Grand Rounds: Health Care Principles For Catholics

Michael S. Parker

Dear Fr. Jerome Novotny,

The Catholic Medical Association joins the world in strongly condemning the senseless and inhumane death of George Floyd due to the actions of a Minneapolis police officer. We stand in support of the peaceful protests which highlight longstanding socioeconomic and racial disparities in our culture. The events which have unfolded should cause us to pause and reflect on any inherent biases and prejudices we may hold in our minds.

Lost in our society is respect for the dignity of the human person made in the image and likeness of God. This inherent dignity is the "foundation of a moral vision for society (and) our social teaching."(USCCB). Guided by this principle, we stand in solidarity to call for action, which promotes the right to life at all stages, the family, equal opportunity for participation in governance and the workforce, and protection for the poor and most vulnerable. To accomplish this, we promote dialogue between the Church, civic organizations, local, and state governments closest to the community's needs and resources to identify and implement meaningful change.

The Catholic Medical Association is obligated by our professional oath to provide leadership in the discussion on socioeconomic and racial disparities in healthcare. The Board has adopted "12 Health Care Principles for Catholics" to consider in the evaluation of reform initiatives and in the promotion of just and equitable healthcare. We look to collaborate with other faith-based organizations to achieve these goals.

The tragedy of George Floyd's death, which highlights society’s racial and socioeconomic inequities, must lead to meaningful change in society. As faithful Catholics in healthcare, we must advocate for policies and programs which uphold the principles of Catholic social teachings. Please join me in praying for a peaceful and meaningful change that benefits all of humanity.

Sincerely in Christ,

Michael S. Parker, M.D.
Catholic Medical Association


12 Health Care Principles for Catholics by Catholic Medical Association

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