Doctors For Life April 2018 Newsletter

From the CEO’s desk Friends are at the heart of everything that’s done at Doctors for Life. There is an African proverb which says that one person’s arms cannot encompass a Baobab tree. We at DFL know it so well. It is impossible for us to accomplish everything by ourselves. We want to use this opportunity to thank everybody who contributed to our legal costs concerning the ‘Dagga’ case. Everything has been paid. We value our friends who make this ministry possible. Thank you so much for your prayers and support. May the Lord “meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).

Dr Albu van Eeden

Our Legal Corner

When reading newspaper articles pertaining to the use of dagga in South Africa, it is often difficult to understand the equality and discrimination debate in terms of the constitution as it relates to the dagga trial. To add to this difficulty, the daily proceedings during the trial in the High Court was streamed on the internet and many who watched them found it difficult to understand what was really happening in Court. Chapter Two of the Constitution contains the so-called Bill of Rights. In terms of its provisions, the State must respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights in the Bill of Rights which include issues such as equality, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and others. The Plaintiffs in the so-called “dagga trial” are claiming, inter alia, for an order declaring that the legislative prohibition against the possession and use of Cannabis (Dagga) by adults is inconsistent with the Constitution and therefore invalid. The South African Constitution is the supreme law of the Republic and any law or conduct inconsistent with it is invalid and the obligations imposed by it must be fulfilled. Allow me to deal with only one of the issues referred to by the Plaintiffs in their claim. In terms of Section 9 of the Bill of Rights everyone is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and benefit of the law, including the full and equal enjoyment of all rights and freedoms. In terms of section 9, the state or any person may not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or any unspecified grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth. The equality clause distinguishes between two forms of unfair discrimination: discrimination on the specified grounds, for example, race, gender, disability and religion; and discrimination on those grounds which are not specified. In relation to the former, section 9 provides that prima facie proof of discrimination will create a rebuttable presumption that such discrimination is unfair. An applicant who alleges that he or she is discriminated against on an unspecified ground is not assisted by such a presumption. It is also of great importance to take note of the provisions of section 9(5): “Discrimination on one or more of the grounds listed in subsection (3) is unfair unless it is established that the discrimination is fair”. What then will be required of a Plaintiff who is of the opinion that the provisions of a particular law impose burdens, obligations and disadvantages on him beyond those applicable to other persons? What if he feels that he is unfairly discriminated against, notwithstanding the provisions of section 9 of the Constitution, and finds himself to be not equally protected before the law? To give an answer, one has to enquire as to the following: (1) Does the provision differentiate between people or categories of people? If so, does the differentiation bear a rational connection to a legitimate governmental purpose? If it does not, then there is a violation of section 9. Even if it does bear a rational connection, it might nevertheless amount to discrimination. (2) Does the differentiation amount to unfair discrimination? To answer the last question, does the differentiation amount to unfair discrimination, a two-staged analysis is required:
  1. Firstly, does the differentiation amount to “discrimination”? If it is on a specified ground, then discrimination will have been established. If it is not on a specified ground, then whether or not there was discrimination would depend upon whether, objectively, the ground was based on attributes and characteristics which have the potential to impair the fundamental human dignity of persons as human beings or to affect them adversely in a comparably serious manner.
  2. If the differentiation amounts to “discrimination”, did it amount to “unfair discrimination”? If it had been found to have been on a specified ground, unfairness would be presumed. If on an unspecified ground, unfairness would have to be established by the complainant. The test of unfairness focuses primarily on the impact of the discrimination on the complainant and others in his or her situation. If the differentiation was found not to be unfair, there would be no violation of section 9.
  3. If the discrimination is found to be unfair then a determination would have to be made as to whether the provision could be justified under the limitations clause, section 36 of the constitution.
Where does it leave us in the dagga issue? Now it is for Doctor’s for Life, the 8th Defendant in the case, to provide the Court with expert medical evidence which will outweigh any findings of unfair discrimination or unequal treatment. Through presenting scientific evidence, DFL hopes to convince the court that cannabis is a “gateway drug” with all its negative consequences. That cannabis in itself is harmful enough to justify keeping it an illegal substance.

Addiction – there is hope

Drug addiction is a reality that we can no longer ignore. It affects the parts of the brain that are involved in learning and memory, rewards and motivation and has control over behaviour. The DSM-5 classifies addiction as a Substance Use Disorder and is thus seen as a disease that affects both brain and behaviour. Because it is a disease it can be treated but it is not that simple. The main aim of treatment must be to assist the addict to not only stop using drugs, but to remain drug-free and become a productive community and family member. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) the following principles must be adhered to when treating drug addicts:
  1. One must bear in mind that drug abuse affects the brain and for that reason drug abusers are at risk for relapse even after long periods of abstinence.
  2. People are different and no single treatment is appropriate for everyone.
  3. Treatment must be readily available because potential patients can be lost if they are emotionally ready to receive treatment but it is not immediately available.
  4. Treatment must tend to the multiple needs of the individual and not just the drug abuse.
  5. The patient must ideally remain in treatment for an adequate period of time.
  6. Behaviour therapies – including individual, family and group counselling are common forms of treatment for addiction.
  7. Treatment plans must be assessed regularly and modified to accommodate the patients changing needs.
  8. Many drug-addicted individuals also have other mental disorders and must be assessed for that as well. They must also be tested for HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C and tuberculosis. All the diagnosed disorders and diseases must be treated.
  9. Detoxification is only the first stage of addiction treatment but does not change the long-term abuse.
  10. Drug use should really be monitored throughout the treatment as lapses may occur during treatment. In South Africa there are relatively few government facilities for the treatment of addiction. The bulk of the burden at this stage is carried by the private sector which includes many faith based facilities.
https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/principles-effective-treatment

LifeChild

The first week of January was a great start to this new year! A volunteer from England was eager to spend some time with our children. We visited centres and played different fun games with the children which really put a smile on their faces! It was a special time even for us to be around the children just showing them love and being interactive with them. Our volunteer taught the children some sewing skills after fixing the broken machine and they made little skirts together for the three year-old twin girls going to crèche this year. We were very grateful to have had a donation to purchase new school uniforms for our older teens along with new shoes, new school bags and stationary! We are very excited to see the garden at our centre growing so well and yielding some of the biggest eggplants and cabbages we have ever seen! The garden also has tomatoes, beetroot and butternut that are growing very well. This is great news for us because it means we will spend less on food for the centre and be able to concentrate on some other needs at the centre. For example, one of the buildings where we feed the children has been damaged by heavy rains and has since been put together using mud and wood. It is our desire to build a more stable unit to continue feeding the orphans in the Esifuleni area.

Prostitution

Feedback from the Prostitution Exit Program

We would like to thank you for praying for our project. God provided new cupboards for the bedroom we accommodate our ladies in. Thank God for sending donors from Switzerland to carry the costs of these cupboards. We are also very blessed with donations of clothes that come from time to time. We still need small sizes skirts (32, 34, 36) or material that we can make skirts from. The donors from Switzerland also bought us an over-locker machine and we have also have a standard sewing machine available to do sewing. The one ex-prostitute lady who stayed at our safe house passed her matric exams last year. Please continue to pray for the project. Ever since it started in the early 2000’s the project never stopped and we still do outreaches on Fridays to Durban and Pietermaritzburg.

Soli Deo Gloria

Abortion

In the USA we are so grateful for our new president Donald Trump. Yes, he is brash and sometimes talks like a ruffian but he is truly defending Christianity and the unborn. We often joke that he has the personality of a junkyard dog but a very brave and smart one. This year, at our annual March for life in January, Trump addressed the crowd. This is extremely rare. He also just launched a new Human Health Services (HHS) branch dedicated to protecting medical doctors and nurses who are opposed to abortion and are being coerced to perform them. We also have a petition running by Personhood Alliance that has already gained thousands of signatures asking Trump to make an executive order that directs all federal agencies to recognize the personhood of all children in the womb. When the petition was first posted it gained 700 signatures within the first half an hour. It is now in the thousands. During the election we had the slogan “Time to Drain the Swamp.” This refers to the corruption that has been so prevalent in our federal government and we often refer to Washington D.C. as the swamp. It takes a brave and determined man to “Drain the Swamp!”

By Professor Pat McEwen – DFL Volunteer USA

Aid to Africa

Personal Testimonies

Taxi accident near DFL’s Zavora/Sihane Clinic

“One Saturday someone came running to tell us that there had been a taxi accident and that the people were at the clinic door, waiting for help. Onlookers who were also standing by shouted, ‘there are more coming’! Cars brought more wounded people and family members as well as other people from the village who simply wanted to see what was going on. The taxi’s that pass by the hospital easily transport up to 20-30 people sitting on a back of an open pickup truck (bakkie) and so when an accident happens, there are often many people involved. It was difficult trying to keep focus because everyone was speaking, everyone wanted to be helped first and children were crying. Two of our co-workers who had heard what happened came to the hospital to help their friend Ester who was there for a visit and Elke Epp. Elke is a nurse from Germany who feels a calling to work at the new DFL clinic in Chikuluma in Malawi which is in the process of registration. She currently lives there with her husband. Mario Rocha, the manager of our Sihane clinic and Joy Smith were called as well. We commenced triage to identify those who were most badly wounded to take them to hospital first. Many of the patients needed advanced help that we could not supply at the clinic. “In the beginning I didn’t really think it was so serious” said Esther. “I had never seen anything like it, except on TV or in the news. I had never seen people up close that were so badly wounded. It was chaotic and the many onlookers made things so much more difficult “she explained. The people in general were all frightened because wherever one looked you saw blood and wounds. Even our visitor helped to take care of the wounded and we split up to take better care of the patients. We checked for vital signs and monitored the children. There was nobody free to help with the driving but after a lot of searching and persuading we found someone willing to take the last patients to Inharrime, 25 km away. One of the drivers, whose name we don’t have, was asked to help transport the patients to the nearest hospital and had this to say about the incident; “My sister-in-law was also in the vehicle involved in the accident and my brother called me to come to the hospital. She was the one with the broken collar bone. When I came to the clinic I felt compassion for the people. When I was asked if I could help to transport some people to the hospital at Inharrime, I hesitated because I was afraid of getting into trouble with the authorities, but then I decided to help them anyway.” All together we had 17 wounded people of which 3 were severely wounded, 8 of them were taken to the nearest hospital of which 3 were transferred to another hospital. We thank God that everybody survived.

By Alex Andrade – DFL Volunteer Germany

Outreaches to remote Mozambique villages

“I am so thankful to the Lord that I can still go on some Aid to Africa outreaches even though I have cancer. Although I cannot go as often as I originally did, each one that I am able to be a part of is a blessing. On a field outreach to some needy villages in Mozambique, Benerio Mazivilla, (who works in the DFL Sihane Clinic) helped me, both as an aid and an interpreter. I serve in testing and distributing glasses to those who are in need. Two doctors were also present to examine and treat patients with general and dental care. The areas are pretty remote and people cannot just go to an optometrist in a city to get testing and glasses. Later I spotted a lady who was an albino, in the cue. I asked Benerio to bring her in for a pair of sunglasses because the African sun often blinds the albino. After giving her the glasses I examined her and found that she already had severe vision loss. She could only count fingers at about 4 feet, even with a –10 lens, the strongest we can test for. I could not help her and was feeling so sorry that we had nothing to help her severe problem. She was almost blind. Prayerfully I looked through our glasses just in case. By God’s grace I found a –15 pair that also were very dark sunglass. When I took away the original sunglasses her face fell but when I placed the new pair on her face she burst into laughter as she could see. Our motto is “so the blind might see” and it means both physical and spiritual sight. She, like most of our patients, listened intently to the Gospel message and left with a tract in her native language clutched tightly to her chest. There is no joy like seeing someone’s eyes open to the Gospel.” Professor Pat McEwen has been going on medical outreaches with DFL since 2009.

By Professor Pat McEwen – DFL Volunteer USA

Devotion

Luke Chapter 9 Verse 57 -62

Luke 9:v57. As they were going along the road someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go”. Luke 9:v58. And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests but the son of man has nowhere to lay his head”. Luke 9:v59. To another he said, “Follow me” but he said “Lord let me first go and bury my father”. Luke 9:v60. And Jesus said to him “Leave the dead to bury their own dead but as for you go and proclaim the Kingdom of God”. Luke 9:v61. Yet another said, “I will follow you Lord but let me first say farewell to those at home”. Luke 9:v62. Jesus said to him “No one who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the Kingdom of god”. Here we find three different ways that people get to follow Christ. The first person was not invited but felt urged to follow the Lord. Some people may decide to follow Christ because they have a romantic notion about how it’s going to be. Here’s this man with His disciples moving around the country and it’s all so wonderful. But the Lord immediately brought him down to reality by telling him how harsh it would be to follow Him. The second man was actually called by Jesus. Such a person may feel the calling of the Lord. But he felt a moral obligation to bury his father, a basic duty of decency. But the Lord said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead but as for you go and proclaim the Kingdom of God”. There may be some things we consider to be moral, the right thing to do, the decent thing to do. But when Christ comes he changes that. And sometimes it sets us free because we may be carrying all kinds of moral burdens around God doesn’t expect of us. The third man said, “I will follow you but let me first say farewell to those at home”. This man was like the first; he took his own initiative to tell Jesus he would follow him. But he had preconditions – “Lord I will follow you but….” Jesus said to him “No one who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the Kingdom of god”. People who constantly look back become a burden in God’s work because even after being encouraged, they can’t stop looking back. What a challenge! What a judgement if Jesus says we are not fit for the Kingdom of God if we put our hand to the plough and then look back. These verses tell us that if we decide to follow Christ that it must be with total surrender. It must be without any preconditions and we must be willing to experience discomfort and humiliation.

