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February 24, 1984

The Physician and the Rights of Mankind

Author Affiliations

From the Palazzo Apostolico, Vatican City.

JAMA. 1984;251(8):1037-1038. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340320023019

AT THE close of the 35th General Assembly of the World Medical Association in Venice you proposed to come to Rome to meet with me. You are cordially welcomed here in this house, so much the more since there exists a special affinity between your concerns and those of the Church. Medicine is an essential and lofty form of service to humanity. It is necessary, first of all, to help man live and overcome the handicaps that limit his ability to function physically.

Man is also at the center of the Church's concerns, whose mission is, with the grace of God, to save man, to restore his spiritual and moral integrity, to lead him to his complete integral development in which the body plays a part. This is because the ministry of the Church and Christian witness are equally concerned for the ill.

Therefore, I hope along with you, that