The Liverpool Care Pathway is being followed in Jersey’s General Hospital. What are your thoughts about that? Maybe the deepest concern which we have in not so much for our elderly relatives but for ourselves. We all know that illness is eventually terminal – even for me. And when we notice so many of our friends of all ages succumbing to virulent cancer, we feel the Liverpool Care Pathway might be implemented for us before very long.
Perhaps the greatest horror in connection with health treatment is that money is driving it. Maybe money is driving so called end-of-life care as well. In the UK NHS senior voices are now being heard claiming that LCP implementation in hospitals is closely related to financial incentives.
If the hospital needed a bed to meet targets, could the Liverpool Care Pathway option become unduly attractive? Worrying thought.
And then there’s the matter of health tourism. Should a UK NHS caesarean operation have been provided free to a Nigerian lady who flew 3,000 miles north to have it? Health Service Provision and Money don’t mix easily, do they?
Think now about the very early days of Jesus Christ’s public ministry in Galilee. It had a great deal to do with health and health tourism. See bold above.
In AD 30 Jesus’ home was in a small town called Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee. It was a fishing town in a territory which at one time was a part of Israel. Following a devastating war 700 years earlier – and much immigration in between - the people there were a mixture of various races and origins.
It was for that very reason that Jesus chose to “GO PUBLIC” there. He wanted to bless ALL people – whoever and whatever – in multi-cultural Galilee.
According to Matthew, Jesus’ biographer, this is what happened. “He went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the REALM of HEAVEN and healing EVERY disease and EVERY affliction among the people.”
Did you notice? No Liverpool Care Pathway! None was needed. Thankfully!
But what about “health tourism”? Surely there must have been a limit?
Matthew’s again. ““So his fame spread throughout all Syria (that’s also present-day Syria which adjoins Galilee), and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, epileptics, and paralytics, and he healed them. And great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis (the ten city-states to the South East of Galilee), and from Jerusalem and Judea (50 miles South of Galilee), and from beyond the Jordan (that was the territory of today’s Jordan – with one of its major cities at that time being Petra, the so-called “rose red city half as old as time”.)
Why was this quiet proclamation of good news about the realm of heaven combined with this vast all-embracing healing of all people from all illness without money and without price?
It all confirmed that the news was good, that the realm of heaven was here – in Jesus. Forget the Liverpool Care Pathway. Forget money. Life – life without inevitable death – is here. For all.