By Dr. Albu van Eeden


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Doctors For Life November/December 2017 Newsletter

Our Legal Corner

Dagga – To be or not to be

On Tuesday the 7th of November ten Constitutional Court judges heard argument by various parties on whether or not to confirm the Western Cape High Court judgement delivered earlier this year, which declared the legislation prohibiting dagga possession, use, cultivation and dealing to be unconstitutional to the extent that it does not allow for the possession, cultivation and use of dagga within the privacy of one’s private dwelling. The Western Cape High Court had found that the privacy rights of dagga smokers and users were infringed by the prohibiting legislation and gave parliament 24 months to enact new legislation. That order is of no effect until the constitutional court confirms it as is or varies it. The opposing Minister of Justice and Constitutional development and other government departments appealed the judgement. This case had been brought by the well-known Rastafarian Mr Gareth Prince (and others) who last unsuccessfully challenged the prohibition of dagga in the constitutional Court in 2002, on the ground of religious freedom. The hearing on Tuesday the 7th of November before the Constitutional Court followed closely on the heels of the now infamous “trial of the plant” dagga legalisation case by the so-called dagga couple in the Pretoria High Court which was postponed on 18th August 2017 after three weeks of evidence. Doctors for Life which is the eighth defendant in the trial of the plant, was admitted as First Amicus Curiae (friend of the court) before the Constitutional Court. Doctors for Life supported the appeal of the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development and various other government departments, against the judgement and its confirmation, and argued that the Western Cape High Court had erred in significant respects in coming to its decision. It is common knowledge that the use of dagga is harmful, but the pro-dagga users argue that it is not for the State nor society to dictate what is good or bad for them. Mr Prince and the parties supporting confirmation of the Western Cape High Court order left court feeling rather confident, notwithstanding the criticisms levelled by the State and Doctors for Life against the High Court judgment. A central theme of this criticism was that the Western Cape High Court had come to its decision without properly considering scientific, medical and social evidence regarding the extent of the harms of dagga use and justifying the prohibition of dagga. Further criticism was the High Court’s failure to properly consider children in a private setting. While much of the arguments advanced and submissions made centred around legal technical issues there were lighter moments when justices asked questions about what would be considered to be legitimate quantities of dagga to use and be in possession of, and how privacy was to be understood in rural environments where one does not find boundary fences and the like. The courtroom was packed with colourful Rastafarians and other culture groups who complain that the prohibition of dagga infringes on their human rights. Apart from the representatives of Doctors for Life, their legal team, and the legal team for the government departments, support for the position that dagga is a social ill deserving of prohibition, was conspicuous by its absence. Notwithstanding the confidence exhibited by the pro-dagga lobby of persons present at the hearing, the Constitutional Court will be calling for further written submissions from the parties on whether it should stay these proceedings pending the outcome of the Pretoria trial, where at least 16 expert witnesses will testify and be cross examined on the extent of the harmfulness and justification for the prohibition of dagga. In the three weeks that this trial ran in Pretoria the evidence of only two expert witnesses was led and cross-examined. The facts underlying the “trial of the plant” are that the first two plaintiffs, the so-called dagga couple, were arrested for possession of 1.87 kg of dagga. The third plaintiff was arrested in consequence of not only possession of dagga but cultivating dagga on a scale beyond what he alleges, namely for personal medicinal purposes. According to the standards of almost all countries and American states (which remain a minority in the world) where dagga possession and use has been legalised or decriminalised, possession of this quantity of dagga would still render them liable to prosecution and possible incarceration in most of those countries/states. The plaintiffs in the Pretoria trial have thus far evaded the factual basis for their constitutional challenge to the legislation prohibiting dagga by leading the evidence of their experts first. This approach is not only evasive but also complicates the work of the legal teams for the State and Doctors for Life in testing the evidence of the expert witnesses because they are not giving their evidence pursuant to a factual basis. This is Doctors for Life’s biggest case to date and will cost an estimated R2 million for which a major fundraising effort is ongoing. The advocates for Doctors for Life and the State departments have been unfairly and maliciously vilified by the pro dagga media. Doctors for Life believes that the legalisation of dagga and its resistance is another case of social importance to come before the South African courts. Dates for the resumption of the Pretoria trial will be set soon.

DFL’s Legal Team

Advocate Reg Willis. Senior Advocate for DFL

Pornography – The Sad Facts

Pornography has been declared a public health crisis in many states and countries. We cannot close our eyes to the devastating consequences it has on individuals and societies. The statistics are overwhelming. The Proven Men Porn Survey, conducted by the Barna Group in 2014, found that 64 percent of U.S. men view pornography monthly, with that figure increasing to 79 percent for men between the ages of 18-30. Also, 34 percent of women age 18-30 view pornography monthly. 55 percent of men of 18-30 said they first encountered pornography before the age of 12, while 25 percent of women did. One pornography website found that it had 64 million global visitors per day, and that nearly 92 billion videos had been viewed in the past year. The industry feeding these habits is correspondingly large. In 2006, the whole sex industry was estimated to be about $13 billion. (1) Lawmakers in the USA in the states of South Dakota, Virginia and Tennessee have affirmed the public harm of pornography. (1) It’s hard to deny that it is wrecking marriages and that people are enslaved to it. The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers in a 2003 survey found that in 56 percent of divorce cases, one spouse had an obsessive interest in online pornography. A study published in 2016 found that divorce rates nearly doubled for men and nearly tripled for women who began watching pornography during their marriage. (1) It is especially our children who are the most vulnerable. They need to be protected from this harmful practice. The sad fact however, is that some people who are supposed to protect the children are wolves in sheep’s clothing. If you follow the news you will find that the many people standing trail for pornography are often teachers, fathers, grandfathers, pastors, cabinet ministers, social workers, bishops, law enforcement officers, nursery school caretakers and the like. Something is drastically wrong in our societies and we must to take a good look at ourselves. Are we part of the problem or are we part of the solution? https://www.osv.com/OSVNewsweekly/Story/TabId/2672/ArtMID/13567/ArticleID/21868/Pornography-a-growing-public-health-crisis.aspx

LifeChild

First and foremost we thank God for providing in the way that He does. This project is very special and important to every one involved. So much has happened this year but we would like to mention a few special moments… Our orphan project really appreciated the donation of venison we received! This provides for the children for a good couple of months! Our team was so excited to process and package the meat and even more enthusiastic to present it to our centers during the food delivery. Meat is expensive these days and we were thankful to receive such a large quantity of healthy protein! One of our centers has been struggling with vehicle problems for a while. Imagine the relief and excitement on their faces the day a brand new vehicle arrived! Not only that, but the children received gift bags full of treats! The team that made this day possible also cooked sausages and chicken for everyone to enjoy and played soccer with the children. It warmed our hearts to see the caregivers and children sing, dance and rejoice over the happenings on this day. We recently received new cupboards, wall paint and curtains for our Malelane center after the building was seriously damaged during a storm. The building is still in the process of being restored and we are grateful for every bit of aid that comes our way! Two of our centers are struggling because water resources are scarce and the caregivers often have to walk long distances to fetch water to prepare meals for the children. These centers may have to close down because of the water shortages and our desire is to drill boreholes to prevent that happening. Please keep us in mind and in prayer.

Aid to Africa

Inhambane, Mozambique, June 2017

Mrs Angelika Böhmer This was our third outreach at Inhambane hospital over the past four years and we have built good relationships with the local staff during this period. On our first outreach we were met with a degree of mistrust but this time we experienced a hearty welcome and excellent cooperation from our old friends there. Unfortunately, since our last outreach the local surgeon has left. This makes our intervention even more urgent because no cataract surgeries are done on a regular basis at the hospital anymore and the backlog becomes increasingly larger over time. Our team consisted of surgeon Dr. J. Pons from the Good Shepherd Hospital in Swaziland assisted by two of his ophthalmic nurses and an administrative lady, four helpers from our clinic at Zavora and two of us from South Africa. We spent long hours in theatre and were able to do 130 surgeries in five days. The team from Swaziland was very well organized for this mammoth task and it worked like a well-oiled machine! We thank them for their hard work and commitment and financial and other contributions! I’d like to mention a few highlights: Teresa* (age 34) had become blind due to cataracts some time ago. As a result, her husband left her even though she was pregnant. Her 9 year old son had to do many of the chores and even tried to do some jobs to earn a little bit of money. Life was very difficult for them. After her daughter was born she had to take care of her without being able to see and so a community worker brought her to the hospital. The morning after the surgery there was quite a commotion among the patients and spectators when for the first time this young mother was able to see her little baby who was then already about four months old. It’s easy to imagine what a difference the outreach made in the life of this little family. One of the patients who came for screening was Paolo*, a boy of 10 years old who had a cataract in his left eye. The hospital made an anaesthetist available so that Dr Pons could operate. Children of this age cannot have surgery under local anaesthetic and on other outreaches we have to send them away. We were very happy that we could help him and the next morning he was overjoyed when he could see. Another highlight for the team was our accommodation and we want to express our heartfelt thanks to the people who made it available to us. Much more could be said but space is limited. We thank God that we could do the work and that the gospel was preached. We pray His blessing on both. * Names changed for privacy reasons.

Aid to Africa, Personal Testimony

by Miss Mirjam Rüttimann During the weekend of the 28th to the 30th of July 2017 I was on duty at the maternity ward of the DFL clinic in Zavora and was called to the ward for a delivery. During this time Dr. Deborah and a friend of hers, Rebecca from Germany, were visiting us. They had told me to call them if there were labour cases and so I called them that evening. While we were busy preparing for the delivery another lady arrived. We only have one bed for deliveries so I put her into the maternity ward. When I checked how far she was with the labour I realized that the baby was laying feet first and this by full cervical dilatation! That’s a fearful diagnosis if one is out in the bush because it means that the lady needs a caesarean immediately. The chances that the baby would survive labour with feet first was not very high. I decided to immediately transfer her to the hospital in Inharrime but as we were preparing the transfer she started to push and the next moment the baby’s legs were out. So we had no chance to transfer her to the hospital and I could just pray that the child would survive the labour. I took the child by the legs and the next moment the child was born. The baby was crying and everything was fine. Then as we were waiting for the placenta we noticed that something was wrong. I checked again and found that there was another baby coming. It was twins!! I have never had a twin labour in my life, only through a caesarean. Everything went so well that we only can thank God! He is the best doctor and with Him everything is possible.

Devotion

Acts 4:12 (NIV) “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” A policeman once found a little boy crying heartbreakingly on a street corner. When he enquired about the reason for his sorrow, the little boy explained that he couldn’t find his way home and that he was lost. The policeman asked the little boy if he could remember his address or his dad’s phone number but he couldn’t. The policeman thought for a while and then asked the little boy if there was anything near his house that he could describe which might help him get the little boy home. The little boy thought for a while and then he answered: “Mister, next to my house there’s this big church, and it’s got a big cross on the top. And if you can lead me to that cross, I can find my way home.” Finding our way home means finding the cross first. Next month we will be celebrating the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. May the Christ Child truly be born in our hearts to make this festive season a real blessing to us.
About Doctors For life Non-Profit making Organisation (NPO) Phone: +27 (32) 4815550 or 1/2/3 Fax: +27 (32) 4815554 Email: [email protected] web: www.doctorsforlife.co.za PO Box 6613 4418 Zimbali South Africa
Prayer Requests God’s blessing on the work Labourers to send into the field Medical volunteers for Zavora clinic (Mozambique)
To sign up or donate Visit our website www.doctorsforlife.co.za
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Doctors For Life December 2016 Newsletter

From the CEO’s Desk Year end is a good time to reflect on the past year. It has been a busy year with many activities taking place. I am thankful for what we as an organisation could do. At first I want to thank all our sponsors and donors, the office staff and other voluntary helpers for their faithful support and help to fulfil our calling. It has been a pleasure to work with you and I want to take this opportunity to wish you a blessed Christmas and a time of rest during the festive season. I am looking forward to 2017 knowing that I have the right people and resources for the challenges that lie ahead. Thank you for all your hard work. I wish you everything of the best for the new year.

Our Legal Corner

Doctors for Life International is still involved as one of the defendants in the cannabis court case in South Africa involving the “Dagga Couple” who are pushing for the legalization of cannabis, both medicinal and recreational. The case is due to be head in the Pretoria high Court at the end of July 2017.

