Friday, April 16, 2010

Faith Facts Friday

Well, today finds me in the hospital with my son, Eddie, who has significant special needs. He has pneumonia and is receiving the necessary treatment to get him well and home again. Please keep him in your prayers for a full recovery.

In light of our situation, I thought Faith Facts Friday should deal with health care. Our facts will be taken from the Charter for Health Care Workers published through the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance for Health Care Workers in 1995 -- it is available to read in its entirety at Women for Faith and Family. This is a sampling of how the Church expects health care workers to live out their profession.I think the staff taking care of Eddie has read the charter -- they have been so attentive and caring, addressing his needs competently and compassionately and including us as partners in the process. We are both impressed and grateful.

The health care worker is the good Samaritan of the parable, who stops beside the wounded person, becoming his "neighbor in charity" (cf. Lk 10:29-37). (CHW, 3)


This means that health-care is a ministerial instrument of God's outpouring love for the suffering person; and, at the same time, it is an act of love of God, shown in the loving care for the person. For the Christian, it is an actualized continuation of the healing love of Christ, who "went about doing good and healing everyone" (Acts 10:38). And at the same time it is love for Christ: He is the sick person -- "I was sick" -- who assumes the face of a suffering brother; since He considers as done to Himself -- "you did it to me" -- the loving care of one's brother (cf. Mt 25: 3140). (CHW, 4)


Service to life is such only if it is faithful to the moral law, which expresses exigently its value and its tasks. Besides technico-professional competence, the health care worker has ethical responsibilities. "The ethical law, founded on respect for the dignity of the person and on the rights of the sick, should illuminate and govern both the research phase and the application of the findings".25 In fidelity to the moral law, the health care worker actuates his fidelity to the human person whose worth is guaranteed by the law, and to God, whose wisdom is expressed by the law. (CHW, 6)

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