang earthquake caused massive damage and loss of lives to the affected countries. CDAM and CHAK (Catholic Health Associations of Korea including the KFCMA (Korean Federation of Catholic Medical Associations) responded magnificently by donating cash to the Catholic Physicians Guild of the Phillipines (CPGP) led by Dr. Edna Monzon and Perdhaki (Association of Catholic Hospitals in Indonesia) led by Dr. Felix Gunawan for them to use for emergency relief work for their countrymen.
c) We are pleased to inform you that we have prepared our own AFCMA letterhead (by courtesy of Dr. K. Y. Chong) which will be used for official functions.
Future Events: a) I must remind you to attend the Lourdes Congress Organised by FIAMC from 6-9 May 2010. The theme for the Congress is "Medicine and Faith". This will be a wonderful opportunity forus go to Lourdes for our Pilgrimage besides attending the scientific sessions. Registration fee is only Euro 350. Closing date for registration is Mid. March 2010. Please register online:
b) the 15th AFCMA Congress will be held in Bali, Indonesia in 2012. ICMC(Indonesian Catholic Medical Community) headed by Dr. Ignatius Widjaja and Perdhaki will be co-hosting the event. Dr. Albert Hendarta is the Organising chairman. Proposed theme is "The Challenges of Catholic Doctors in the Changing World".
Challenges: We need to get more member countries/members to join us. Unfortunately we have lost touch with our members from India, Thailand, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. We hope that you can help Dr. Jang Sang Park (Korea) and myself on this matter.
c) Code of Ethics for Catholic Physicians and other Health Care Workers. Dr. Edna Monzon and her Bioethical Committee will be preparing this important booklet for us to prepare us and advise us on bioethical issues involving the Church's Teachings.
Finally iI hope that you will inform us on any important matters involving your country and share it with us eg. The Guild of St. Luke, St. Cosmos and St. Damian organised a sccesful Medical Outreach Program "The Myanmar Missionary Trip 2009". Sister Mary Lou is busy with her Hamdan project in China. Dr. John Lee the Head of our Medical Missions Overseas has finally completed the building of FIAMC's Hospital in Aceh, Indonesia, etc..
Have a Blessed and Joyous Christmas and may HE guide us to do HIS WILL so that others will recognise us by our words and actions.
With love from Christ,
Dr. Freddie Loh,