Pornography

A 2008 study on university campuses found that a staggering 87 percent of “emerging” adult men (aged 18-26), and 31 percent of emerging adult women report using porn at some level. Twenty percent of young men report using pornography daily or every other day, and almost half use it at least weekly. But the shock factor of pornography consumption statistics do not stop there. Perhaps the more telling pornography statistic is that slightly over two thirds of young men, and nearly half of young women believe that porn consumption is morally acceptable.[1] This statistic of acceptance is particularly interesting because it is pulled from our generation, which often defines right and wrong in terms of consequences. Consequence-based morality maintains that if something doesn’t hurt yourself or others, it’s not wrong. [1] Healthy sexuality combines emotional, social, intellectual, and physical elements, but pornography separates the mechanized components of sex from real sexuality itself. It leads to decreased sensitivity toward women and increased aggression. It also leads to a decreased ability to build healthy relationships or experience sexual satisfaction; users are increasingly unable to properly link emotional involvement with sex. Indeed, porn fosters incredibly unhealthy views about sexuality and human beings. Most porn portrays women as sex-obsessed, mindless objects, promiscuous and subordinate. As feminist scholar Catharine MacKinnon might propose, the prevalence of pornography begs the question: Are women human? Though that question seems extreme, ask yourself if a good society can intentionally engage in a medium that portrays half of its members in such a derogatory manner. [1] University of Texas-San Antonio’s Dr. Donald L. Hilton, Jr.’s research on porn addiction explains that pleasure chemicals in the brain are gradually overused when a person views pornography; the brain then limits dopamine production, causing the viewer to become starved for dopamine. Despite the personal and social costs of pornography, health services are absurdly silent on the issue of such an exploitative and harmful industry. [1] University of Chicago professor Jean Bethke Elshtain argues in ‘The Social Costs of Pornography’ that we should not dismiss the “moral” in our avoidance of the “moralistic.” Elshtain maintains that in order to be responsible citizens, we must ask ourselves, “What sort of community is this? Is it reasonably decent and kind? Is it a fit place for human habitation, especially for the young? What happens to the most vulnerable among us? [1] We should all be asking ourselves whether pornography is compatible with a respectful and good society.[1] A study published in the Journal of Adolescent Research, v23 n1 p6-30 2008 revealed that roughly two thirds (67{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}) of young men and one half (49{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}) of young women agree that viewing pornography is acceptable, whereas nearly 9 out of 10 (87{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}) young men and nearly one third (31{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}) of young women reported using pornography. Results also revealed associations between pornography acceptance and use and emerging adults’ risky sexual attitudes and behaviours, substance use patterns, and non-marital cohabitation values. [2] Father Gregory Thompson, Chaplain at Bishop O’Connell High School (USA) is very concerned about the devastating effect of pornography on people, especially the youth. “People don’t know what to do. They fall into it, and do not know how to get out of it. It’s a spiritual cancer on the world right now. [3] 1. http://www.thecrimson.com/column/democracy-of-the-dead/article/2011/3/28/porn-pornography-moral-doeful/ 2. SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail: [email protected]; Web site: http://sagepub.com. http://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ781137 3. http://www.alexandrianews.org/2016/09/pornography-discussion-at-local-high-school/

Euthanasia

Doctors For Life International is delighted with the outcome of this court case which is a culmination of decades of conferences, educating health professionals and the public, taking part in debates, and finally this legal battle to prevent legislation that would use the South African public as guinea pigs in a tragic social experiment. Legalising physician assisted suicide would have created a legal precedent that would have led to floods of euthanasia contagion. The judgement will serve to protect the sick, the aged and the vulnerable in South Africa who are the ones who would be most harmed through such a law. The Supreme Court of Appeal pointed to several flaws in High Court Judge Fabricius’ ruling: One being that Mr Stransham-Ford passed away prior to Fabricius making his judgement. Circumstantial evidence seems to indicate this information may have been deliberately withheld from the court. DFL first testified as a separate party and later as an amicus (friend of the court) in support of the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, the Minister of Health, the National Director of Public Prosecutions and the Health Professionals Council of South Africa who filed a “Notice of Leave to Appeal” to the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa against the whole of the judgement handed down by Judge Fabricius on the 4th of May 2015. But Judge Wallis upheld the appeal on 6 December, overturning the lower court’s decision that approved the death of Robin Stransham-Ford by active euthanasia or assisted suicide. Other reasons that emerged in the court’s ruling was that the picture of Mr Stransham-Ford’s final illness as depicted in the legal affidavits bore little resemblance to reality as found in his medical records. The applicant’s doctor’s medical records indicate he was wavering in his desire for suicide/euthanasia. The estate of Stransham-Ford apparently had refused to release these medical records until a court order was issued for them. Retracting euthanasia requests are not uncommon with those seeking euthanasia, an argument DFL has often made in the past. DFL was represented by Advocate Reg Willis and Adrian De Oliveria and Arno Bosch from Robin Twaddle Attorney’s and we are very thankful for the hard work and time they devoted to this case. Doctors For Life International is an association of more than 1600 specialists and medical doctors. Doctors For Life endeavours to promote public health by upholding sound science in the medical profession. For more information, please visit www.doctorsforlife.co.za for more information

LifeChild

From Schoemansdal On the 30th September 2016 the LifeChild orphanage in Schoemansdal was uprooted. An intense storm ripped off a large section of the roof, leaving 18 children homeless. Most of their belongings were drenched and there was a lot of damage to the building’s interior. That night the whole orphanage took refuge at Schulzendal Mission, which is some 20 minutes’ drive from the orphanage. The children were shaken and disoriented – but were safe! At the time Schulzendal Mission was preparing for their annual youth conference and so the children settled into temporary accommodation. After the conference, the children were moved into more permanent dormitories and adapted well to their new home environment. They have been enrolled into the Schulzendal Mission School which follows the same ACE (Accelerated Christian Education) curriculum as the children’s previous school. We thank the Lord for these precious children and look forward to His provision of better accommodation. Jeffrim Bernabella – Principal Schulzendal Mission School. From Zavora Recently a young woman came to the Zavora clinic and asked for tablets to bring on her period as it was two months since that she had had them. We were shocked when we realised that was asking for an abortion and so we counselled her. She did not say much but kept on smiling. Somehow I couldn’t forget her, keeping her in my mind. A few weeks later I recognized her sitting in the waiting area of the clinic again. It was a big surprise to see that her belly had grown. She told Miriam that she had decided not to have an abortion after we had talked to her. We were so thankful that our prayer was answered and asked her to come to our maternity ward for the delivery. She gave birth to a little boy who is the first son born into the family of her husband, which was of course a special joy for them. Joy Smith

March for Life – October 2016

March for Life grows every year On the 2nd of October the annual ‘National Alliance for Life (NAL)’ `March For Life’ took place in the vicinity of Gateway in Umhlanga, KwaZulu-Natal. Each year the response of pro-lifers attending the National Alliance for Life organised March, grows substantially. About 30 minutes before the march there were short speeches by a variety of people. Katherine Meek from the USA shared how her mother was warned by gynaecologists that her pregnancy would result in a severely deformed baby because they were certain she had “spina bifida” and advised her that she should abort the baby as soon as possible. Specialists confirmed this a number of times. However, Catherine’s mother chose to give her baby “a chance to live”. The specialists warned her mother that the complications of her baby would “bankrupt” her family. Nevertheless, she chose life. When Catherine was born the delivery room was filled with doctors and there was total silence when she was born. Her mother asked what was wrong and a doctor replied: “Nothing, your baby is perfect”. Today, Catherine is assisting women with HIV/Aids in Gauteng. Mrs Charmaine Stuart-Steer & Ms Luanda Hlela shared how they almost aborted their babies and both were carrying their lovely babies on stage. Pastor Flip Benham from North Carolina also addressed the audience. He was the man who helped Norma McCorvey, the “Roe” in the infamous Roe vs Wade case in 1973 which legalised abortion in the USA, become a Christian and an enthusiastic pro-lifer. The marchers walked 4km around Gateway shopping mall and included many children, teens and even the elderly (including a determined 87 year old granny) of many different races and church backgrounds. The national March For Life is open to all people from various organizations, as well as individuals and churches who demand the right of unborn human persons to have the full protection of the law. The NAL provides a forum for all interested parties to come together and combine their efforts to raise awareness. The March For Life has been taking place for a number of years now and each year sees more interest from organizations and the media.

Aid to Africa (A2A) Outreaches 2016

The medical outreach program of DFL, i.e. Aid to Africa had a tremendous year for which we thank God.  The year was kicked off with a big cataract surgery camp in Botswana with Dr Johann Eloff. The area we targeted was Molepolole at the Scottish Livingston Hospital but patients came from as far as Mahalapye about 200km away. During the first week we totaled 154 cataract surgeries. Although we were not present anymore, DFL sponsored about 115 that were done the second week and a further 100 during the rest of the year. The total came to about 369. Our team also did 2 medical missions in Malawi again and the work there bore much fruit. Dr Carl-Heinz Kruse was the eye specialists that took place in two separate villages. These areas were very neglected and remote. Dr Kruse performed about 109 surgeries of which most was cataract and trachoma, in Chikuluma and Mambala. We also tested and provided about 600 patients with free eye glasses.  DFL is also looking into establish permanence in southern Malawi. Such a clinic would also be useful as a base to reach other needy areas as well.  In September this year we sued our Sihane clinic in Mozambique for such a purpose.  A small team of 2 doctors and supporting staff visited surrounding communities and communities as far as 200km away during this time. The areas included Likulu, Cumbana and Muvamba. We worked form the local government clinics who were thankful for the additional medication and help we provided free of charge. The focus was mostly on general medical and dental care.  Our faithful volunteer and friend, Prof Pat McEwen from the USA also joined us regardless of being receiving chemotherapy up to a day before and after the medical outreach! She assisted with screening patients for acuity and reading glasses that we also provided free Medically, we treated about 23,000 patients over the past year and delivered about 260 babies at our maternity. Its however with sadness that we say goodbye our two doctors, Dr Ronald and Dr Elizabeth Neufeld, a married couple from Germany, who have poured themselves out at Zavora over the last year and a half. Dr Ronald took over the medical work from late Dr Paul Zuidema, but are returning to Germany to specialize in general surgery. His wife handled the worked in the maternity ward while taking care of some of her own children. We would like to thank them, our current staff the many volunteers and supporters, whether in prayer or financially, who helped with this part of DFL’s work in the past year. Advertisement: Wondering what to do in the rain season without an umbrella? Doctors for Life has the answer. You can buy a black umbrella for only R200 each. Contact the office if you would like to purchase one.

Devotion

Mat 2:1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, Mat 2:2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When Christians look at the darkness around them, they may be tempted to despair. If I look at the battles DFL has been fighting through the course of this year alone, it appears as if the dam wall has broken and we only have ten fingers to stick into the holes. But here, in the beginning of the New Testament we are taught about His arrival through a star. At the end of the New Testament we read again: Rev 2:28 And I will give him the morning star. In Matthew the star was actually a sign that He had given Himself to the world. And once again in Revelation the star is He Himself: Rev 22:16 ….I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star. In both Matthew and Revelation the star comes in a period of darkness. In Matthew the star was a sign that the morning had come. In Revelation His presence in our hearts is an assurance and inner conviction in the heart of the believer that the morning is coming even in the darkness of the night. A certainty in his heart and a witness in his soul. But it also teaches us that such a person will not just sit down and tolerate darkness in his heart and cannot leave the darkness to have its way in our society. Rev 2:26 The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end….I will give him the morning star. Let us continue and remain faithful in the battles to which we’ve been called
Prayer Requests
  • God’s blessing on the work
  • Labourers to send into the field
  • Medical volunteers for Zavora clinic (Mozambique)

About Doctors For life Non-Profit making Organisation (NPO) established in 1991. We bring together medical professionals to form a united front to uphold the Contact details PO Box 6613 Zimbali 4418 South Africa Phone +27 (32) 4815550 or 1/2/3 Fax +27 (32) 4815554 Email: [email protected] web: www.doctorsforlife.co.za To sign up or donate: Visit our website www.doctorsforlife.co.za  ]]>

Doctors For Life September 2016 Newsletter

The Malawi Team

Legal Corner

Your Rights and the Law

There is a conflict in the South African Bill of Rights between the rights of women to reproductive health care and to make decisions about their reproductive capacity, and freedom of conscience on the part of the medical profession. The following interpretation of the law expresses the views of senior legal counsel to Doctors for Life International (DFL): RELEVANT CONSTITUTION CLAUSES: Section 15[1]: “Everyone has the right to freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief and opinion”. Section 16[1][b]: “Everyone has the right to freedom of expression which includes freedom to receive or impart information or ideas”. Section 9: “Everyone is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and benefit of the law. No person may be unfairly discriminated against directly or indirectly on any one or more grounds including amongst other things religion, conscience and belief”. YOUR RIGHTS The Constitution is the ultimate law of the country and entitles you to the following:
  • To resist in Court any attempt to refuse employment or to discriminate against you or to intimidate you into participating in induced abortion.
  • You have the right to refuse to refer a patient to an abortionist (the clause in the draft abortion law that forced a doctor or nurse, who was unwilling to do an abortion, to refer the patient to another doctor/nurse who would be willing, was scrapped before the bill was voted upon in 1997).
  • To inform others of your ideas and views about induced abortion.
  • You may not be forced to participate in any part of the abortion procedure; this would include anything from directly taking part in the abortion procedure, to making beds and caring for the patient or even looking at histological specimens in the laboratory.
  • You may refuse to take part in any part of the administrative process of arranging abortions at all levels of the health system.
  • You may not be refused work, dismissed or victimised in your work place because of your conscientious beliefs and objections concerning induced abortions.
WHAT THE LAW DOES NOT ALLOW
  • You may not express your ideas in a threatening or intimidating way, or physically prevent somebody from going for an induced abortion.
YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES
  • If you do not wish to participate in induced abortion in terms of your lawful rights, you should make your viewpoint known as soon as possible to your employer in writing so that substitute staff can be arranged. (Contact DFL for the relevant form and advice.)
OTHER STIPULATIONS CONCERNING THE ABORTION LAW
  • You have the right to insist that, in a particular Institution, all the conditions stipulated in the Act be adhered to before induced abortion may be performed.(Abortions can only be carried out in an authorised facility).
  • There must be access to medical and nursing staff that can perform the procedure. A Health Professional with conscientious objection cannot be counted as an accessible staff member.
  • Where the woman is a minor, she must be advised to consult with her parents or her family.
  • If you work in a casualty department, and a patient comes in haemorrhaging from Misoprostol/Mifepristone your duty is to stabilize the patient after which you can refer the patient to a health professional who has no conscientious objection to continue to attend to the immediate needs of the patient. Should these “emergencies” become a regular occurrence/part of your routine, you have the right to demand that arrangements be made for pro-abortion staff to be available to receive and stabilize these patients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Contact Doctors for Life for more information or assistance.

