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Health-care plans must follow moral law, Pope insists

Catholic World News - November 18, 2010

Health-care policy “cannot divorce itself from moral rules,” Pope Benedict XVI insists.

In a message to the Pontifical Council for Health Care, which is hosting a conference in Rome this week, the Holy Father said that “health-care justice must be one of the priorities on the agendas of governments and international institutions.” He underlined the need for “establishing true distributive justice which guarantees everyone adequate care on the basis of objective needs.”

However, the Pope pointed to major flaws in different approaches to health-care policy today. He said:

We are witnessing, on the one hand, a care for health which risks turning into pharmacological, medical and surgical consumerism, almost a cult of the body while, on the other hand, we see the difficulties millions of people face as they seek to obtain minimal subsistence and the medicines they need to cure themselves.

While urging governments to ensure broader access to adequate primary care, the Pope decried the “schools of thought which harm this justice.” He continued:

I am thinking of questions such as those associated with so-called reproductive health, the use of artificial procreation techniques that involve the destruction of embryos, and legalized euthanasia. Love for justice, the defense of life from conception until natural end, must be supported and proclaimed, even if this means going against the tide.

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