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» 03/22/2007
VATICAN
Doctors must never look down on a human life, however disabled it may be, says Pope
In a speech to members of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care, Benedict XVI says man’s right to be treated throughout his life stems from his inherent dignity as a human being. Christian health care workers must add the “Charity” that Jesus showed to this principle.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Doctors and nurses “must never look down on any human life, however disabled, and must always know how to encourage treatment” for everyone for as long as they live. Indeed, for Benedict XVI “respect and trust in health care workers is proportionate to the certainty one has that these defenders of life” will follow such a principle.

Once more the Pope expressed his opposition to euthanasia in a talk he gave in the Vatican to the participants to the plenary session of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care.

In it he stressed that each human being has a “fundamental right” to treatment and maintained that every Christian health care worker must add to the ethical principles of his or her profession the “Charity” that Jesus showed to people who were suffering.

In line with the principle of following Christ or “sequela Christi,” whom the Gospels present as a “divine doctor”, Benedict XVI reiteirated “the biblical perspective that values the natural ethical principle whereby the sick must be treated on the basis that each human life must be defended according to the particular difficulties it faces and the concrete means of treatment available.”

This ethical perspective, which is based on the dignity of the human person and the rights and duties that that it entails, “is confirmed and developed by the love commandment, which is at the heart of the Christian message.”

Christian health care workers must therefore be well aware that there is a very tight and indissoluble link between the quality of the service they provide and the virtues of charity to which Christ calls them. It is in doing one’s job well that they bear witness to God’s love. “Charity as a duty of the Church was part of my encyclical Deus charita est,” said the Pope, “and has a particularly significant application in the care of the sick. The history of the Church bears witness to this with innumerable cases of men and women [. . .] who have worked in this field."

Benedict XVI completed his talk by mentioning the recently published Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis on the Eucharist from which the health care ministry can draw “the strength to help man effectively and promote him in accordance with his dignity.”


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See also
12/03/2009 VATICAN
Pope: in today's world the Christian presence alongside those who suffer is needed more than ever
11/13/2012 VATICAN
Catholic hospitals are "privileged places for evangelisation," in the First World as well
11/11/2008 VATICAN
A conference at the Vatican on how to accompany sick children
01/07/2011 VATICAN – TAIWAN
Two Taiwanese appointed to the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care
05/15/2006 VATICAN
Dialogue with Islam with reciprocity and respect for one's identity as its basis, says the Pope

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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