Public Opinions on Abortion – A Mind shift

Mexico State Votes to Ban Abortions and “Protect Life from Conception” The Mexican state of Veracruz approved a constitutional amendment that effectively bans abortions by recognizing that unborn babies deserve protection. There is wide opposition to abortion in Mexico. Last year, more than 120,000 people signed a petition asking the nation’s Supreme Court to reaffirm that “abortion is not a right.” http://www.lifenews.com/2016/07/29/mexican-state-votes-to-ban-abortions-and-protect-life-from-conception/ Ireland’s High Court Rules an Unborn Baby Has a Right to Life High Court judge, Mr Justice Richard Humphreys, has ruled that the word ‘unborn’ in the Irish Constitution means an “unborn child” with rights beyond the right to life which “must be taken seriously” by the State. This is an important ruling which provides useful clarity at a time when the media and abortion campaigners are arguing that preborn children should be denied even the most fundamental right – the right to life. Mr Justice Humphreys has ruled that preborn children not only have a right to life, but that the State is obliged to ensure that all the rights accruing to every child are upheld for children before birth. http://www.lifenews.com/2016/08/05/high-court-in-ireland-rules-an-unborn-baby-has-a-right-to-life/

Aids Conference

Doctors for Life International would like to applaud the Deputy Minister of Justice on his address to the conference on Tuesday 18 July. In the Deputy Minister’s address, he stated that decriminalization of prostitution is not likely to happen in South Africa. He listed among other reasons; an increase in sex trafficking victims, increase in the number of women drawn into prostitution and increase in foreign women coming to South Africa for sex work. It is well documented that in countries where prostitution has been decriminalized e.g. Germany and the Netherlands that sex trafficking has gone up, prostitution involving underage girls has increased and the rate of HIV infection has increased, despite condoms being made available. The violence, rape and abuse suffered by prostitutes didn’t go away; it just became an occupational hazard. Pimps became managers and human traffickers became recruitment agencies bringing in girls to be used as sex slaves. Doctors For Life believes that the Deptuty Minister of Justice has sent a clear message and indication on where the government stands regarding prostitution and believes this is a step in the right direction to abolishing prostitution completely.

Student Pro-life Movement

Student Pro-life Movement [caption id="attachment_3261" align="aligncenter" width="605"]The Conference in Stanger on Woman’s Day The Conference in Stanger on Woman’s Day[/caption] [caption id="attachment_3262" align="alignright" width="150"]Vaughan Warren Luck Vaughan Warren Luck[/caption] For the past 2 months the Student Pro-life Movement has been going out and spreading the pro-life message and getting the youth motivated for the upcoming National March For Life SA which takes place in Umhlanga, Gateway, Durban on 2 October at 14:00pm. We encourage all youth that want to take a stand against abortion to attend the march so we can show the government that there are people in SA who are against the unnecessary killing of innocent unborn babies. SPLM was represented at a number of meetings held around Durban recently. This includes a Woman’s Day Conference in Stanger which saw over 1300 ladies attend as well as a meeting in Verulam also in support Woman’s Month. March For Life

LifeChild

Sonosakhe Mmeli Dlamini After Sonosakhe lost both his parents he was left in the care of an uncle who showed little responsibility toward him. The uncle did not care much about what happened to Sonosakhe and he was treated very badly. When he came to one of Doctors for Life International’s orphan centers, he was very ill and undernourished and was taken to the clinic by the caregivers. He immediately started medical treatment. Sonosakhe’s health gradually improved due to the loving care of the caregivers at the orphanage. He was soon able to participate in all activities with the other children at the center. After a year he has developed into a happy well-adjusted young boy, accepted and loved by the other children and the caregivers. Philani Shezi [caption id="attachment_3265" align="alignright" width="197"]Philani Shezi Philani Shezi[/caption] Philani was living with his grandmother when she passed away. He was left alone with nobody to take care of him. Some relatives took him into their home but then he left because they were not taking care of him. He was staying in different places with different people, and for a young child that can be very traumatising. In the end he was left with nowhere to call home. Philani was found sleeping under a wheelbarrow by people in the community and they contacted Doctors for Life International for help. When he arrived at one of DFL’s orphan centres, things were very difficult. He was very naughty, used to fight a lot and spoke disrespectfully to the caregivers. He also cried a lot. He was also very defensive and difficult. The caregivers spent time counselling him and after a while he began to change. Things are different now. He has adjusted very well and is much happier. He plays with other children from the centre and his behaviour has changed for the better. Thank you for the good work done at Doctors for Life’s Care centres by the staff.

Personal Testimonies

Tina A. from Nhautse was expecting her first child. She came to the DFL Clinic at Zavora on the 10thof February with contractions. Everything seemed to go well with the labour. We checked the child’s heartbeat, contractions, dilatation, blood pressure, pulse of the mother and her temperature regularly. As the labour was progressing, we realised that something was wrong. The contractions were getting fewer and fewer. It was 03:00 in the morning when we again check the heartbeat of the child. It was only on 60bpm instead of at least 110bpm. We quickly prepared everything for a transferral to Inharrime (hospital) and Joy, our “Ambulance-driver“transferred the lady to the hospital. Finally we arrived at the hospital where she was taken care of and the baby was delivered. The next day we were told that this lady would have had a uterine rapture which means that the mother and child could have died. About 3 weeks after this the lady came for a check-up to our maternity ward. She came with her baby. I was so glad to see mother and child in such a good condition! – Staff from Zavora.
OneSunday morning an old man came to the house seeking help. During the night he was attacked by his son, who was drunk, with a machete, threatening to kill him. In defence he must have lifted his hands or grabbed for the knife, which resulted in a deep wound in his left hand, just below the thumb. After giving him a local anaesthetic we cleaned the wound to evaluate the extent of the damage. Both the tendon and the muscle were severed by the blade and the joint was visible. In order to fully restore the functionality of the thumb, which is extremely important for the hand, the tendon had to be reconnected. Due to a high risk of an infection occurring and also the difficulty of finding the pulled back tendon we thought it best to transfer the man to hospital as it has an operating theatre. The nurses on duty decided to just suture the skin and sent him home with a few Paracetamol tablets. Without having an operation he will not be able to use his left hand properly. But we took him with us for a Sunday service. He was touched by the message and also by the way he was treated at our clinic. He joined us for another Sunday service some time later and is interested in coming again. –Mirjam Rüttimann

Aid to Africa – Malawi June 2016

In June Doctors for Life undertook an outreach to Malawi. A medical team and assistant personnel visited two very remote areas to do eye operations and hand out reading glasses to people who can read, but due to weak eyesight were not able to read anymore. Malawi has a young population: 66 percent of its 16.2 million people are under age 25; 53 percent are 18 and younger.  16.7 percent of children under 18 are orphans and vulnerable children (OVC). The plight of these orphans is heartbreaking. We did 101 eye procedures and handed out 593 glasses (492 readers and distant viewing glasses and 101 dark glasses after operations) We also gave Bibles to people in need of them. Thank you to our sponsors for making all this possible. [caption id="attachment_3267" align="aligncenter" width="588"]Happiness is being able to see again after many years of blindness Happiness is being able to see again after many years of blindness[/caption] [caption id="attachment_3268" align="aligncenter" width="605"]The Malawi Team The Malawi Team[/caption]

Devotion

Dr. Albu van Eeden Hosea 8:9  Like a wild donkey looking for a mate, they have gone up to Assyria. The people of Israel have sold themselves – sold themselves to many lovers. What are the characteristics of a wild donkey? It wanders around serving itself – going wherever it’s thirst leads it and drinking where it wants to. It has no loyalty to any owner, not obeying anyone but also of no use to anybody. Such is the life of the godless person. When he dies all one can say of his life is that he served himself. He or she married for themselves. He selected an occupation that pleased himself and only has children for his own joy. He sells himself to his “lovers”. Be that money, or what people think of me, or my possessions, or the pleasures of this world, or comfort, or materialism or even something more noble like my job. But ultimately they will possess him. The child of God is not his own boss and is loyal to only one God. A person that pleases himself may be in the company of other people constantly, but in a way, remains lonely – like the seed that never fell into the soil and died. One man of God said that the belief in free will is a doctrine of the antichrist. The child of God is a bondslave to Christ. The I is crucified and dies to himself daily. May this be the trademark of your and my life.]]>

March 2016 Newsletter

From the CEO’s Desk We are thankful for this privilege to update you on what has been happening at DFL since our previous letter in November 2015. We look forward to working with you again and hope that 2016 will be a blessed year, with many opportunities to make a contribution in various ways. Dr. Albu van Eeden

Our Legal Corner

 The Euthanasia-case (Dignity SA o.b.o. Stansham-Ford vs State)

There is no further development in the on-going legal process to report since the last newsletter. No date has been set yet for the Constitutional Court case where the legitimacy/desirability of euthanasia in South Africa will be determined once and for all. DFL is involved through the efforts of our counsel, Adv. Reg Willis, who is pursuing the role DFL can play in the coming Concourt action.

The Dagga-case (Stobbs& Clarke vs NDPP & Others): Decriminalisation of Marijuana in SA

Following on the developments reported in our last newsletter, the court date for 10 March 2016 has been postponed, but the new date has not yet been announced.  This gives us more time to prepare our team of expert witnesses. The State has already provided summaries of their two witnesses, David Bayever of the Central Drug Authority and Professor Shebir Banoo of the Medicines Control Council, two credible and competent witnesses, for which we are thankful. Please pray for the availability and choice of appropriate expert witnesses that DFL are approaching to bring a strong case to court. We are also thankful that Adv. Reg Willis, who has been of great help to DFL in some of our other court challenges, has agreed to also assist the existing legal team in this matter.

Cannabis/Marijuana

 The effects of Marijuana on an individual:

THC acts on numerous areas in the brainShort term effects on the brain

Marijuana over-activates parts of the brain that contain the highest number of receptors which causes the “high” users feel. Other effects include:
  • Altered sensations (for example, seeing brighter colours)
  • Altered sense of time and changes in mood
  • Impaired body movement
  • Difficulty with thinking and problem-solving
  • Impaired memory

Long-term effects on the brain

Marijuana also affects brain development. The plant contains the mind-altering chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other related compounds. When marijuana users begin using it as teenagers, the drug may reduce thinking, memory, and learning functions and affect how the brain builds connections between the areas necessary for these functions. Marijuana’s effects on these abilities may last a long time or even be permanent.  A study showed that people who started smoking marijuana heavily in their teens and had an on-going cannabis use disorder lost an average of eight IQ points between ages 13 and 38. The popularity of edible marijuana also increases the chance of users having harmful reactions. Edibles take longer to digest and subsequently take longer to produce a high. People therefore tend to consume more to feel the effects faster, leading to dangerous results. Dabbing is yet another growing trend. More people are using marijuana extracts that provide stronger doses, and therefore stronger effects of THC. Higher THC levels may mean a greater risk for addiction if users regularly expose themselves to high doses. Contrary to common belief, marijuana can be addictive. [caption id="attachment_3111" align="alignright" width="250"]Other health effects of marijuana Other health effects of marijuana[/caption]

Other health effects of marijuana

Physical effects Breathing problems. Marijuana smoke irritates the lungs, and frequent marijuana smokers can have the same breathing problems that tobacco smokers have. These problems include daily coughing and phlegm, more frequent lung illness, and a higher risk of lung infections. Increased heart rate. Marijuana raises heart rate for up to 3 hours after smoking and may increase the chances of heart attack. Older people and those with heart problems may be at higher risk. Problems with child development during and after pregnancy. Marijuana use during pregnancy is linked to an increased risk of both brain and behavioural problems in babies. Resulting challenges for the child may include problems with attention, memory, and problem-solving. Mental effects. Long-term marijuana use has been linked to mental illness in some users, such as:
  • Temporary hallucinations – sensations and images that seem real though they are not
  • Temporary paranoia – extreme and unreasonable distrust of others with worsening symptoms in patients with schizophrenia (a severe mental disorder with symptoms such as hallucinations, paranoia, and disorganized thinking)
Marijuana use has also been linked to other mental health problems, such as: depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts among teens Health effect on a user’s life. Compared to nonusers, heavy marijuana users report the following more often:
  • Lower life satisfaction
  • Poorer mental health
  • Poorer physical health
  • More relationship problems
Users also report less academic and career success Long-term marijuana users trying to quit, report withdrawal symptoms that make quitting difficult. These include grouchiness, sleeplessness, decreased, appetite, anxiety and cravings. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana

LifePlace

Memories of Project LifePlace since 2007

It started off as an outreach on Friday afternoons with lots of preparation: the Toyota Condor was packed with camping beds, sleeping bags, luggage for everyone going, as well as food for the night and next day. After supper at the LifePlace Coffee Shop in Pickering Street, we had a devotion to prepare us to go onto the streets.  We walked a route from the Point area towards the sea and at the end stopped for an ice-cream next to a club.  What a noisy place!  We saw many young people abusing alcohol. We also stopped at Cats massage parlour to greet Flame, the madam that’s been working there for many years.  Her ginger cat is at home among the people hanging out the door.  She sent her girls to the LifePlace Coffee shop for HIV tests. I remember walking down Smith Street to Victoria Embankment where a transvestite was looking for business.  He always greeted us when we walked past him.  The ships in the harbour looked pretty with the many glittering lights in the distance. We walked on, over hills past the “In Town Lodge”.  Some knows it as the ‘Orange Building’.  The owner was charged for human trafficking.  We spoke to young girls outside the Lodge as we passed by on our way to South Beach. We returned to the LifePlace Coffee Shop late at night to sleep and drove back the next day.  Nowadays we get into the car late on Friday afternoon and go and visit a family in Gateway. After the visit we hit the road and visit the ladies we have met in Durban over the years. We don’t sleep over in Durban anymore and usually return home by midnight. It is with thankful hearts that we acknowledge that it is God who opens the hearts of these people. We are often able to bring a lady back with us to be changed from a prostitute to a princess.

