Pope Warns Medicine Against Temptation of "Technological Control"

Stresses Need for Ethical Values

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 25, 2002 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II warned the world of medicine not to fall into the temptation of replacing ethical values with science and technology.

“One must never lose sight of the goal of man´s real good; one must never give into the temptation to a medicine and scientific progress without rules or values, which might become a dangerous form of technological control of life,” the Pope warned today, when he met a delegation of the Italian League for the Struggle Against Tumors.

The league, which is marking its 80th anniversary, aims in part to offer information and foster health education, patient care and scientific research.

“Given the tumors that threaten man´s health, at times the temptation has arisen to assume a disconsolate and fatalistic attitude, an attitude that depresses the patient and makes the treatment itself more difficult,” the Holy Father said.

The Pope encouraged scientific research to continue to develop therapies to combat or ease suffering. At the same time, he reminded his listeners about the importance of personally supporting the patient so that, “although conscious of his own corporeal fragility, he is led to discover a dimension that goes beyond his own corporeity.”

In order to do this, it is important “to always have present the central character of the person, regardless of the race or religion to which he belongs,” the Holy Father said. “We must bend over every patient with loving care, following the evangelical example of the good Samaritan.”

“In such an important field, it is inadmissible that the voice of believers and people of good will is not heard,” he added. “In fact, it is a duty that society and its authorities, at different levels, understand the urgency to allocate research funds for beneficent causes, such as the struggle against cancer, and that they concretely support these initiatives, which improve people´s health.”

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