[Moral and religious issues in health care]

The paper summarises the moral and spiritual factors important in care for sick people. Medical care is one of the ancient forms of our activity as humans, expounding care for other people's well-being. The moral aspect of medical care is deeply rooted in constant daily interaction between the patient and the doctor aiming at easing symptoms, support, help, prevention and defense. Such teleological orientation of medicine is, according to John Paul II, made possible not so much by technology but by physician's conscience, wisdom and unlimited honesty. This is where ethics is needed to regulate that particular relation. This ethics stems from Christian morality, which raises our role as humans to that of guardians of dignity of another human being. Man is indeed the measure of all things, and this becomes the context for all relations including man's relation to God, but also relation of God to man. Thus, human dignity assumes the status of unconditional natural rule, inherently forestalling all legal arrangements. The morality of health care requires holistic approach, including care for body, mind, social interaction and spiritual needs. Only then, as explained by dr Ewa Kucharska, is it possible to answer patient's all needs. The moral side of the therapeutic contract bounds the doctor and the patient, alike. From this point of view, it is immoral not to cooperate with physicians in their strife for the preservation of health and life itself. Self negligence or active self harm (drugs, alcohol abuse, HIV/AIDS) are the utmost examples of such dishonesty. Finally, the imperative to bring hope and faith to the suffering, vests special importance in hospital chaplains, who bring good word, but most importantly the sacrament to those in need. The prayer in turn may evoke strong hope for cure, capable of supporting both soul and body. The suffering of man cannot be understood on rational grounds. It requires acceptance, and, above all, it requires faith. And this understanding is reached only by faith and participation in Christ's sufferings.

Necek, Robert
Item Type: 
Journal Article
Publication Title: 
Przeglad Lekarski
Journal Abbreviation: 
Prz. Lek.
Publication Date: 
Publication Year: 
Library Catalog: 
PMID: 23094441

Turabian/Chicago Citation

Robert Necek. 2012. "[Moral and religious issues in health care]." Przeglad Lekarski 69: 6: 271-274.

Wikipedia Citation

<ref> {{Cite journal | doi = | issn = 0033-2240 | volume = 69 | pages = 271-274 | last = Necek | first = Robert | coauthors = | title = [Moral and religious issues in health care] | journal = Przeglad Lekarski | date = 2012 | pmid = | pmc = }} </ref>