Sunday, August 26, 2012

To love and to submit: A new/old wedding ceremony in Sydney

This is good theology but it really cocks a snook at secularists and "modernizers".  I note that the wishy-washy Primate refused to criticize.  The Sydney diocese is the liveliest (and most fundamentalist by far) in Australia  -- comprising one third of  Australia's Anglicans -- so you can see his dilemma.  The Sydney diocese is only one out of 23 Anglican dioceses in Australia but its following puts the other 22 to shame.  It is close to being a church in and of itself

BRIDES will be promising to submit to their husbands under a new marriage vow the Anglican diocese of Sydney is expected to approve at its synod in October.

It requires the minister to ask of the bride: "Will you honour and submit to him, as the church submits to Christ?" and for her to pledge "to love and submit" to her husband.

The service is already being used in some Sydney parishes, under a diocese that opposes the full ordination of women and supports an exclusively male leadership doctrine.

The vows were written by the diocese's liturgical panel, which has the imprimatur of the Archbishop, Peter Jensen. The panel chairman, the Bishop of South Sydney, Robert Forsyth, said "submit" was a deeply biblical word.  "The Bible never said women must obey their husbands but Paul and Peter did say submit, which I think is a much more responsive, nuanced word."

The bishop said no one would be forced to use the new version, and an alternative would remain available to couples who did not want the woman to obey (which has been optional since 1928) or submit.

Kevin Giles, a New Testament scholar in Melbourne, said the subordination of women was exclusively related to "the fall" in the Bible and in 2012 made for bad theology.

"Jesus not once mentions the subordination of woman and says much in contradiction to this. Paul's comments over the subordination of women fit into the patriarchal culture of the day and are not the biblical ideal. The truth is that happy marriages today are fully equal, and unhappy marriages are ones where one or the other party is controlling."

Muriel Porter, a Melbourne academic and laywoman who writes on Anglican Church issues, said submit was a more derogatory word than obey and had connotations of slavery. "Frankly I'm horrified," she said. "It is a very dangerous concept, especially in terms of society's propensity for domestic violence."

The Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia, Archbishop Phillip Aspinall, declined to comment.


Breastfeeding fanatics

Class told baby formula 'was like AIDS'

EXPECTANT mums and their partners were told baby formula was "like AIDS" during an Australian Breastfeeding Association class.  Couples were also repeatedly told a baby died "every 30 seconds" from formula feeding, prompting a rebuke from doctors.

"Formula is a little bit like AIDS," one of the association's leading counsellors told couples in the breastfeeding education class.

"Nobody actually dies from AIDS; what happens is AIDS destroys your immune system and then you just die of anything and that's what happens with formula. It provides no antibodies.

"Every 30 seconds a baby dies from infections due to a lack of breastfeeding and the use of bottles, artificial milks and other risky products. Every 30 seconds."

The association has received $4.3 million from the Federal Government during the past five years and its patron is Governor-General Quentin Bryce.

The counsellor is commended in the ABA's latest annual report for taking the highest number of calls to the body's taxpayer-subsidised National Breastfeeding Helpline.  Other documents show she helped more than 900 callers in 2010 and was honoured at a branch conference last year.

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians said the baby mortality cited was "certainly not true in Australia" and could be "highly frightening" for new parents.

"There are better ways to try to explain the benefits of breastmilk," paediatric and child health division president Susan Moloney said.  "We highly support breastfeeding. It is the optimal form of nutrition for any human infant. But in the cases where it isn't able to be done, formula feeding is safe in Australia."

Australian Breastfeeding Association president Rachel Fuller immediately launched an investigation into the comments.

"These statements were inappropriate in this situation and the individual concerned has acted outside the instructions and guidelines given," Ms Fuller said.  "We take such matters seriously and are following this matter up internally today."

An expectant mother attended the class at the ABA's Brisbane office on behalf of The Sunday Mail after a complaint about a previous session.

A dozen couples paid $85 each, including a compulsory membership fee, to attend. Similar sessions are held regularly around the country. "Of course, there's the higher IQ and all of the diseases that you don't get," the breastfeeding counsellor said in her opening remarks.

"We used to talk about all those sorts of things, but we don't talk about any of those any more."  She added: "A couple of years ago I broke this leg, quite badly. Nobody said to me 'we have this wonderful range of wooden legs now' ... they fixed the leg."

Like wooden-leg salespeople, formula companies would try to promote benefits, attendees heard.  "That's what formula is; it's pure sales pitch. They don't say 'look, a baby dies from this product every 30 seconds' ... they forget about that bit."

No information was offered about deaths in Australia.

Australian Medical Association Queensland president Alex Markwell said the statements were "inappropriate" and could amount to "scaremongering".

"I just don't think those comments are helpful in the long term. We have enough evidence that shows breastfeeding is best wherever possible. But women who for whatever reason are unable to breastfeed should not be ostracised," Dr Markwell said.

