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From the category archives: Gordon Self

Gordon Self

True leaders are in touch with their inner selves

Gordon Self

July 21, 2014

I hate drama. Admittedly, it sometimes comes with the territory given the clinical and operational realities of Catholic health care. But I subscribe to a preventative ethics strategy whereby through investing our energies in preventing ethical conflict we can spare much unnecessary drama and hardship, including moral compromise. One issue where this applies is the ethics of power.

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Ethical reflection means getting messy

Gordon Self

June 23, 2014

I was invited by a leading Catholic health care journal to write a theological reflection on the influence of Pope Francis in our ministry. Where does one begin? In the brief time since the Holy Father's election, the reach of his pastoral message has been enormous. Countless images and interview quotes have ignited the moral imagination of what it means to be Church, and how we are called to deeper expressions of service to the poor.

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Catholic health care provides counter-witness to the push for euthanasia

Gordon Self

May 26, 2014

It's been months since my friend's daughter died. Siobhán Rock-Zych passed away Jan. 12 at the age of 42 in Ottawa. She was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (or ALS) in 2011. Her father, Michael, spoke of his daughter's courageous witness in the WCR following a press conference at Covenant Health announcing the release of the Parliamentary Committee on Palliative and Compassionate Care report, in which we contributed substantive input ("Society must face up to human mortality," WCR, Nov. 28, 2011 by Lasha Morningstar.)

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Health care workers may face mandatory immunizations

Gordon Self

April 28, 2014

Reports of new confirmed cases of measles in Alberta are a sober reminder that the effort to stop the transmission of highly contagious illness is everyone's responsibility. Non-immunized persons are at risk of contracting and spreading measles, and are encouraged to get vaccinated. Health care workers who are not immune and are exposed can put not only themselves at risk, but also vulnerable patients or residents. Thus, they may be excluded from work if exposed. Some schools in Calgary have taken similar precautionary measures to contain the risk of spread by sending non-immunized students home.

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Dialogue needed to undermine tribalism

Gordon Self

March 31, 2014

This spring marks the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. Triggered the night of April 6, 1994, Hutu extremists retaliated over the assassination of President Habyarimana by killing local Tutsis blamed for the attack. Mounting ethnic tensions between the Hutu majority and Tutsi minority erupted in widespread violence that engulfed the country. For the next 100 days approximately 800,000 Tutsi, Twa and Hutu moderates were killed.

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Roll up your sleeve and maybe save someone's life

Gordon Self

February 3, 2014

The new Health Ethics Guide devotes an entire chapter to the "social nature of care." This theme has particular meaning as we approach the 22nd annual World Day of the Sick on Feb. 11.

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Policy work ensures what we say is what happens in the system

Gordon Self

December 23, 2013

There is a lot of policy work to health care that often goes unrecognized. After all, some cynics might say, it is just a bunch of paper that no one bothers to read. Our real job is getting on with the business of running the health system and saving lives. I agree.

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Invest in keeping Catholic presence in our health system

Gordon Self

November 25, 2013

Two years ago we lost our baby granddaughter. She died in utero from a rare congenital disease. Although much time has passed since Ava's death, autumn remains a bittersweet time.

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The journey of dying takes many paths

Gordon Self

October 28, 2013

Dr. Donald Low's posthumous plea for assisted suicide posted last month on YouTube, widely reported in the news, along with Quebec's proposed law has generated renewed debate regarding the legalization of "medical aid in dying."

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Second hand calls for scrupulous morals

Gordon Self

September 30, 2013

There is a saying that one person's trash is another person's treasure. Or is it? I have run two garage sales, and helped my parents with another. On each occasion I was surprised that stuff we considered "junk" was deemed a virtual "find" by the willing buyer.

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