Home   |  About Us   |  Contacts   |  Products    
 News Items:
 News Briefs
 Word To Life
 More News:
 Special Sections:
 2007 in review
 Inside the Curia
 2006 in review
 Vatican II at 40
 John Paul II
 Other Items:
 Client Area
 Did You Know...

 The whole CNS
 public Web site
 headlines, briefs
 stories, etc,
 represents less
 than one percent
 of the daily news

 Get all the news!

 If you would like
 more information
 about the
 Catholic News
 Service daily
 news report,
 please contact
 CNS at one of
 the following:
 (202) 541-3250


 This material
 may not
 be published,
 rewritten or
 (c) 2007
 Catholic News
 Conference of
 Catholic Bishops.

 CNS Story:

POPE-SURGEONS Oct-20-2008 (260 words) xxxi

Pope urges doctors to respect patients' value, dignity

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Whether a patient wants physicians to do everything possible to save his or her life or simply wants ordinary care, doctors must form a "therapeutic alliance" with each patient, Pope Benedict XVI said.

So many diseases today are treatable and even curable that there is a risk of abandoning patients "the moment one senses the impossibility of obtaining appreciable results," the pope said Oct. 20 in a meeting with the Italian Society of Surgeons.

The society met the pope during its annual convention in Rome.

Pope Benedict told the surgeons that every patient, even those who are incurably ill, have value and have a dignity that must be honored.

"Respect for human dignity, in fact, requires unconditional respect for every single human being, born or unborn, healthy or ill, in any condition," the pope said.

Pope Benedict said an effective therapeutic plan -- one that leads the patient to serenity and hope -- can be formulated only when a physician truly listens to the patient and understands his or her history and family life.

Whether the patient chooses "bold lifesaving interventions" or decides "to be content with the ordinary measures medicine offers," mutual respect must characterize the patient-physician relationship, he said.

A patient, the pope said, "wants to be looked at with kindness, not just examined; he wants to be heard, not just subjected to sophisticated tests; he wants to be certain that he is in the mind and heart of the doctor treating him."


Copyright (c) 2008 Catholic News Service/USCCB. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed.
CNS · 3211 Fourth St NE · Washington DC 20017 · 202.541.3250