WQPH: Can you tell us a little bit about your background as a doctor and how you came to the Faith?
Dr. Mark Rollo: I am a cradle Catholic. Our Catholic Faith was central to our life as a family. We were regular churchgoers and our six children attended Catholic schools for much of our education. My parents were staunchly pro-life.
My mother entered the fray to oppose abortion when Roe v Wade was decided in 1973. Her pro-life beliefs were clearly made known to all of us well before 1973 but in that year she joined Massachusetts Citizens for Life and helped start a local crisis pregnancy center. She regularly picketed planned parenthood.
My father was a surgeon and was president of the medical staff when Roe became law. As president, he could not vote on whether or not to allow abortions to be done at our local hospital. He resigned so that he could vote against it.
I belatedly followed in my father’s footsteps to become a physician when I was 30 years old. I joined the USAF to defray the cost of medical school and as an Air Force Physician, I was very blessed to work with many dedicated and mission-oriented individuals. My wife and I are Fitchburg natives and after separating from active duty in 1991 we returned to this area where I practiced family medicine until this year when I retired.
The show’s title is taken from the ancient Hippocratic oath for the medical profession. With so many scientific advancements today, how do you see such history informing us?
Over the years of my practice, I have seen the abandonment of the Hippocratic Oath. 2500 years ago the Oath specifically rejected abortion and physician-assisted suicide. These abominations are currently corrupting medicine. Contraception, which is the separation of love and life, helped usher in the culture of death which I gradually came to understand. As a result, I dedicated much of my practice to modern methods of natural family planning which is fully in accordance with the Catholic Church.
What are you hoping to help your listeners appreciate better?
Ethics must form the basis of treating the whole person and it is my hope to shine a light on the medical ethical issues of the day from a Catholic perspective. This will include not only contraception, abortion, and assisted suicide but also such important issues as IVF, hospice, palliative care and end-of-life decision making just to name a few. I am looking forward to delving into these issues.
In the first episode, Dr. Rollo addresses the "R.O.E." Act, medical ethics, and the physicians commitment to "first, do no harm.