Pope on palliative care: “If the person feels loved, the shadow of euthanasia disappears”

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The pope met this morning with the participants of the “IV Seminar on Ethics in Health Management” which is being held in the Vatican from October 1 to 5. Palliative care was the focus of his speech.

Pope Francis showed his concern on the crisis public medicine is experiencing, especially in Latin America. He spoke to them about three key concepts: miracle, care and trust.

“A miracle is not to do the impossible; the miracle is to find a brother in the sick, in the helpless person in front of us. It is not something that can, on its own, undo all the knots that objectively exist in the system, but it will spur in us the disposition to untie them.”

Pope Francis explained that experts and health professionals have the ability to ensure patients do not opt for euthanasia

“We are experiencing a strong universal trend toward the legalization of euthanasia. Even in these harsh circumstances, if the person feels loved, respected, and accepted, the negative shadow of euthanasia disappears or becomes almost non-existent. This is because the value of his/her being is measured by the ability to give and receive love, and not by his/her productivity.”

The pope asked them to treat the sick with 'respect for their autonomy and with a heavy burden of availability, understanding and dialogue.' He urged them to fight for collaboration between public and private entities so that people with fewer resources can also have access to health care.

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