Jul 10 2015

THE PARTING OF FRIENDS

Long ago, back in those Middle Ages that encompassed the early 1970’s, four young Jesuits taught the Ethics of Experimental Medicine in a large Nursing School in Toronto.  It was a wonderfully open minded era, and medicine was blazing new trails in all sorts of areas, including  redefining what it meant to be alive,  organ transplantation, cloning and much else.  We would usually all travel together, and would argue and debate the  latest medical ethical literature endlessly and from all perspectives.  Not one of these four came out of narrow authoritarianism and  three of them were brilliant minds under any standard.   Looking back now, in all my years and in all my many Universities around the world, I never ever encountered  more intellectually opened minded, curious and brilliant  colleagues.    Of the four of us, one  went to Yale and did amazing work, the second, took over the top job  in the Canadian Jesuits, the third went to Medical School and then also did a doctorate, and the fourth, me, went off to Cambridge for doctorate studies  and thence to Law School.   This week I attended a Memorial Mass for the third . All are now dead save for me, and given that I am still in my sixties, none of us are or were really old. I write today because I am sad, I miss all of them.  What a gift it was to know them, to work with them, and to be their Brother.

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