(Ballarat: Connor Court Publishing, 2012)
Paperback: 215 pages
We will all die, but few of us discuss it with those who are important to us. Many will also be confronted by disability, illness, grief and loss. How we respond to suffering says much about empathy, love and who we are. There is no doubt many people have much to endure, but illness and disability are not all doom and gloom, just different, and calling on us, perhaps, to surrender to dependence on others, and place trust in God, and trust in our love for each other.
In this volume the author reflects on being pleasantly surprised with doors that have been opened through illness, that he did not know existed. There was also the discovery of resilience and a deepening and strengthening of love. The book reflects on issues that arise in illness, such as the right to know and refusal of treatment, issues at the end of life, euthanasia, artificial feeding, pain management, representation and advanced directives. It also includes discussion of the care of those with mental illness, and finally the issue of health resource allocation. While considering the range of views on these issues, this book is also very frank about the author’s experiences of illness, pain and threats to life.
About the author
The late Associate Professor Nicholas Tonti-Filippini (1956-2014), BA (Hons), MA (Monash), PhD (Melb), FHERDSA, KCSG, was associate dean and head of bioethics at the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family in Melbourne. The Institute is associated with the John Paul II Institute in Rome and the Lateran University. It is registered as a higher education provider in Australia to provide graduate courses in bioethics, theology of marriage and family, and religious education. Dr Tonti-Filippini was a philosopher who specialised in bioethics for the more than 30 years, including having been Australia’s first hospital ethicist and director of bioethics at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne, 1982-1990. He was well-known internationally and published widely in bioethics. A few years before his death he chaired an Australian government public enquiry to produce guidelines for the care of people in an unresponsive state or minimally responsive state.
“These excellent volumes bring together a life-time of intellectually rigorous and faithfully Catholic work in bioethics. As Australia’s pre-eminent Christian scholar in the area, Tonti-Filippini has for a generation been one of the most outspoken and sane voices in public debates over abortion, genetic testing, the new reproductive technologies and end-of-life decisions. A ‘must read’ for any health professional, ethics student or educated layman interested in exploring these questions and emerging from the labyrinth wiser and more compassionate.” — The Most Reverend Anthony Fisher OP, appointed in 2014 as Catholic Archbishop of Sydney.
“At St Vincent’s Hospital, we discovered Nick by chance; a strange name at the end of a letter to a newspaper. A person to enter the rough and tumble of the new science of bioethics at the beginning of the 1980s. A formidable philosopher, an articulate debater, an outstanding administrator, a courageous defender of his religious beliefs, courteous to friends and foes alike and deeply committed to his family and to the many institutions for which he worked. His autobiography tells the tale of his accomplishments and his book on bioethics reveals the depth of his knowledge and experience. This is a publication for all seasons.” — Dr Joseph N. Santamaria, former director of community medicine, St Vincent’s Hospital, Fitzroy, Melbourne.