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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis to pharmacists: Conscientious objection is non-negotiable

Pope Francis strongly defended conscientious objection while meeting with pharmacists who work in Italian hospitals. 

"Today, removing conscientious objection is becoming a more popular idea. But look, we are talking about the personal ethics of each health professional, and this is non-negotiable. You are always at the service of human life. And in certain cases this involves conscientious objection, which is not being disloyal, but on the contrary, it is being faithful to your profession, if it is rightly motivated."

The Pope addressed specific situations pharmacists may face to show that healthcare should not fall into today's throwaway culture.

"We must always remain vigilant about this: 'God our Father gave the task of guarding the Earth, not money.' And also with the elderly. Giving them only half of their medication so their lives are shortened...It's a throwaway, yes. This idea, originally directed towards the care of the environment, applies more fittingly to the health of human beings."

Pope Francis says that abortion is yet another example of throwaway culture. He urged the pharmacists to show their closeness to those they may turn away while exercising conscientious objection, and to be sensitive to their suffering.