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The Child as a Person and as a Patient: Therapeutic Approaches Compared



Vatican City, 15 June 2013: ‘Sick child, sleepless nights’- these incisive words can be raised to being the motto of the fourth study meeting organised by the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers for 14-15 June 2013 on the subject: ‘The Child as a Person and as a Patient: Therapeutic Approaches Compared’.
The event kicked off with a High Mass, presided over by Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, President of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care, and celebrated at the Altar of the Chair of St. Peter.
Welcoming the participants, Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, President of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers said that the study meeting is organized around three principal axes: the first dwells upon the child as a person in order to emphasise his or her subjectivity and transcendence; the second addresses the child as a patient and the various therapeutic approaches brought into play to heal him or her; and the third, lays stress upon the ethical dimension of treating and taking care of children.

In his Keynote Address, Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, while referring to the ‘the care of the child as a person’, he said that the pastoral care of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers embrace life in its entirety, with special attention and care to life in phases and conditions of greater fragility, as the unborn and the terminal, the life of the child and the elderly.
Talking about ‘the dignity of the child’, the Archbishop said that ‘a child is a human being in the initial phase of the life course, between the fetal stage and the pubertal. The child is a person and therefore subject of recognition and proper rights of the person.
Proper care of the child, he said, mean avoiding deficiencies and excesses. The value of the person of the child seek treatment appropriate to it. Appropriate to its dignity and therefor proper to the condition of the child. Calling a child ‘baby’ is not to say its dignity is tiny and diminished, a smaller value of the person.
Referring ‘the dignity of the child in the light of faith’, Archbishop Zimowski said that the dignity of the person of the child is that of theological 'image’ and ‘likeness’ of God, imprinted with the creation of man and woman, and child of God, revealed by Jesus and effectively carried out by the Holy Spirit baptism. The child in his smallness and simplicity, is a mirror image of this singular and divine son-ship of the human person. This is why Jesus - the Son of God made himself child - points to the children an example and model of the relationship between man and God to them.
Recalling the gestures of Pope Francis towards children, the sick and the suffering, the Archbishop said the Pontiff reminds us that it is the way forward.
Source: VR Sedoc




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