Prelate Encourages Integrity in Medical Practice

Sends Message to Catholic Medical Association Conference

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SEATTLE, Washington, NOV. 2, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry is underlining the need for integrity in all professionals, especially medical doctors.



This was affirmed by Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski in a message sent for the annual educational conference of the Catholic Medical Association.

The three-day conference ended Saturday in Seattle, and focused on the theme: "Restoring the Integrity of Medicine: The Imperative for a Christian Anthropology."

"Today restoring integrity is a felt need in all professions and it becomes more categorical when it concerns a profession that deals with human life and health," he affirmed.

The prelate explained: "The truth that human beings are created in the image of God and entrusted with the stewardship of creation is at the heart of Christian revelation.

"From this fact we can deduce that human beings are called to enjoy a personal communion with God and with one another, and also exercise in God's name, responsible stewardship of the created world. These indeed are basic elements of Christian anthropology."

The archbishop affirmed that "basic scientific and applied research constitute a significant expression of this stewardship over creation."

Progress

He noted that "the progress in the biological and medical sciences has opened up a wide range of effective therapeutic possibilities."

"However," Archbishop Zimowski added, "the variety of possibilities exposes man to the temptation of going beyond the limits of reasonable dominion over nature."

"It is therefore important to remember that scientific research and its application ought to be given moral evaluation in reference to the dignity of the human person," he said.

Quoting from "Domus Vitae," the prelate stated: "Science and technology are valuable resources for man when placed at his service and when they promote his integral development for the benefit of all; but they cannot of themselves show the meaning of existence and of human progress. Being ordered to man, who initiates and develops them, they draw from the person and his moral values the indication of their purpose and the awareness of their limits […] for […] science without conscience can only lead to man's ruin" (No. 2).

Archbishop Zimowski affirmed, "As Catholic health care professionals you are well aware that life and physical health are precious gifts entrusted to us by God, and we must take reasonable care of them."

He concluded, "The practice of medicine cannot be isolated from this truth."