Euthanasia

EuthanasiaIs it necessary to legalize suicide?

There is a perspective on Euthanasia that is often overlooked. Euthanasia is the English translation for the Greek word “euthanatos”, a term coined in the 1830’s. The ancient Greeks were generally seriously opposed to any form of suicide. They attempted to discourage it by punishing the corpse of those who had committed suicide, for example, by cutting off the hand that was used by the person to kill themselves. In the well-known instance of Socrates, he had to drink poison as a form of death penalty and his death was not euthanasia. Not that they did not have any concept of life issues and suffering, but they had already realized what modern psychiatry is well aware of; the contagiousness of suicide. Research has proven that there is a correlation between the occurrences of suicide that follows after media coverage of suicide cases, and the length, frequency and intensity of the media reports. Furthermore, suicide is one of the more preventable tragedies of primary healthcare, and first world countries focus more and more on suicide prevention programs. Euthanasia can be divided into two sub groups which in ninety percent of cases, are not as complex as some people make it out to be; passive euthanasia which virtually nobody has an objection to, and active euthanasia which is the controversial form of euthanasia. Active euthanasia falls under so called physician assisted suicide, where the doctor does not directly kill the person, but provides the medicine wherewith the suicide can be carried out. Passive and active euthanasia are two different entities, even though there are borderline cases where the distinctions are vague. To summarize, one could say that passive euthanasia is relevant when, in the case of a terminally ill patient, the doctor stands back and recognizes that they are not God. – During passive euthanasia the death of the patient is caused by the sickness. In active euthanasia the death of the patient is caused by the doctor. – With passive euthanasia the doctor has the attitude of humility and surrender. In active euthanasia the attitude of control is taken. –  During passive euthanasia the purpose is to not unnecessarily lengthen the dying process. With active euthanasia the purpose is to cause the patient to die.

A few problems with the legalization of active euthanasia:

–  Legalization usually rests on terms like “unbearable suffering”, “excruciating pain” etc. There is no way to measure pain or suffering. Who’s scale will be used, the patient’s, the family’s or the doctor’s?  Whoever’s scale is used will inevitably have all the power. It is easy to misuse terms like these. (The suggested legislation for South Africa in 1994 was more liberal than the infamous Nazi T4 program). –  The next argument often mentioned is the right of everybody to choose their “moment”. But the moment you justify one form of suicide, you end up in an ethical swamp. If you approve suicide for the terminally sick patient, on what grounds will you refuse the drug addict, who stands on the tenth floor of a building ready to jump, after multiple unsuccessful attempts to rehabilitate, and who feels that life is miserable, full of suffering and without hope? – This creates a favourable climate for malpractices. It is impossible to avoid subtle pressure on the patient from other parties. A newspaper article from the USA reported on an elderly lady who had become deaf. She wrote, “My daughter became more and more frustrated with me. She was also unhappy because she felt that I would not leave a big enough inheritance (Obviously afraid mom would use it all on health services). Later on she became even ruder. One day she said that she felt that it is not wrong for elderly people to ask to be euthanized”. She concluded the article with the words, “Now I sit every day alone in my apartment knowing what is expected from me…” When such a patient is dead, the only witness is gone and nobody will ever know what happened. –  Premature death offers an encouragement for financial benefits – it is always cheaper to kill than to nurse. –  All countries that legalized active euthanasia fell into a downward spiral. The Netherlands began with:
  • Active euthanasia on request of the terminally ill patient who suffered unbearably (1981). The request had to be in writing, there also had to be sufficient consultation with a doctor, etc.
  • In 1982 it was changed to voluntary active euthanasia for chronic diseases where the patient would not necessarily die soon.
  • In 1985, for the first time it was officially allowed without the patient requesting it.
  • But who says physical suffering is worse than psychological suffering? So, in 1994 it was also allowed for psychological suffering.
  • In 1992 a doctor who did not officially keep to the rules, was not punished. According to the old argument, he did it out of love.
  • From 2001 it was allowed for 16 year olds without the permission of the parents and
  • In 2005 criteria were proposed for the application of euthanasia on new-born babies.
Similar patterns developed in Belgium, Switzerland and Oregon in the USA. It is thus not surprising that the World Medical Association rejects active euthanasia. Indeed, with the exception of a few countries like the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland, virtually no country’s medical association supports euthanasia. According to reports from the American Medical Association doctors should, instead of getting involved in euthanasia, rather react aggressively to the needs of the patients at the end of their lives. Patients should not be left to their lot after it has been determined that healing is not possible. They need emotional support, the kind of care that will keep them comfortable and they should receive sufficient pain treatment. At the same time the independence of the patient must respected and good communication maintained.

Excerpt from a DFL Press release

LifeChild TestimonyLifeChild Testimony

Glory and honour to God! I, (Nombuso Majozi) would like to thank God for what He has done for me. I thank DFL for their love and support which they have shown to me. After my mother passed away, I did not know whether I would even be able to matriculate, but God made it possible that I could, and He even opened the door so that I could go on to higher education. I went to North West University where I was trained to become a teacher. By God’s grace I have finished the four years of a B.Ed degree and I will graduate in April this year. I am very thankful that the Lord has helped me to complete my studies and has provided for all my needs. My desire is to be a light and make a difference in whichever school the Lord leads me to. I thank God that He has used Dr Albu, Mama Karen and the DFL team to demonstrate His love and kindness towards me.

Aid to Africa (A2A) Outreaches 2015

[caption id="attachment_3114" align="alignright" width="300"]Aid to Africa Outreaches Aid to Africa Outreaches[/caption]

DFL Sihane (Zavora) Clinic

It is with much appreciation that we report on the Medical Outreach Program and the DFL Sihane Clinic and Maternity Ward in Zavora, Mozambique, for the period 1 January – 31 December 2015. With your assistance we were able to reach many lives in Southern Africa during this time. We are sincerely thankful to be able to play our small role in this endeavour. General medical examinations and internal medicine, dental care, free medication and treatment, pre and post natal care, vaccinations, optometry and eye care are just some of the basic, yet, often life-saving services that we provide free of charge. The eye surgery program has become a major part of our medical services. We were able to help many blind people see again which naturally changes their lives dramatically. They can once again do the basic things like, cooking, eating, walking, planting, washing, working, driving, reading, teaching and once again be productive in their communities. Thank you very much to all who assisted us this past year.

Medical Outreach Accomplishments

Medical Outreach Accomplishments3 remote and needy areas were reached with an impetus on eye surgery. At a fourth area we focused only on assisting people with eye glasses. The areas were:
  1. Inhambane in Mozambique
  2. Mauzi, Phalombe in Malawi
  3. Namandanje, Mbonchera in Malawi
  4. Sihane, Zavora in Mozambique
During these missions the following tasks were accomplished:
  • 162 surgical procedures, most of which were cataract surgeries on blind people
  • 3 surgeries to remove eye cancer
  • 698 patients received prescription eye glasses
  • 212 internal medicine examinations (General practitioner examinations)
  • 1064+ eye examinations.
  • 200+ indirect eye examinations through the surgery in Inhambane
  • 474 dental patients
  • 595 tooth extractions

Medical Accomplishments at the clinic in Zavora

We examined and treated about 21 752 patients at our Zavora clinic during 2015. This is a new record compared to only 18229 during 2014 and 12916 during 2013. Part of the increase is the huge number of malaria cases we saw. The Mozambique government calls it a malaria pandemic. Basically the number of most conditions increased (except HIV/AIDS).
  • 5597 were Malaria cases – (4076 in 2014, 5468 in 2013)
  • 19 HIV cases – (67 in 2014, 68 in 2013)
  • 632 Diarrhoea cases – (523 in 2014, 306 in 2013)
  • 1165 Wound care – (669 in 2014)
  • 241 babies were delivered compared to 231 in 2014 and 208 in 2013
Johan Claassen A2A co-ordinator

Devotion

 Gen 28:13  And behold, the Lord stood over and beside him and said, I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father [forefather] and the God of Isaac; I will give to you and to your descendants the land on which you are lying. Gen 28:15 And behold, I am with you and will keep (watch over you with care, take notice of) you wherever you may go, and I will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done all of which I have told you. In this life-changing incident at Bethel, Jacob, now in trouble, was willing to reach out into a life where he was to trust only in God to keep him safe and to undertake for him. God has to bring all of us to a place where we are willing to let go of everything else we used to trust in and trust in Him alone. We also may land up at that place because we are in a crisis. That does not matter – it may actually be good. For God is willing to meet with us even if we come to Him in a crisis. The Hebrew words can be interpreted to say “I will keep watch over you…” That means, “I will look narrowly, observe you, preserve you, regard, and save you”. On the broad road we may travel as zigzag as we like, maybe as our emotions tell us. But on the narrow road we are not allowed to put a foot out of place. And the road gets smaller the further we go. Not that we become more and more legalistic, but because we move closer to God and are more intimately guided by His Spirit in our thoughts and motives. Still there is something calming in that He will:
  • keep an eye on you and check whether you are heading in the wrong direction. Then He can warn you if you are going in the wrong direction, and encourage you when you are going in the right direction.
  • keep watch over you. He can see Satan and his demons if they are stalking you. He will put a hedge about you, guard you, protect you, and attend to your needs. He will keep you standing amid fierce temptations and onslaughts “for I will not leave you until I have done all of which I have told you”.
Dr. Albu van Eeden]]>

Doctors For Life Newsletter – Issue 12

From the CEO’s Desk First of all I would like to thank the Lord who has guided us throughout the past year. We experienced many challenges but also many blessings. I also would like to thank all our sponsors, donors, members, friends and DFL staff who have worked tirelessly and with dedication in pursuit of our calling. Thank you for the prayers and words of encouragement for us at the office. Broader horizons open up to us in many ways for which we are thankful. I wish you all a blessed festive season during which time we can refresh our hearts and minds in preparation for the New Year that lies ahead.

Our Legal Corner

The Euthanasia-case (Dignity SA o.b.o. Stransham-Ford) DFL is involved in the appeal proceedings as amicus curiae in this case. The appealing parties are the SA Medical Association and certain State Departments. Dates have been applied for by the main appellants. We shall only know sometime next year of the date the matter will be heard in the constitutional court. The Dagga-case (Stobbs & Clarke/NDPP & Others) The latest development in our supportive role as amicus curiae is that we have now had a meeting with the State’s legal team (State attorney and State advocate) who are representing 7 different State Departments as Defendants, all having an interest in ensuring the court application does not succeed. A further party has made application to join as a Plaintiff. He is Clifford Thorpe, who in January 2015 was arrested by police for growing dagga on his property. He is a man in his early 50’s suffering from certain ailments, which, he alleges, are best alleviated by the use of dagga-“butter” and his case is primarily to have marijuana legalised for medical purposes. At the meeting of legal teams we realised that the 10 days set aside for a trial beginning on the 10th of March 2016 are insufficient, especially since much expert scientific evidence will have to be presented. A meeting will be sought with the deputy judge president of the Pretoria High Court for a ruling on how many days will be required and whether the matter be referred to the Constitutional Court, seeing that the plaintiffs have raised several constitutional issues. Child and Youth Care Centres The local office of the Department of Social Development (DSD) in the area of one of our orphanages, in which DFL has recently invested considerable resources to upgrade it and bring it up to the required standard, has sent social workers to close the orphanage down. In a letter, we were informed that there is no need for an orphanage, as there are already 3 in that area; this despite the chief and traditional leaders having requested DFL to set up an orphanage there. We are not aware of any orphanages in that area; we have only been made aware by the locals that there is a great need there. A lawyer’s letter has been sent advising the DSD that their closing down of the orphanage will not go unchallenged. Up until now they have not followed due legal processes to have the orphanage closed. We are in the process of establishing how best to interact with the DSD and get their full co-operation and enthusiasm for the Centre so that, instead of legally challenging them, we can work together towards establishing a model centre there. Please pray for this project and that God will open the doors for such co-operation with the social workers.

