VATICAN CITY (CNS) — A nation’s health-care system cannot be run simply as a business because human lives are at stake, Pope Francis said.
“If there is a sector in which the ‘throwaway culture’ demonstrates its most painful consequences, it is the health-care sector,” the pope told patients, medical professionals, pastors and volunteers attending a meeting sponsored by the Italian bishops’ national office for health-care ministry.
Anticipating the celebration Feb. 12 of the World Day of the Sick and marking the 20th anniversary of the bishops’ office, the pope said Catholics obviously give thanks for the advances in medicine and technology that have enabled doctors to cure or provide better care for the sick.
He also praised medical personnel who carry out their work as “ministers of life and participants in the affectionate love of God the creator. Each day their hands touch the suffering body of Christ, and this is a great honor and a great responsibility,” he said.
But, the pope said, any public policy or private initiative regarding health care that does not make the dignity of the human person its central concern “engenders attitudes that can even lead to exploitation of the misfortune of others. And this is very serious.”
“Indiscriminately adopting a business model in health care, instead of optimizing resources,” he said, risks treating some of the sick as disposable. “Optimizing resources means using them in an ethical way, with solidarity, and not penalizing the most fragile.”
Protecting human life from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death means that “money alone cannot guide political and administrative choices” in health care, he said. And the increasing lack of health care “among the poorest segments of the population, due to lack of access to care, must leave no one indifferent.”
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
PREVIOUS: Russia’s Catholics ponder ‘historic lessons’ on revolution anniversary
NEXT: Church in North Africa hosting migrants from south, seeks support
Share this story