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Sick people aren’t machines to be repaired, says pope

HO / OSSERVATORE ROMANO / AFP
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And doctors should be able to follow their consciences

Health care professionals must oppose a tendency to “debase the sick person as a ‘machine to be repaired,'” Pope Francis said today, in an address to representatives of the World Federation of the Catholic Medical Associations (FIAMC) ahead of their 25th world congress, underway in Zagreb, Croatia.

“The tendency to debase the sick man as a machine to be repaired, without respect for moral principles, and to exploit the weakest, discarding what does not correspond to the ideology of efficiency and profit, must be opposed,” the Holy Father said.

He said that the sick must be defended as people and that medicine must be humanized.

For this, doctors should become proactive in promoting ethical legislation, particularly in regards to abortion, end-of-life care and genetic medicine, the pontiff proposed.

In this regard, he also encouraged the defense of the freedom of conscience of doctors and of all health care workers.”

“It is unacceptable that your role be reduced to simply carry out the will of the sick person or the needs of the health system in which you work,” Francis declared.

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