Pornography

[caption id="attachment_3063" align="alignright" width="300"]Small boy using a laptop Small boy using a laptop[/caption] In general people believe that the damage done to young minds by pornography is long-lasting. But a recent gathering of experts pointed out that the harms from pornography are far worse than expected, and the damage is not just impacting children, but spilling into all of society. Speaking to a standing-room-only crowd in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Centre, Dr. Gail Dines said that today’s mainstream pornography is unbelievably dehumanizing, degrading, and violent. She cited a peer-reviewed study that found that 88 percent of the scenes in the 50 most popular porn films involved violence against women. Pornography is not about sex, she said, but about, quote: “making hate to women.” Dines shared how one pornography producer explained that the girls now arrive on the sets “porn-ready.” As she said, “We are part of a culture that hyper-sexualizes girls from a very young age and forces them into an inauthentic, formulaic, plasticized sexuality that is from the porn culture and not of their own making.” Cordelia Andersonof of Sensibilities Prevention Services (Speaking at the same convention) called the American culture’s widespread pornography use “the largest unregulated social experiment ever.” Having studied the impact of sexual abuse and pornography for decades, Anderson explained that pornography is a quantifiable public health crisis. Anderson pointed to research indicating that nearly all young boys have been exposed to pornography. It isn’t enough to protect your own children any longer when their peers have had violent pornography normalized in their minds. The impact has become public, and its damage has seeped in everywhere. Anderson believes change requires a broad public strategy of education, law enforcement, business pressure, and a revitalized media culture. As she so aptly put it, “No mass social disorder has ever come under control just by treating the individual.” Dines and Anderson were just two of nearly a dozen speakers discussing the public health hazards of pornography at the Capitol event. Dr. Donald Hilton explained how pornography changes brain chemistry. Dr. Melissa Farley examined the link between pornography, prostitution and sex trafficking. And Ed Smart, whose daughter Elizabeth made national news when she was abducted in 2002, explained how pornography played a role in his daughter’s enslavement and sexual torture. http://www.christianheadlines.com/columnists/breakpoint/pornography-and-the-decline-of-a-culture.html

LifeChild

Just a short update on our LifeChild projects:
  • The new roof is up at Mthaleni. Please see the photos below
  • We have an urgent need for a new roof at Malelane. Please pray with us that the Lord will provide
003 002

March for Life – October 2015

On the 4th of October 2015 it was the annual National March for Life organised by the National Alliance for Life (NAL). This event is held once a year on the first Sunday of October. It brings together people from all walks of life across South Africa who are pro-life and want to take a stand and stop the senseless killing of unborn babies. As much as the pro-abortionists claim that a woman has a right to choose what happens to her own body, even though a baby might be inside her, it is not part of her body, but a separate person. If it is OK to kill a baby inside 004the womb, the next step for society will be (as has already been suggested by some leading bio-ethicists in the West), to claim that the lives of all human beings after being born are not equal. Society is being de-sensitized to the extent that the leading bio-ethicist in the USA (Peter Singer) claims that up to 23 days AFTER the birth, a child should not be considered a human person that deserves protection from the law. The National March for Life is trying to mitigate passivity in society and is open to all people from various organizations, as well as individuals and churches who demand the right of unborn human persons to full protection of the law. NAL provides a forum for all interested parties to come together and combine their efforts in order to raise awareness. The March for Life has been taking place for a number of years now and each year sees more interest from organizations and the media. According to science, life starts at fertilization and the very first cell contains all the information that makes the embryo a new, unique human being. It is a person and has all the genetic information from the colour of the hair and eyes, to the shoe size, to how tall that person will be and whether they will be sportier or more academic or both etc. 005 It will always be the weakest and most vulnerable of society that are taken advantage of and this is also true concerning the unborn baby. Just because they cannot stand up and speak for themselves does not mean that we or their mothers may decide on their behalf that they have no right to live. The goal of NAL and the March For Life is to inform and educate the public on abortion and get people, especially mothers, to realize there are other options available and that the complications a woman suffers after an abortion doesn’t just last for those few minutes. The emotional scars can last a lifetime unless she gets therapy and counselling. Post Abortion Syndrome is well documented and results in severe depression, guilt, anxiety and regret. As a nation we call upon everybody to stand up and take responsibility for our actions. We need to hold onto the sanctity of life.

Aid to Africa (A2A) Outreaches 2015

Twenty fifteen has seen some major shifts and changes. Earlier this year we heard from one of our donors that our funding for the medical outreach program, both to our Mozambique clinic and eye surgery missions, would be cut in half. But by God’s grace the work could go forward in a major way. We also struggled to do eye surgery in Mozambique again. Although the Mozambique government asked us to do cataract surgery in Xai-Xai, about 200km from Maputo, the tour was eventually cancelled by them at very short notice for various reasons. In some of the Southern African countries, arranging and coordinating these outreaches can be very challenging. We very often are made to wait until the very last moment before we get a final approval. No wonder some donors eventually lose interest to assist. Bureaucracy can really ‘rob’ the needy of what they need. But regardless of these and many other obstacles, by God’s grace the medical outreach program of DFL, Aid to Africa, went forward in a blessed way. We had two other medical outreaches to Malawi in July which went very well as reported in the previous newsletter. Dr Albu van Eeden (CEO) and team also made a special trip to some of the regions where we have been conducting medical outreaches. The possibility of starting our second permanent clinic (the first in Mozambique), was discussed during meetings with members of parliament, local chiefs and the communities. During the July Malawi outreaches specific sites were identified that the Malawian Government would like to donate to us, in order to build a clinic, get involved with agriculture, and take care of orphans. Future follow-up trips are currently being planned to possibly take things further. Mr Volkmar Bohmer is managing the Malawi project for DFL. [caption id="attachment_3068" align="alignright" width="300"]Dr Jonathan Pons performing cataract surgery in Inhambane, Mozambique Dr Jonathan Pons performing cataract surgery in Inhambane, Mozambique[/caption] DFL also attended 3 major medical conferences where we gained about 60 new members who are interested in joining us on outreaches. In addition we received a large donation of medical equipment; a Zeiss refurbished auto refractor/keratometer used to examine eyes prior to surgery, and a Zeiss eye microscope used during eye surgery. When the Xai-Xai outreaches were cancelled not all was lost either. With the team already packed and flights booked, the team continued to work at DFL’s clinic (DFL centro de Saude de Sihane) near Zavora. Prof Pat McEwen came from the USA especially to assist us. The primary goal became to assist people with free prescription eye glasses at the DFL clinic about 400km from Maputo. People came from as far as Inhambane for eye glasses. Optometry is not really a service that you find in these parts of Mozambique. Many government officials also came to have their eyes tested. Although the cataract surgery in Xai-Xai was cancelled, through nothing less than a miracle, doors opened for us to do cataract surgery in Inhambane during November. Dr Pons and his staff from the Good Shepherd Hospital in Siteki, Swaziland, joined DFL to do the eye surgery in the Inhambane provincial hospital. About 74 cataract surgeries were performed during that week, with Mozambiquan television and radio media covering the event extensively.  The Mozambique government also sent two ophthalmic registrars to be trained by DFL. We would like to thank Ambri and Irma who provided accommodation at their Barra Lake and Sea lodge. As you can agree, we have much to be thankful for. Looking ahead, we have fixed dates with the Botswana government to do cataract eye surgery in Mahalapye, 200km from Gaborone in February 2016. We need two eye specialists to join us. Please let us know if you would be interested in assisting. The locations of the other outreaches later in 2016 still have to be decided.

Good News

[caption id="attachment_3074" align="alignright" width="300"]The DFL clinic in Zavora, Mozambique The DFL clinic in Zavora, Mozambique[/caption] DFL are also very grateful for the new staff that joined our Sihane clinic in Zavora, Mozambique. Dr Ronald Neufeld and his wife Dr Elizabeth Neufeld arrived from Germany in October and are busy settling in. Although we have had numerous short term volunteers since the passing away of Dr Paul Zuidema in August 2013, the Neufelds are the first permanent doctors we have had to replace him. We couldn’t have asked for more – a husband and wife medical team! They are accompanied by their son Elias aged 2. Miss Joy Smith also started earlier in the year to help with the logistics and management.

Devotion

Matthew 5:41: And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. These days we are celebrating the time when God walked, not just the extra mile, but the uncountable extra miles. He sent His Son to come to the earth, to live the perfect, sinless life. If we follow Christ’s example, this principle makes the Christian faith something special. It makes relationships within the church soft and warm. It causes us to support and feed each other. It helps the Christian to not only just live correctly; otherwise subtle hardness may creep into our relationships. Then the church becomes a harsh place, where the law of the jungle applies in a “civilized” way, with everyone checking up on one another for mistakes, all the time. Take note: The Lord did not say that if I ask someone to go a mile he must go two miles for me. No, if the brother should ask me, I must walk an extra mile for him. He also did not say only if I had it on my heart I must do even more. No. He says when someone comes to me when it may not suit me. I may not be in the right mood for it. That is just acting correctly but doing more than what is necessary. May this New Year find us doing just that! Dr A van Eeden (CEO) Doctors For Life International    ]]>

Newsletter – Issue 11

Our legal corner 002Since our last DFL newsletter and following our successful challenge in both the High Court and Supreme Court of Appeal to have the licence for broadcasting 3 pornographic TV channels granted by ICASA reviewed [and effectively withdrawn until (and if) a new licence be successfully applied for], there are the following developments :

  1. The Euthenasia-case (Dignity SA on behalf of Stansham-Ford) As we all know from the extensive media coverage this case enjoyed, the Applicant is boasting its success in their High Court application. The judgment has such ramifications for our law [South African common law on this subject that was over-ruled by Justice Fabricius], that he has granted leave to appeal his decision in the Constitutional Court. DFL was one of the parties who had opposed the Application to make assisted suicide legal. The State has indicated its intention to appeal the decision in the Constitutional court. DFL will continue to be involved in the appeal proceedings as Amicus Curiae. It is important that this judgment be successfully appealed, as the judge’s decision opens a whole can of worms, especially in medical ethics, that it cannot go un-challenged.
  2. The Dagga-case (Stobbs & Clarke /NDPP & Others) In this matter DFL has the supportive role as Amicus Curiae in opposing an application to have marijuana legalised for medical purposes. DFL is acutely aware that the driving force behind the court application is an agenda to ultimately have dagga legalised for street use. The difference in this case and the previous dagga-case which DFL successfully opposed, is that in the previous case the applicant tried to have the legitimacy of the criminal sanction of using dagga privately overturned. In this present case before court, the applicants want it ruled that use of hashish as a relief medication, especially in the treatment of cancer, be allowed. The problem DFL is currently facing is the slow pace at which the State Attorney, who represents the National Director of Public Prosecutions, functions. We thus failed to set up a meeting with the State Attorney in 2014 in time for the trial which was set down for March 2015. The meeting was to strategise on procedure and meet with the opposition at the obligatory pre-trail meeting. The Applicants consequently had the case postponed to March 2016. This could have had the dire consequence for our cause had Parliament, in its 2015 session, tabled legislation, in which case our opposing the court action would have been futile. As it turns out, no legislation was tabled as the CDA (Central Drug Authority), after addressing parliament, caused the proposed legislation to be referred back to the relevant portfolio committee, after they recommended that much more research is required before dagga can be considered safe for medicinal use. This gives DFL an ideal opportunity to put before the court convincing evidence to reject the currant court application. We are trying hard to have the necessary meeting between us, the State Attorney and the legal team of the Applicants set up for September 2015. Please pray that this time it will work out for us, paving the way to successfully oppose the court application.

S J M Schneider – member of the legal team

The Ethical dilemma

001Moral conflicts usually have two sides. It is not always easy to figure out how to handle situations like these. Some people look at the options themselves while others prefer to look at the consequences before making a decision. Some people are led by religious convictions (Moral absolutism – some things are either right or wrong) while others prefer to look at the more humane options and consider the people involved. Some people go for the lesser of two evils while others prefer to see it as the better of two good things. There are also laws involved that make these decisions even more complicated. Whatever way we look at it, it remains a complex situation and there is nearly always mental conflict involved. Consider the following options:
  • To stop or continue treatment in a terminally ill patient
  • To switch off machines or not in a terminally ill patient
  • To attempt resuscitation or not in a seemingly hopeless case
  • To perform an abortion in very specific situations (Severe mental and physical disability) even if it is against your conscious
  • To prescribe a placebo if the patient insist on treatment
  • To hide information from a patient to boost his/her spirit
  • To knowingly hide your mistakes for fear of the consequences
  • There are many other examples that could be mentioned
For one we have to analyse our actions against moral principles like fairness, honesty respect, dignity and so on. Is there a conflict between the rights of different people? We also have to look at the consequences of all the possible options; who will be hurt and who will be helped. Also what will the impact be in the lives of people in the long run? There are many testimonies of people who took decisions that seem to be the better option for the time but afterwards suffer dearly because of a bad conscience. Some people only realise the full implications of their decisions long after the actions took place. The problem is then that most actions are not reversible. What is done is done. With all the facts to our disposal we must make a decision. We do want an option that is less problematic. We do have to live with our conscience long after the incidence is forgotten by most people.

