10/01/2018, 17.45
VATICAN
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For Pope, if patients feel loved, the negative shadow of euthanasia disappears

"We experience almost universally a strong tendency towards the legalisation of euthanasia", but "we know that when there is serene and participatory human accompaniment, chronic pain sufferers and terminally ill patients can see this thoughtfulness."

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis spoke this morning in the Vatican to about 70 participants of the 4th Seminar on Ethics in Health, currently underway until next Friday (5 October).

In his address, the pontiff said that even with terminal patients, the dark shadow cast by euthanasia disappears or becomes non-existent if they feel loved, respected, and accepted.

In his speech, in Spanish, Francis began with the observation that healthcare is feeling the impact of the economic crisis, especially in Latin America.

Difficult access to treatment and medication, he noted, can be discouraging. However, whilst resource use implies a cost-benefit rationale, sick people must be treated as brothers and sisters.

The inspiring principle "is not an abstract ideal" but an actual person, a face that often suffers.

"Be courageous and generous" in using economic resources and technical-scientific tools, the Pope told his audience, because "those who benefit, especially the poorest, will appreciate your efforts and initiatives".

Care is also needed because the treatment cannot be reduced to the simple aseptic application of drugs and cannot be limited only to the restoration of health. This is clear with respect to palliative care.

"We experience almost universally a strong tendency towards the legalisation of euthanasia", but "we know that when there is serene and participatory human accompaniment, chronic pain sufferers and terminally ill patients can see this thoughtfulness."

Thus, “even in hard circumstances, if people feel loved, respected and accepted, the negative shadow of euthanasia disappears or becomes almost non-existent, because the value of their being is measured by their ability to give and receive love, not their productivity."

Therefore, health professionals must constantly update their skills to live up to their vocation as health givers, and in this context the "New Charter of Health Workers" is a useful tool.

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