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Pope Francis

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Pope Francis

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Vatican presents its new "Letter to health workers"

2017-02-11

On more than one occasion, it has been questioned what practices are, and are not ethical.  Euthanasia, cloning, and tissue freezing have played host to hundreds of bio-ethical debates. 

With the upcoming World Day of the Sick, to be held on February 11 in Lourdes, the Vatican has presented the New Charter to health workers. The text explains which medical procedures respect the dignity of people.

One of its authors is the surgeon and director of the Institute of Bioethics, Antonio Spagnolo.

ANTONIO G. SPAGNOLO
Director Institute of Bioethics
"It was necessary to update what possible new therapies regarding suffering, such as conjugal sterility or suffering linked to tumors, etc., are faithful to the Tradition and the Magisterium.”

This letter maintains the essence of the previous one, written in 1994, which is divided into three chapters: to reproduce, to live, and to die. It is revised and updated in order to adapt to today's times and current needs. 

It rejects euthanasia and genetic manipulation, but it does not believe that freezing ovarian tissue due to oncological therapies is a violation of human dignity. 

PROF. ANTONIO G. SPAGNOLO
Director Institute of Bioethics
"There are classes on Medical Ethics and Bioethics, so in these classes it would be possible to refer to the documents. However, the most important thing is to apply these principles to the patient who is bedridden, not just remembering them in university classrooms."

The Vatican's head of biomedical issues considers this new letter so important that he relates it to the Ten Commandments.

MONS. JEAN-MARIE MUPENDAWATU
Department for Development
"This letter has no other purpose: to teach how to love God, to love the life of God, and the life of the brothers, which means also love our life.”

Many are unaware, but the first to receive and read this new letter to health assistants was the same Pope Francis. A doctor of souls.


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