09/20/2013, 00.00
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Pope: medical doctors should reject the 'culture of waste', bear witness instead to the 'culture of life'

The credibility of a health care system is measured not only by its efficiency, but also by the attention and love it shows to people whose life is always sacred and inviolable. "[T]here is no human life more sacred than another, as there is no human life more significant than another.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Medical doctors, especially gynaecologists, should reject the "culture of waste" that ends up eliminating human beings; instead, they should be courageous witnesses to the "culture of life", even if it means going against the prevailing grain at a cost to oneself.

Speaking today before the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations, who are in Rome for the 10th International Conference on Catholicism and Maternal Healthcare, Pope Francis focused on the promotion of the culture of life and on the fact that "no human life [is] more sacred than another, as there is a human life qualitatively more significant than another".

The Pope highlighted first today's "paradoxical situation". On the one hand, there are "medical advances, thanks to the work of scientists who, with passion and without reserve, are dedicated to the search for new cures." On the other hand, "cultural disorientation" leads "the health professions to disregard life itself sometimes even though they, by their very nature, are in the service of life."

"The acceptance of life strengthens people's moral fibre and makes them capable of mutual help. The paradoxical situation can be seen in the fact that as people gain new rights, alleged ones sometimes, the right to life is not always protected as the primary and primordial of value every person. The final goal of medical action is always the defence and the promotion of life. "

In "this contradictory context, the Church appeals to the conscience of all health care professionals and volunteers," in particular to gynaecologists, to oppose the 'culture of waste' that "now enslaves hearts and minds of so many."

Such a culture "comes with a very high cost. It requires the elimination of human beings, especially those who are physically or socially weaker. Our response to this mind-set is a decisive and unhesitant 'yes' to life."

"Things might have a price and might be sold, but people have dignity. They are worth more than things and no price can be put on them. For this reason, caring for human life in its totality has become in recent years a real priority for the Magisterium of the Church, particularly in the case of the most defenceless, that is, the disabled, the sick, the unborn child, children, and the elderly".

In his third and final point, the Holy Father said that "the mandate of Catholic doctors" is "to be witnesses and promoters of the 'culture of life'. Being Catholic entails greater responsibility: first of all to yourself, for the effort to be consistent with the Christian vocation, and then to contemporary culture, and to help recognise the transcendent dimension in human life, the imprint of the creative work of God, from the very first moment of conception. This commitment to the new evangelisation often requires going against the prevailing grain, at a cost to oneself." However, "the Lord counts on you to spread the 'Gospel of life'."

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