A personal testimony

003I was an A grade student, never did drugs or went to parties, just went to church and to school. I always remember getting involved in a lot of fights at school and being very violent. I was a loner, not having a set circle of friends. My teachers could never understand how I could be a good student, academically, but at the same time be so rebellious. When I was 18 I joined “Serve Team”. This is where you dedicate a year of your  life to work full time in the church and get involved with community programs etc.  While doing this I decided to go to Bible college and become a pastor. This never  happened. I started working, moved out of my parent’s place and stopped going to bible college. Still went to church but had no relationship with God. I have always loved music, I started playing guitar when I was 6. By the time I was 18 I could play drums, bass guitar and guitar. I wrote worship music and was in a Christian band. I had never smoked cigarettes, never been clubbing, never drank alcohol. Didn’t even know what drugs are. This all changed very quickly though. I was invited by some friends to go down to Durban to a club called 330’s. It was a dance club, when “Rave Music” first came out in SA and started becoming popular. I hated dance music. Being a live musician I thought Dj’s were fake. I decided to go anyway. I remember getting to the club and didn’t like the music nor could I understand why everyone was wearing sunglasses in a club at night, chewing gum and sucking lollipops etc. I wasn’t having fun, not evening drinking, I didn’t do that kind of thing. A girl came up to me and asked me why I was so miserable, so I told her I don’t like this music and have never been to a club before. She said that she was going to change the way I see the world and I would be really alive for the first time. She then put a small pill in my mouth, gave me some water and I drank it. She said it would make me feel better.  That pill was “ecstasy”. The first drug I ever took. After that night everything changed, I was hooked. It wasn’t long and I was drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes and marijuana. I started doing cocaine, a bit of heroine every now and then. Then came acid, “LSD 25”, crystal meth, “Ice”, speed, “Ephedrine”, kat, “Ketamine”, GHB, “liquid ecstasy”, Mdma and more. I wasn’t your average addict, I worked and only did drugs on weekends. Went to gym, played club rugby and cricket and thought I was in control. I got to know a lot of drug dealers and I was very attracted to their way of life. The money, the girls, the parties and the drugs. I stopped playing live music and became a club dj. I became a drug dealer and was involved with dealing drugs for about 8 years. I used to make on average around R80 000 a week. So I needed nothing, I had everything. Cars, motorbikes, a house, girls, I went to all the top parties and played at all the best clubs in SA for many years. What my friends didn’t know was that when I was alone I was not happy, I felt like there was something missing. I couldn’t sleep, I used to have nightmares, no matter how much I tried I couldn’t fill this hole that was inside me. I started smoking crack, cocaine and “rocks”. I used to smoke 7 days a week and spend about R7000 a day on my habit. I have done some very bad things, been to some very dark places in my life and could tell you a million stories from those days but I believe that all of those things are not what should be focused on. Yes, they happened but where I am now, is far more important. I arrived at Kwasizabantu Mission on 31 December 2014 at 17:30pm a broken person with nothing. I just knew that I wanted God to be in control of my life and that I wanted to do His will for my life and not my will. As time went on I felt God calling me to work full time for Him. I felt a burden for all the lost souls out there and thought that becoming a missionary and spreading God’s word to those people that need to hear it the most is the most important thing anyone could be called to do. I had a meeting with Dr. Albu van Eeden, our CEO, to speak with him about working for Doctors For Life International. I didn’t know exactly at the time how I was going to be of any help at DFL but I trusted God to know what was best for me. After he spoke with me he offered me the opportunity to become a part of DFL and I said gladly, especially after hearing about what it is that DFL does. Vaughan Luck

For a more complete version of this testimony you may contact Vaughan at [email protected]

LifeChild update

We are so grateful for the new developments at our center. It would not have been possible without the support of our donors. We were able to tile the whole orphanage, renew the bathrooms and paint. Please see the attached pictures below. 005004003

Aid to Africa (A2A) Outreaches 2015

During July 2015 DFL undertook a medical outreach to the southern parts of Malawi (Namandanje and Mauzi). In many ways it was a blessed outreach. Not only was the eyesight of many people restored but they also received spiritual light and their eyes were open to the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. In all we did 90 cataract operations, handed out 582 reading glasses and 90 dark glasses for patients after surgery. One man was blind for 30 years and after surgery could see again. It must have been quite a “Rip van Winkel” experience for him. At first he was completely disorientated but after a while it became a reality and a joy for him. We thank God with him for his eyesight. We were also fortunate to have a dentist with us. She extracted 600 teeth during the two weeks. The Malawi people are a friendly and peaceful people. They treated us very well and were more than willing to share the little they have with us. They were really thankful for what we did for them and pleaded for more Bibles should we visit them again.

013012011010008007A personal experience during the outreach

The first thing that struck me in Malawi, was the sea of little faces we saw wherever we went. I have never before seen so many children per square kilometre. They would run out of their homesteads to greet us, follow us or stare at us. Most were between the ages of 3 – 14. They were friendly and communicative, so I invited them and with the help of a translator, told them Bible stories. They listened intently and the Moslem children were particularly responsive. The total population of Malawi is approximately 12 million, of which 5 571,226 are children between the ages of 0 – 14, i.e. 47{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} and 937,000 are orphans i.e. nearly 18{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of all children, 59 {01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of them are orphaned because of AIDS. We saw evidence of this when the director of an orphanage of 500 children invited us to see the work his organization is doing. We were given an opportunity to speak to the orphans. 200 of them are housed on the premises and 300 are allocated to various homes. It was pleasing to see how well behaved the children were. Mr Kaliati, the MP of Machinga district also invited us to his orphanage, which houses 50 children. He was like a father to them all, knowing each of them by name, being able to relate a heartbreaking background for each one of them. When we arrived at Mauzi, a remote village in the South of Malawi, next to the Mozambique border, virtually the whole community was there to welcome us; the MP, ward councillor, traditional leaders, pastors, teachers and school principal, members of the community and many, many children. When Volkmar was asked to say something. He asked how many have had malaria. All their hands went up and when he asked how many have not had malaria, no hands went up. Malaria is obviously a huge problem as was confirmed by a clinic worker who reported to a member of our team that on that morning, he had diagnosed 23 new cases of malaria before 10h30! Most malaria deaths are of children under the age of 5 and the Southern half of Malawi is one of the worst hit areas in the world, according to statistics. The tragedy is that many of these deaths can be prevented. Mr Phiri, the MP of Phalombe district gave us a place in the local school grounds to set up camp and two classrooms for the clinic work. It was wonderful that we had the opportunity, every morning during their assembly, to minister to the 1600 children who attended the school. According to CIA’s World Factbook, Malawi is one of the least developed and poorest countries in the world. The infant mortality rate of 104.23 deaths per 1000 live births is shocking and the life expectancy is less than 38 years. The future of these children is pretty bleak, yet Malawi has such an incredible agricultural potential. Wherever we went, there was the call to come and help, to set up clinics and farm the land. Apparently this was the first outreach of DFL in which the doors opened to do work amongst the children and we saw how great the need is. I would urge that reaching the children be incorporated in further outreaches to this country.

Cecile Schneider

006Devotion

Our devotion is from John 13:34 -35: And now I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  If you have love for one another, then everyone will know that you are my disciples.” With that we must also read 1 Corinthians 13:1-3: “I may be able to speak the languages of human beings and even of angels, but if I have no love, my speech is no more than a noisy gong or a clanging bell.  I may have the gift of inspired preaching; I may have all knowledge and understand all secrets; I may have all the faith needed to move mountains—but if I have no love, I am nothing. I may give away everything I have, and even give up my body to be burned but if I have no love, this does me no good”. We are called upon to love one another. Not just any way but as He has loved us. This will prove to the world that we are His disciples. How did He love us? He gave His life for us. He sacrificed all. How do we love our fellow man? Do we reach out to them? Do we become their servant and put our own needs second? Can people see in your life and my life that we are His children? How do we know if we have this love? We read in 1 Corinthians 13:48 the following: “Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth.  Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail.  Love is eternal”. It does not matter what we have attained in life. If we have not this love, we have nothing. If we want to be a testimony for Jesus we must strive to love others as He loves us.]]>

NEWS LETTER

OUR LEGAL CORNER:dfl 5 Pornography case:

We rejoice that the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein has rejected ODM (TopTV)’s application for leave to appeal. We are informed that ODM has decided not to challenge on the courts decision in the Constitutional court. The result is that they have ceased broadcasting pornography. We are waiting in anticipation to see whether ODM, which is under judicial management due to trading at a loss in the past year, will re-apply to ICASA for a licence to broadcast “adult material”. If they do, we are prepared this time and know what the court requires to oppose an application for such a licence.

Euthanasia case:dfl 6

We are saddened that the judge so easily and quickly (within a few days of the application made by Mr Stansham-Ford) granted him the relief sought for; i.e. that he may by assisted in his suicide by a medical doctor, even though the applicant died of a natural death the day before the court gave its decision. This has now created an unfortunate and dangerous precedent in law and DFL as well as the National Prosecuting Authority will be challenging this decision, either in the Supreme Court of Appeal, but more than likely in the Constitutional Court, as constitutional issues (especially the right to human dignity, which the applicant relied on) will be adjudicated upon and its proper context argued and examined.

The pornography dilemma dfl 7  Research done by Ms Antoinette Basson (BMR Research Consultant and Psychologist) at the Youth Research Flagship Program of the College of Economic and Management Sciences (CEMS), hosted by the Bureau of Market Research (BMR), showed alarming facts about the escalation of child pornography in South Africa. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with incarcerated sex offenders who had committed a sexual offence against a child (any person under the age of 18 years) and who had reported exposure to pornographic material prior to the offence. The study was extended to correctional centers located in three major metropolitan areas within South Africa, namely Gauteng, the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. The following key research findings emerging from the analysis are presented below:
  • Pornographic material has become easily accessible mainly due to the development of technology, more specifically the Internet and cellular telephones.
  • Participants displayed commonalities with regard to certain personality traits, dysfunctional family environments and abuse.
  • The participants experienced emotional, physical and sexual abuse of which the latter was the most prominent.
  • Participants were initially exposed to pornographic material at a young age through their peers or family members.
  • Participants developed a preoccupation with pornography and progression in their viewing behavior.
  • The effect of pornographic material on human behavior involves a complex combination of physical, cognitive, emotive and behavioral aspects.
  • The participants emphasized that they became addicted to pornographic material and could not control the effects of pornographic material on them as individuals.
  • The viewing of pornographic material over time had various consequences related to their personal lives and criminal behavior.
  • Almost all participants were adamant that the viewing of pornography motivated them to commit sexual offences involving children due to the effect of exposure to sexually explicit images.
  • Participants expressed concern with regard to their release back into society and fear of re-committing, especially due to the easy availability of pornographic material.
For more information Me Antoinette Basson may be contacted at [email protected]unisa.ac.za. Video release Doctor’s for Life has released a new video on pornography – “Pornography: The Battle for your Soul”. This captivating anti-pornography film presentation will assist school teachers, pastors and parents in teaching children about the dangers of watching or taking part in pornography. It also serves as a help to those who are tempted or are already involved in pornography or sexual acts. It details the latest scientific evidence showing how pornography is chemically and physically addictive, progressive, and harmful to children. http://www.rootshosting.co.za/docforlife/pornography-battle-soul-movie-trailer/ A personal testimony  I was 12 years old the first time I viewed pornography in a public restroom in a medical complex. I was there with my mother for a doctor’s appointment. I took the half a dozen glossy porn pages torn from a magazine. Later that night, I masturbated for the first time. I was hooked – right there and then – instantly.  My father had abandoned us and masturbation made me feel good. I hid those pages in my room and returned to them nightly. I had no idea of the damage I was causing to my soul and spirit, and the separation I was implementing between myself, my family and many other things. I was setting myself up for disaster but I couldn’t stop even though I wanted to. I prayed and asked God to forgive me and help me to stop. I even threw away those cherished pages, but it was too late. Those images were forever etched in my mind. I also discovered that, even though the law required me to be eighteen to purchase such material, the clerk at the convenience store did not. Sexual acting out became an obsession and I lost interest in almost everything else. My goals did not revolve around grades or sports or such “normal” pursuits but instead on sexual conquests – losing my virginity became the number one focus in my life. I did so at the age of sixteen. The girl became pregnant and I carried that guilt for decades. Later, I moved my addiction from paper to the real thing. I hated myself and turned to alcohol. I longed for a loving relationship but had no idea how to love or be loved. After all, if I couldn’t love myself, how could I expect anyone else to? I tried many ways to be free from porn but all of my efforts lasted only a very short while. At 26, I met a beautiful young lady and we dated for several months before we got married.   I was relieved. At last I could leave all the porn in the past. But after years of inappropriate sexual behavior I had conditioned myself into the subconscious belief that sex was bad, even evil. So where I should have been experiencing joy, I was feeling guilt. To make a long story short, we separated. Just after the divorce I needed surgery for a lump under my right arm. I was scared, very scared that I might not make it through surgery and I was determined to stop my porn habit.  I earnestly looked for help and followed up my sincerity with action. That night I went home and threw away my porn. After intensive counselling with a professional counselor I was eventually delivered but not after an intense battle and a willingness to speak about everything honestly and openly. I still struggle with the thousands of images which I have placed in my hearts library over the decades. I have to surrender daily and I’m fairly certain I will always have to. I wish I had never seen those images so many years ago – but I did. Now I must learn from it and help others who have been ensnared by the glossy deception of pornography. (Shortened – name withheld) LifeChild: God is providing in a wonderful way. We are so thankful that our Mthaleni Orphan Center has had new ceiling boards put up and the building plastered outside. The funds used for these developments were donated by Eskom and a few individuals. We want to thank them for sharing this responsibility with us. dfl 4 dfl 3 dfl 2 dfl 1   Aid to Africa (A2A) Outreaches 2014-2015  There are a few outreaches in the pipeline. We will report on them in the next newsletter.  LifePlace  The LifePlace team is still regularly going on outreaches to speak to prostitutes in an attempt to reach out to them. Sometimes we go out twice a week. We have about 4 ladies who have been with us for a while and going from strength to strength. One of them who was bed ridden is now moving about freely. We and are encouraged by their progress and continue reaching out to these ladies who for the most part, have only known what it means to be used and abused. It has also been on our hearts to start teaching them how to work with a sewing machine as an alternative means of generating an income, as there is so much one can do with a sewing machine. These are exciting times and we would like to thank everyone who has had a part in helping the LifePlace ladies escape a life of slavery.  Devotion Hab 3:17, 18:  “Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.” The Christian worldview is inherently positive. No matter how deep a person may have fallen into sin, in Christ there is hope for forgiveness. Even though man might have given up on someone, and society marked certain people as not being rehabilitatable, through Christ, there is always hope. In Habakkuk we read about circumstances that had become so bad that some may argue that the prophet’s quality of life had become too unbearable to make his life worth living. Yet, Habakkuk finds reason to rejoice. There is an element of submission while keeping the hope that God’s Word offers; a trusting in Him for healing if it is His will. On the other hand, there is an element of pride, rebellion and despair in the fatalistic attitude that promotes physician assisted suicide. Instead, it should remain the duty of the doctor to come alongside the patient, to help them to carry the burden of sickness and to relieve the suffering as much as possible, without transgressing God’s word. Euthanasia is not a “kind death” (“genade dood”, in Afrikaans). Instead it is the ultimate act of unkindness and negativity which creates a society that cannot tolerate disability and disease.]]>

