The Catholic Medical Guild of Singapore

A Prayer for Deliverance #2 Posted on 7th Dec 2014, 5:54pm by Alvin

Time flies, and I’ve moved on from Medical Oncology to its sister department, Palliative Medicine. The Bible reading from my previous post came to mind after seeing a referral to Palliative Medicine today.

XYZ is a middle aged lady, unfortunately afflicted with cancer, which had spread to the vertebrae resulting in nerve compression and weakness in both her legs. She came in for weakness, of course, and was advised for an operation to stabilize the spine and relieve the compression on her nerves. Definitely not a low risk surgery, but without the surgery, she would soon lose power in her legs, and her urine and bowel function would be affected eventually.

XYZ is a staunch Christian. She firmly believed that God will save her and restore power to her legs if she just prayed hard enough. Not that I doubted her faith and fervor – we have all heard or seen patients with recoveries and improvements which are unexplainable in today’s Medical world. But at the same time it was painful seeing her progress pass the days with gradual worsening power, yet the window fur surgery closing at the same time. The Orthopaedics doctors came by daily to explain to her, the Palliative team took pains to explain to her to try to convince her, but she stuck fast to her beliefs and ideals.

Just when we were all out of ideas and options, XYZ finally agreed to go for the surgery. She’s now recovering in a general ward. Whether her power will return to her legs – only time (and God) will tell.


I remember another story from a nun, who shared this story during The Lourdes Experience at the National Indoor Stadium on 6th December. She had knee pains, and was advised to go for surgery for replacement. She was in two minds over the decision for surgery, and went finally went to Lourdes for her healing waters. As she stepped out of the waters, she felt a sense of peace and confidence – and went for the surgery after she returned to Singapore. The operation went smoothly, and her knee has not being giving her too much trouble ever since then.


I do believe in the power of God. He has His own plans for us, which we’ll never fully fathom. But at the same time, I do believe that there is also a role for Medicine and Religion to work together to help our patients. We all want the best for our patients, but it is always important for us to recognize that every patient is a different individual, with different social, cultural and religious backgrounds. And in our line of duty, we have to negotiate these factors, and work in tandem with them for the good of our patient. To ignore them, will only be detrimental.

For we all share a common goal: the well-being of our patients.


  1. Alcare says:

    Its very helpful article!

  2. Dr Eileen Tham Wai Fong says:

    God bless all the patients in Singapore.

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Dr’s Blog is a feature of the CMG web site that aims to encourage interaction between Guild members. We hope to foster a spirit of community through the sharing of thoughts and personal experirences. The opinions expressed in these blogs are entirely those of the contributors and not of the Catholic Medical Guild of Singapore.

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Past Blog Articles

2015 Jul: May You Rest in Peace
2015 Jan: Happy New Year 2015

2014 Dec: A Prayer for Deliverance 2
2014 Oct: Who are you, Where am I?
2014 Sep: A Prayer for Deliverance
2014 May: Behind Those Clothes
2014 Feb: The Red Packet(s)
2014 Jan: God Loves You

2013 Dec: Caroling Reflections of an Expired M
2013 Nov: Scripture Reflection for Physicians
2013 Oct: Hang on. We haven’t beat this thing yet.
2013 Sep: Me and My Ride
2013 Aug: A Gift of Life
2013 Jul: Finding Happiness in a Land of Plenty
2013 Jun: A Beeline
2013 May: Living My Love Of..
2013 Apr: The Healthcare Debate
2013 Mar: A Doctor’s Prayer
2013 Feb: Project Battambang ’12
2013 Feb: Mission Srolanth ’12: To Heal the Heart, with a Heart to Heal
2013 Jan: The Hardest Thing To Say…

2012 Dec: The Lost Art Of…
2012 Nov: Rome Sweet Home – Short Reflections
2012 Sep: He Keeps Falling
2012 Aug: God Decides
2012 July: Am I To Blame?
2012 June: Saving Fragile Lives
2012 May: Ruminations On Love
2012 Mar: The iPhone

2011 Dec: The Red Cross
2011 Nov: Give Thanks!
2011 Aug: Ashes – The Epilogue
2011 July: Charity
2011 July: Ashes
2011 May: Of Angry Birds & Cowardly Mice
2011 May: Notes From Salzburg On Good Friday
2011 Apr: What It Means
2011 Mar: A Job.
2011 Mar: Dear Father…
2011 Feb: Clothes, A Person Doth Maketh
2011 Jan: Wonderfully Made

2010 Dec: A White Christmas
2010 Dec: A Medical Christmas Carol
2010 Nov: Saying Goodbye
2010 Oct: I Am Always With You
2010 Sept: Be Joyful Always
2010 July: Managing Expectations
2010 June: But They Are Our Masters…
2010 June: Driving: A Means of Personal Formation?
2010 May: HO Welcome Tea
2010 May: The Rain
2010 May: A Missed Lunch
2010 May: Man In The Mirror
2010 May: Reflections At The End Of The Day
2010 Apr: Finding God In All Things
2010 Mar: Surely You Put Your Trust In The Lord?
2010 Mar: The Significance of a Name

2009 Nov: Batam: Beyond A Mission
2009 Oct: The Broken Rosary
2009 Sept: Love Note To God, Father
2009 Aug: Let God Take The Wheel
2009 Aug: The Prequel: The One About Graduation
2009 July: The Sequel: The Later Months
2009 June: First Month of HO-Ship
2009 May: “The House of God” by Samuel Shem
2009 May: In The Discipleship for Christ


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