Coptic Medical Society Meeting of Saturday 8th March 2003 St Mary and Archangel Michael Church, Golders Green, London

Mr Naim Boutros reviewed IT and Medicine. The use of IT in medicine increases every day, helping doctors to make diagnoses and nurses to advise patients through NHS direct. The Internet offers a large selection of information for the patient and medics alike, students use their computers extensively. A cadaver is no longer considered necessary when an anatomy simulator is available on the net. Job hunting is made easy with online access.

Of course there are drawbacks. Computers can delay the consultation time, can go wrong, costing large sums in callout and repair, and can quickly go out of fashion. There is an important security issue, where confidential information may not be secure. Finally, the future of IT is in your hands. 50% of medical students in America use handheld computer everyday. Is this what we are heading for in the UK?

Mr Nabil Isshak talked about the sex maze. He drew the attention to Father Tadros Malaty’s book “Let me grow” and the reviews about sexual issues in the Triple Helix magazine of the Christian Medical Fellowship. There are many drawbacks to the liberal attitude to sex that is advocated by our post-religious society, for example, emotional disarray and the breakdown of marriages. Counsellors are often faced with the chronic problem of lack of sexual satisfaction amongst couples, their answer is to get back to the basic values of love and appreciation. The current state of values in our society in regard to sex and marriage can be traced back to the 1960s with the advent of the pill and a decrease in the practice of Christianity, as well as the increasing financial independence of women. The media glamorises sex, which has a profound effect on the way children view the subject. Nabil backed his talk with numerous useful and sometimes alarming statistics.

To conclude, parents and the Church have a hard task ahead of them. They must continue to be tolerant, consistent and forgiving, maintaining dialogue with the children all the time and never allowing the relationship between generations to break down. Christianity should not be solely about emphasising refrain, it is more difficult and challenging to help children to enjoy Christianity first. It does not help to avoid the issues, to talk reluctantly and gloss over the topic. Undoubtedly above all we need God’s grace to guide us in dealing with this issue.

Mr Raouf Azmy drew our attention to the usefulness of the weekly newspaper “Watani”. It is a very useful paper that contains a weekly article by the Pope and many Coptic writers. It covers a wide range of political, social and cultural issues and has a weekly English supplement of four pages. Yearly subscription is £50, including postage to your house. For details, contact Dr Laila Farid on [email protected]

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