Why we went undercover:

To gain a true picture of what was being told to couples one of our reporters, who is an expectant mother, attended the class as a member of the public. The Australian Press Council and Media Alliance guidelines allow for undercover investigations in circumstances of significant public interest and when no alternative is available.


I have personally encouraged young mothers I know to breastfeed but have also been supportive when they have been unable to manage it -- JR

Canberra public hospital surgeons shunning checklists on safety

Canberra Hospital surgeons failed to complete vital pre-surgery safety documents in most cases examined by an internal audit last year, ACT Health documents reveal.

And the papers show some Canberra Hospital surgeons were correctly filling in surgical safety checklists in just 4 per cent of the operations they performed in April 2011, the month before an elderly Yass woman died after a catastrophic surgical blunder at the hospital.

The internal papers reveal senior health officials believed the safety breaches were a "significant risk for surgery patients", and that compliance rates had become even worse by the end of last year.

But a senior hospital official defended his surgeons' conduct yesterday and said that an absence of documentation did not mean that the necessary safety checks were not being carried out.

In February last year, the auditors found that the pre-op safety checks had been completed in just 342 out of 1067 surgical procedures performed that month.

It was also found that despite surgeons being responsible for identity checks on patients - vital to ensure that surgery is not carried out on the wrong person - it was nurses who were mostly ensuring the checks were performed.

As late as March this year, executive director of quality and safety Elizabeth Trickett wrote in a memo that the audit results "highlighted that safety checks are not always being performed. This is a significant risk for surgical patients and the organisation."

The revelation will increase pressure on Chief Minister and Health Minister Katy Gallagher, who faces a motion of no-confidence in the Legislative Assembly brought by the opposition over her handling of the health portfolio. The Canberra Liberals described the latest documents yesterday as "explosive".

The audits were handed over by government solicitors to the family of Lima Thatcher, who are taking action in the Supreme Court to force an official inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of the 86-year-old, who endured botched surgery after a pre-op checklist was not completed.  [The doctors operated on the wrong hip]

Mrs Thatcher's granddaughter, Holly Chaloner, told The Canberra Times that she and her sister Kate were shocked when their legal team showed them the documents.

"We have to think again about what we were told by the hospital after seeing these statistics," Ms Chaloner said.  "We don't know how many other people this has happened to just because these simple checklists are not being followed.  "It's just astounding."

But Health deputy Ian Thompson said that the audits measured compliance with documentation requirements and not the safety procedures themselves.

"What we're trying to do with these forms is trying to develop a more effective indication that these checks are being done, it is not an indication that the check are not being done, it is a question of whether or not the forms are being filled out.  "It's an audit of whether the forms are being filled out, it's not an audit of whether the checks are being done.  "We don't have any evidence or reason to believe that checks are not being done."

Opposition Health spokesman Jeremy Hanson said the failings were systemic and that he was concerned with the hospital's own assessment that patients were being put in danger.

"The thing that concerns me is the systemic nature of this, the fact that 50 per cent, or thereabouts, of surgical patients at the Canberra Hospital are at significant risk, and that's the executive director of the compliance unit saying that," Mr Hanson said.  "That's a really disturbing figure and it flies in the face of everything we've been told by the minister."


Foot-dragging by negligent Qld. public hospital

TWO years ago today, four-year-old Tom Olive died after being rushed to a hospital where doctors didn't see him until it was too late.

In a 30-minute emergency department ordeal, a student nurse attended the boy with faulty equipment, and his dad, Andrew, had to begin CPR when medical staff failed to notice his son's heart had stopped.

Staff then could not locate a child resuscitation mask.

An investigation by the Health Quality Complaints Commission has not been finalised. The HQCC has informed Mr Olive and wife Trudy some Nambour Hospital staff were yet to be interviewed and two former health practitioners could not provide statements as they were "overseas, with no forwarding details".

The family's wait for answers has sparked a plea to Premier Campbell Newman and Health Minister Lawrence Springborg. In a letter, which was also provided to The Courier-Mail, the Olives asked why the investigation and potential lifesaving outcomes for other families were taking so long.

They said they had since discovered the condition that caused Tom's death, but would always be left wondering whether he could have been saved by better attention and communication in the emergency department and quicker diagnosis of his illness.

Tom's collapse and cardiac arrest was caused by a defective gene, named LPIN1, which breaks down muscle tissue and has officially claimed four Australian children and others around the world.  His sister Laura, 4, does not carry the mutation but his younger sister Rose, 1, does. A plan has been set up to manage her condition.

"We cannot explain the level of emotional pain and suffering this is causing our family," the Olives wrote.  "We would like you to put yourselves in our shoes. We have lost Tom, but cannot move on with our lives because we have this feeling in our gut that the circumstances surrounding his death have not been given the proper consideration."

The Olives said a coronial inquest could not be conducted until the HQCC investigation had been completed.


1 comment:

Paul said...

Canberra Hospital surgeons failed to complete vital pre-surgery safety documents....

And anaesthetists who don't do their pre-surgery assessment, and learn the patient's allergies the hard way...