Yes to Life: An Opportunity for Partnership Between Medicine and Religion
Pope Francis recently spoke about perinatal palliative care and the dilemmas that parents of critically ill babies encounter. In his speech, the Pope beautifully captured what many parents feel. They love their baby even if they know that the baby cannot survive. They need compassionate care of the sort that will allow them to express that love, even if it is only for minutes or hours, and even if the expression of love takes the form of comforting the dying baby rather than intervening medically or surgically to try to prolong life. “Many times,” the Pope said, “Those few hours in which a mother can cradle her child in her arms leave an unforgettable trace in her heart.” For those who work in perinatal palliative care, this affirmation and endorsement of their efforts by the Church is a welcome offer for an important collaboration. Medicine and religion can work hand in hand, here, to help parents and doctors who struggle to do the right thing when all the choices seem bad.
Perspectives in biology and medicine
Lantos, J. Yes to Life: An Opportunity for Partnership Between Medicine and Religion Perspectives in biology and medicine 63, 509-511 (2020).