Doctors For Life Newsletter, Issue 9 – March. 2015

From the CEO’s desk The year 2014 ended on a victorious note for us here at Doctors for Life. It was indeed a blessed year and we are thankful towards our Heavenly Father for supplying all our needs. We indeed look forward to the many challenges ahead of us in 2015. With your support and prayers we will endeavour to fulfill our vision of helping those in need. Although we don’t live in optimistic times we are amazed at the doors that are opening up and the blessed way in which we are able to deliver services to the needy. One of the most rewarding things in life, as individuals, is to make a difference in the lives of other people, even if it means sometimes leaving our comfort zone. Obstacles seem small when we experience the rewards of our efforts. Thanks to our sponsors and other members who make it possible for us to continue with the work.

A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”

Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu

Our legal corner

Doctors For Life wins Court Application against Starsat and ICASA

In last year’s application which Doctors for Life (DFL) brought for the review of the granting of a license by ICASA (broadcasting authority) for three TV channels for the exclusive broadcast of pornography, judgment in the Western Cape High Court went against Online Digital Media (ODM), owner of the Starsat brand (formally TopTV) and ICASA .

Although DFL is disappointed that the judge did not find it necessary to go into the merits and desirability of airing pornography over television, about which DFL had made a case proving scientifically that pornography is physically harmful for the human brain, it is none the less pleased that the judge held that there was an error in law in the course of the procedure followed by ICASA in granting the license.

Judgment was given on 3 November 2014, the result of which is that Starsat from that date ceased to broadcast its porn channels. Its options were to resubmit its license application to ICASA or lodge an appeal against the court’s decision. It decided to do the latter and an application for leave to appeal was brought before the judge in the same court, which application was strenuously opposed by DFL’s legal team. On 10 December 2014 the judge dismissed the application with costs.

However, Starsat is not giving up; it has launched a petition to the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein where it hopes that the Appeal Court will allow it to appeal the Western Cape Court’s decision. As at publishing this newsletter, documents are being drafted by DFL’s legal team to oppose the petition. In the meantime, the legal team is also investigating the legality of continued broadcasting of the porn channels while Starsat is petitioning the appeal court.

Should the appeal court grant Starsat leave to appeal, we shall be faced with a full appeal in the Supreme Court of Appeal with the legal team transferring its endeavors to Bloemfontein. Please continue to pray for victory against this evil. DFL’s legal team consisted of Advocates Reg Willis and Albert Mooij, as instructed by attorney S J M Schneider assisted by Naomi Marais.

The pornography debate

A large segment of the population has serious concerns about the effects of pornography in society and challenges its public use and acceptance. There are many different opinions but one consistent finding is that adults prefer to have the material restricted from children, the production of it as well as the use of it. To produce pornography you need actors and in this case children are used. The vast majority of children who appear in child pornography have not been abducted or physically forced to participate. [1] In most cases they know the producer—it may even be their father—and are manipulated into taking part by more subtle means. Nevertheless, to be the subject of child pornography can have devastating physical, social, and psychological effects on children.[2]

The children portrayed in child pornography are first victimized when their abuse is perpetrated and recorded. They are further victimized each time that record is accessed. In one study,[3] 100 victims of child pornography were interviewed about the effects of their exploitation—at the time it occurred and in later years. Referring to when the abuse was taking place, victims described the physical pain (e.g., around the genitals), accompanying somatic symptoms (such as headaches, loss of appetite, and sleeplessness), and feelings of psychological distress (emotional isolation, anxiety, and fear). However, most also felt a pressure to cooperate with the offender and not to disclose the offense, both out of loyalty to the offender and a sense of shame about their own behavior. Only five cases were ultimately reported to authorities. In later years, the victims reported that initial feelings of shame and anxiety did not fade but intensified to feelings of deep despair, worthlessness, and hopelessness. Their experience had provided them with a distorted model of sexuality, and many had particular difficulties in establishing and maintaining healthy emotional and sexual relationships.

For more information go to the following website: http://www.popcenter.org/problems/child_pornography/2

1. Lanning, K. V., & Burgess, A. W. (1989). Child pornography and sex rings. In D. Z. J. Bryant (Ed.), Pornography: Research advances and policy considerations (pp. 235–255). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

2. Klain, E.J., Davies, H.J. and Hicks, M.A. (2001) American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

3. Silbert (1989). The Psychology of Cyber Crime: Concepts and Principles: Concepts and Principles, edited by Kirwan, Gráinne. November 30, 2011.

Abortion: things they never tell us

The abortion debate is the ongoing controversy surrounding the moral and legal status of abortion. The two main groups involved in the abortion debate are the self-described “pro-choice” movement (emphasizing the right of women to choose whether to abort a pregnancy or to grow it to term) and the self-described “pro-life” movement (emphasizing the right of the embryo or fetus to gestate and be born). Both of these ascription’s are considered loaded terms in mainstream media where terms such as “abortion rights” or “anti-abortion” are generally preferred.[1] Each movement has, with varying results, sought to influence public opinion and to attain legal support for its position, with small numbers of anti-abortion advocates sometimes using violence.

Abortion law varies between jurisdictions. For example, in Canada abortion is available to women without any legal restrictions,[2] while in Ireland abortions are illegal except when a woman’s life is at imminent risk[3] and Chile bans abortion with no exception for the life of the pregnant woman.[4]

The emotional and psychological effect on women who has, had an abortion often outweighs the immediate physical advantages experienced by such women. Some regret the abortion soon after it has happened and some only years after the abortion.

The following is a list of potential emotional and psychological side effects of an abortion. The intensity or duration of these effects will vary from one person to another. Potential side effects include: [5]

  • Regret
  • Anger
  • Guilty feelings
  • Shame
  • Sense of loneliness or isolation
  • Loss of self confidence
  • Insomnia or nightmares
  • Relationship issues
  • Suicidal thoughts and feelings
  • Eating disorders
  • Depression

For more information visit the following webpage: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate

1. Wall Street Journal style guide: Vol. 23, No. 1. Wall Street Journal. 2010-01-31. Retrieved 2011-11-04. 

2. Dictionary.com. Retrieved 2007-05-01. (1) the right of a woman to have an abortion during the first six months of a pregnancy; (2) an abortion performed on a woman solely at her own request 

3. Divisions deep over abortion ban. BBC News. Archived from the original on 27 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-30.

4. Abortion Policies: A Global Review, UN

5. Adler, Nancy. (1989) University of California at San Francisco, Statement on Behalf of the

American Psychological Association before the Human Resources and Intergovernmental Relations

Subcommittee of the Committee on Governmental Operations, U.S. House of Representatives:

130-140.

A personal testimony

About 3 months ago I was asked to visit a family that lives about 40 to 50 km away from Sehane/Zavora in Mozambique. The family was inquiring about the Gospel. They are related to a family that comes to our services. We arranged for a specific day and arrived a little late. The place is on the Southern side of the Poelela Lake in the bush. When we arrived there were a great number of people. They were just starting to eat. We were greeted very warmly and they invited us to eat with them. After the meal the leader of the family told me he had invited all his close family and friends and that they were ready to hear what God had to say to them. This was very special and a few people came for help after the service. I visited them again just before I came to South Africa and they have also started to visit us. There are many spiritual needs in these areas. As far as I am concerned the greatest problem is poverty and it is mostly caused by ancestor worship and witchcraft. Regarding our needs at the Clinic we are in need of a Christian medical doctor and nursing sisters. There are people interested. We will see how the Lord leads We also need volunteers that can help with general maintenance work. Mario Rocha, permanent DFL worker stationed at Zavora clinic

Aid to Africa (A2A) Outreaches 2014-2015

Our medical outreach program, Aid to Africa, seems to have a full year ahead. But first we would like to give some feedback on 2014. By God’s grace we were able to reach 5 needy areas in neighboring countries with the main focus on eye surgery:004

1. Inhambane in Mozambique

2. Maun (and Ghantsi) in Botswana

3. Nambazo in Malawi

4. Mbonchera in Malawi

5. Muvamba in Mozambique

Altogether we performed 423 surgical procedures (an annual record) of which most were cataract surgery on blind people. 652 prescription eye glasses were handed out and 212 internal medicine examinations (GP examinations) could be performed. We have on record an estimated 1889 eye examinations that were done. Due to intensive eye campaigns done in Botswana and Mozambique there were many more examinations but we do not have a record of all of them because we did not received the stats from the governments involved.

AT our Zavora clinic and Maternity ward in Mozambique we examined and treated roughly 18 391 patients compared to only 12 916 during 2013. Of these most were malaria cases (3594). We also had about 231 babies delivered bringing the total to about 889 since the opening of the clinic.

During 2014 we also were able to source an A-scan, Keratometer and Autorefractor in order to do biometry during the cataract surgery camps. We also received another eye microscope for eye surgery.

Looking at 2015, March has been put aside for medical congress exhibitions where DFL has an opportunity to recruit volunteers for this year’s medical outreaches. The congresses include the Ophthalmological Society of South Africa (OSSA), and for the first time The South African Dental Association (SADA), both at the ICC in Durban. As in the past, we also hope to attend the South African Medical Association (SAMA) later in the year. Please come to visit our booth if you are there.

While our Zavora clinic and maternity ward continues to operate in Mozambique we are desperately in need of medical volunteers to help there. We currently don’t have someone there accept for the local Mozambique staff. We especially need nurses, midwives and GP’s. Please contact us if you are interested or know of someone who might be.

We are also planning at least 4 short term medical outreaches for 2015 with the first one in July to Malawi. Although the focus will be eye surgery we are also looking for dentists and GP’s to join us.

Next in line is an eye surgery camp in Xai-Xai in Mozambique where we hope to do about 100 cataract operations. Later in the year in about October and November we hope to reach remote areas in Zambia, Angola or Botswana. If you are interested in getting involved in any of these please let us know.

Thank you for all your prayers and support.

Devotion

In Genesis 27:30: we read that Esau said …………. “Please, father, sit up and eat some of the meat that I have brought you, so that you can give me your blessing.”

Esau had a strange way about him. He kept honoring the faith of his fathers in the sense that he did not go to the idols for a blessing. At least not as far as we know. No, he went to his father Isaac. And he was quite desperate for it, in the sense that he cried out loud and wept in order to get it. But there was another side to Esau. When it came to marriage he wanted to select a girl after his own liking and not after God’s guidance. We read that it grieved Isaac and Rebecca that he chose a wife from the Hittites. Therefore the Bible calls him profane. Throughout his life he intimated that he neither desired the blessing nor dreaded the curse of God. To be profane is to combine the sacred and the blasphemous. He wanted the Lord’s blessing while living his life as he choose. Esau is a typical example of the generation of today. May the Lord grant us the grace to be different. To live lives that are holy and totally surrendered to God’s will. What were our lives like during the previous year and what about 2015?

About Doctors For life

[su_box title="About Doctors For life"]Doctors For Life International is a non-governmental and registered Non-Profit making Organization (NPO) established in 1991. We bring together medical professionals to form a united front to uphold the following three principles: · The sanctity of life from conception till death · Sound science in the medical profession · A Basic Christian ethic in the medical profession Contact details PO Box 6613 Phone +27 (32) 4815550 or 1/2/3 Zimbali Fax +27 (32) 4815554 4418 Email: [email protected] South Africa web: www.doctorsforlife.co.za[/su_box]

Prayer Requests

· God’s blessing on the work

· Laborers to send into the field

· Medical volunteers for Zavora clinic (Mozambique)

To sign up or donate

visit our website

www.doctorsforlife.co.za

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