Christian doctors debate the limits of restorative medicine

Rome has hosted from 15 to 17 the XXVI World Congress organized by the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations with the presence of more than two hundred health professionals from different countries under the slogan ‘Remedial or transformative medicine?’. The Federation represents 120,000 members spread all over the world in 80 national associations from all continents, being the only organization of these characteristics officially recognized by the Holy See.



In the dialogue forum, specialists in plastic surgery, intensivists and ophthalmologists have gathered, who, together with philosophers, theologians and researchers in the field of bioethics, have addressed the red lines of the so-called reconstructive medicine. The appointment was supported by Cardinal Peter Turkson, as chancellor of the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences. The cardinal presided over a Eucharist at the altar of the Chair of Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.

Watch out for Ukraine

If there was a group to which special attention was paid, it was the Ukrainian delegation, which shared the lethal effects of the Russian invasion on health matters, both on the population and on medical professionals. In fact, in the last hours, the Ukrainian Executive denounced that four doctors have been murdered while doing evacuation work at a psychiatric hospital in Kharkov province.

Among the presentations that most impacted those present, he highlighted the intervention of Dr. Lotte Voets, who described the effects of euthanasia in geriatric medicine in the Netherlands.

fearsome complications

Delving into the edges of restorative medicine, among the professionals from the United States, it was put on the table, as they stated, “the fearsome complications suffered by those who -for example- undergo sex changeslimbs are amputated or mastectomies are performed”.

Thus, throughout this week of meeting the medical aspects of regeneration were addressed, distinguishing what could be considered as a “legitimate reparation” -burn unit- of what the Federation describes as “illegitimate” use: the implantation of an artificial sexual organ.

pathological limits

From a philosophical point of view, it was reflected on the pathological and traumatic limits of these interventions, based on a biblical anthropology that values ​​the notion of the unity of the human person.

Going deeper into the theological perspective, the professionals present at the congress appreciated how “repairing is also repairing the affective, the heart, the soul”. Thus, taking the Risen Christ “with the traces of the passion” as a reference, the doctor is considered as one who “works on a true project of co-redemption within an incarnation” in search of the “dignity and integrity of the human person”.

In this sense, from the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations, a distinction is made between “repairing the human” versus “transforming the human”, or what is the same, the jump that leads to the “transgression of the natural law, of the divine law” for “pleasure”.

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