Make Straight the Pathway Conference Part One
April 04, 2011
This past weekend I had the great pleasure of attending the first day of the Make Straight the Pathway Conference hosted by Christus Medicus and the Catholic Medical Association. I felt myself greatly invigorated, surrounded by health care professionals who believe in a Christ centered health care. From my perspective, there was one main theme of the day: creating Christ centered health care. The day opened with Bishop Vasa, the episcopal advisor of the CMA. Here are a few notes from his talk:
The Church brings an eternal perspective to the healthcare debate. She brings a more balanced view of suffering. Christ did not eliminate one disease, but rather gave fuller meaning to the individual’s illness and suffering.
Faith and Reason: Faith gives us a wisdom beyond knowledge and reason.
Our society must learn to have com-passion with our distressed brothers and sisters. The provision of health insurance can help these people, but there is nothing in it to encourage compassion, and in fact there may be the destruction of compassion within it. The destruction of the doctor-patient relationship is offensive to our catholic sensibility, and in the end destroys and prevents compassion in health care.
We must make our patients see the wounds of Christ, and help them to know that their suffering is a participation in His suffering. Must give our patients that message of hope beyond the pain, beyond the suffering, a hope of eternal salvation.
Church brings to the table a philosophy of the human person. We must approach the patient with a proper anthropology (see CMA Seattle Conference).
Must have conscience protections if we are to preserve com-passion.
Even health insurance plans can have a defective anthropology. Think of plans that cover birth control or abortion, but do not provide family counseling, or exclude a dependent child who attempts suicide. It is in these moments that we need COM-PASSION. This is the last moment we should be excluding an individual.
A Catholic plan should cover reversal of sterilization, should cover NFP. Should evaluate Brain death. When a plan indirectly refuses products that promote promiscuity, it supports families in the raising of their children.
Christ truly is the only one who can redeem healthcare.
May you see always the Face of Faces, the Face of Christ!
Throughout the morning, we were informed of the current attacks on the conscience of health care providers, and what is being done to change this. We were blessed to hear from William Saunders of the AUL, Marie Hilliard of the NCBC, and Richard Doerflinger of the USCCB. What a line up!
The afternoon was just as powerful, so watch for the next post!