Blessing of Endoscopy Unit - Calvary Hospital

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5 March 2013

When beginning the preparation for this ceremony this evening, I realised that I needed to be a little better informed about the purpose of the particular unit, so I did what we all do these days, and looked up the word endoscopy in Wikipedia. As you would expect, there is a wealth of information for those who are just beginning to learn about this form of medical examinations.

I was told firstly that the word endoscopy has a Greek derivation meaning “looking inside.” The history of this kind of unit goes right back over 200 hundred years to 1806. One shudders to think how different the first instruments were and how limited they were in what they could do. However, it was a start, and the later models became ever more versatile, and their applications also were widened.

An endoscopy machine these days could be used for examining the gastric tract, for respiratory examinations, those to do with ears, the urinary tract, reproductive organs, sinus examinations, panedoscopy, as well as some non-medical fields as well. They can be used to examine explosive devices, and for surveillance purposes.

I learned some new words as well, some of which I hope I can pronounce such esephaso/gastro/dueden/oscopy, cholangio/pancreas/toscopy, laryngosopy and epiduroscopy. My spell-checker could not cope with all of that either, but it is all pointing to the versatility of the equipment which is being blessed today.

I wish to commend all those who have been involved in the planning for this development, and the construction of this facility, with all that is required to ensure that patients are afforded the greatest amount of comfort as they come here for the endoscopy examination. No doubt some of them are feeling anxious about the outcome, and they need to be cared for in a way that shows respect and understanding. I have no doubt that all that will happen.

I was interested in the basic meaning of the word endoscopy, “looking inside.” I guess that is what we are all invited to do during this particular time of the year, the season of Lent. It is a time to look within, into our own hearts and our own consciences, to find God and our inner selves as well.

It has been suggested that the overall theme for the first week of Lent is that of  a “New Way of Seeing.” The machine allows new ways of seeing as well.

With a new identity, there comes a new law as well. It is a law which goes far beyond the minimum of the Commandments and it strikes a chord with us as free and responsible persons. While the discussion may take place at an elevated level, in reality it comes down to the statement of Jesus “I was hungry and you gave me food.” After looking inside, it is also important to look outside, into the world of other people some of whom are in need of medical assistance which can begin with the examination information that such a facility as this will provide.

I know that the tradition of the Sisters of the Little Company of Mary would lead us in that direction, of providing the best facilities we can to as many people as we can. I know also that those patients who come here for an examination will be received with courtesy and understanding, shown compassion and respect, and helped to come to terms with whatever is the outcome of the examination they undergo through the operation of this new facility.

I know that this facility is a welcome addition to the range of services which are provided here at the Lenah Valley campus of Calvary Health Care Tasmania. I am confident that it will be completely successful in every way. I am very happy to continue with the prayers of blessing of this new endoscopy unit.

Archbishop Adrian Doyle