In his message for the World Day of the Sick, Benedict XVI appeals for the promotion of palliative care for terminal patients. “The Church wishes to support the incurably and terminally ill by calling for just social policies which can help to eliminate the causes of many diseases and by urging improved care for the dying and those for whom no medical remedy is available,” writes the Pope.
“There is a need to promote policies which create conditions where human beings can bear even incurable illnesses and death in a dignified manner,” he adds in his message for the World Day, which will be observed Feb. 11. Its main venue will be in Seoul, South Korea. “Here it is necessary to stress once again the need for more palliative care centers which provide integral care, offering the sick the human assistance and spiritual accompaniment they need,” the Holy Father states. According to the Bishop of Rome, “this is a right belonging to every human being, one which we must all be committed to defend.”
The Pope encourages “the efforts of those who work daily to ensure that the incurably and terminally ill, together with their families, receive adequate and loving care.” The message is also addressed to terminally ill patients. “I encourage you to contemplate the sufferings of Christ crucified, and, in union with him, to turn to the Father with complete trust that all life, and your lives in particular, are in his hands,” Benedict XVI exhorts. “Trust that your sufferings, united to those of Christ, will prove fruitful for the needs of the Church and the world.”