- Sep 21, 2020
Make medicine and health care more humane by protecting the life and dignity of all patients, particularly the weakest and the unborn, Pope Francis told Catholic doctors and medical specialists.
Despite Catholic opposition, Italy’s Senate approved a law permitting individuals to write a living will to refuse treatment in end-of-life scenarios.
In a lengthy message to European physicians, Pope Francis called for a “withdrawal of ‘overzealous treatment’,” adding that “such a decision responsibly acknowledges the limitations of our mortality, once it becomes clear that opposition to it is futile.” The pope also pointed to “a systemic tendency toward growing inequality in health care,” and invited legislators to protect the most vulnerable.
Speaking to patients, their family members, and medical personnel from the Vatican-owned Bambino Gesu children’s hospital in Rome, Pope Francis warned of “the risk of forgetting the most important medicine only a family can give — caresses.”