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    » 03/22/2007, 00.00

    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

    03/12/2009 VATICAN
    Pope: in today's world the Christian presence alongside those who suffer is needed more than ever
    In his message for the XVIII World Day of the Sick, Benedict XVI recalls that all Christians are called to follow the example of Jesus who "had compassion” for the Samaritan and “took care of him. " In the Year for Priests an invitation to all clergy to be particularly close to those who are sick.

    13/11/2012 VATICAN
    Catholic hospitals are "privileged places for evangelisation," in the First World as well
    The International Conference of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers was presented today, with participants expected from 60 countries from around the world. Although they operate in different contexts, Catholic hospitals are structured in a similar fashion and are united by the same patient-healthcare worker relationship, affiliation with the universal Church and the necessity to adhere to its principles and teachings.

    11/11/2008 VATICAN
    A conference at the Vatican on how to accompany sick children
    More than four million children have died of AIDS, and six million have been left crippled by war. Cardinal Barragan reiterates the Church's "no" to embryonic stem cell research, which "so far is of no use, and has not cured anyone."

    07/01/2011 VATICAN – TAIWAN
    Two Taiwanese appointed to the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care
    Mgr Peter Liu and Dr Tsou Kuo-inn are the only two Asians in a group of 29 consultants appointed last Wednesday. Mgr Liu has been archbishop of Kaohsiung for less than two years. Dr Tsou is an expert in paediatrics.

    15/05/2006 VATICAN
    Dialogue with Islam with reciprocity and respect for one's identity as its basis, says the Pope
    Benedict XVI speaks about this issue at the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People. Father Borrmans talks about the situation of Christians in Muslim countries.



    Editor's choices

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    Global Times: the pope should accept the independence of the Chinese Church



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    INDIA – PHILIPPINES
    Archbishop of Guwahati: In Asia religion is not dying, the faithful take strength from the Eucharist



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