It has finally happened. (I didn’t know who would be the first to fall, but it’s not shocking that it would be one of only two countries in the world named after a European monarch.) Last Friday, the Philippine Medical Association (PMA) voted to prohibit their doctor members from smoking. If you are a doctor in the Philippines, you are no longer allowed to smoke. If you don’t stop, there will be penalties. And, citizens are encouraged to turn violators into the PMA.

According to Oscar Tinio, PMA president, “Physicians must be role models on matters of health…that is why it is highly inappropriate for physicians to be seen smoking.”

I am tempted to get into how the issue of how smoking has largely become one of class, (I’ll save it for another post), but will instead ask the PMA, in ten years, ‘How’s it working out?’

Jesus said, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.’ The PMA thinks that what the Philippino people need are role models, not healers. One of the greatest attributes, I think, a doctor can have is empathy. This is true of pastors as well. I have heard tale after tale of the broken and contrite heart that has sat on a pastor’s couch and not only experienced a lack of connection with the pastor (from one sinner to another), but the pastor can only stare in dumb amazement at the confession that has just been made. ‘He who has been forgiven much, loves much.’

Who will be the physician to the physicians? Who will save them from their ‘body of death?’

My prediction: In 10 years, either every doctor will be smoking in the Philippines or there will be no doctors at all.

You can read it all here.