Pope Calls for Health Care for All

Pope Benedict XVI and other church leaders said it was the moral responsibility of nations to guarantee access to health care for all of their citizens, regardless of social and economic status or ability to pay. Access to adequate medical attention, the pope said in a written message on Nov. 18 to participants at the 25th International Conference of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry at the Vatican, was one of the “inalienable rights” of man. The pope lamented the great inequalities in health care around the globe. While people in many parts of the world are not able to receive essential medications or even the most basic care, in industrialized countries there is a risk of “pharmacological, medical and surgical consumerism” that leads to “a cult of the body,” the pope said.

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