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14 / 03 / 2008 - Vatican Official to U.N.: ´Protect the unborn and the seriously ill´
GENEVA - A Vatican official urged government delegates to help protect the lives of the unborn and those suffering from serious and deadly illnesses.
Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, Vatican representative to U.N. agencies in Geneva, said "no compromise can be made with a person's right to life itself, from conception to natural death, nor with that person's ability to enjoy the dignity which flows from that right."
He made the remarks March 11 during a session on the protection of human rights by the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva. His comments focused on the U.N. council's Jan. 31 report on the right of all people to "the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health."
He said people "who require special protection" should never be overlooked or denied the right to life.
"Particular cases in point are children in the womb and those suffering from grave and life-threatening illnesses," he added.
He said the Vatican "urgently hopes that references (in the report) to 'emergency obstetric care' will never be misconstrued to justify the forced ending of human life before birth."
He said it was also important that other terminology, such as a nation being obliged to "identify a minimum 'basket' of health services and 'striking balances'" in the health care system "will not be interpreted in a manner that denies essential services to the seriously ill."
Archbishop Tomasi praised the report's "due recognition to 'health as a public good,' which requires international cooperation" in dealing with international health issues.
He also asked that religious organizations -- which provide a significant portion of health care services around the world -- be allowed "a place at the table during the formulation of health care plans on national or local levels."
Copyright (c) 2007 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
Source : www.catholic.org