Upon receiving participants in the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Academy for Life, the Supreme Pontiff pointed out that this is how it is better seen how living conditions derived from political, social and environmental decisions produce an impact on the health of human beings.
If we examine life expectancy, and healthy life, in different countries and social groups, we discover deep inequalities, Francis said at the three-day event, inaugurated today and focused on the theme ‘Public health in a global perspective. Pandemic, bioethics, future’.
After noting that these differences depend on variables such as level of income and education and places of residence, the Pope specified that ‘we state that life and health are equally fundamental values for all, based on the unalienable dignity of the human person’.
But if that declaration does not follow the appropriate commitment to overcome inequalities, in fact we accept the painful reality that not all lives are equal and health is not protected in the same way for everyone, he said.
When highlighting how the Covid-19 pandemic made clear the profound interdependence ‘both between us and between the human kind and our common home’, he recalled that ‘our societies, especially in the West, have tended to forget that interconnection’, with the resulting ‘bitter experiences’.
The Pope called to reverse this trend through synergy between different disciplines such as biology and hygiene, medicine and epidemiology, but also economics and sociology, anthropology and ecology.
In this sense, he stressed that the objective should be, in addition to understanding the phenomena, to identify technological, political and ethical criteria for action on the health system, the family, employment and the environment.