The Moral Value Of Health Care

The bishop of Fargo, Bishop Samuel Aquila, is outlining four principles for Catholics to take into account when analyzing the moral value of a health care reform proposal. In a statement released Aug. 29, he addressed the current debate in the U.S. legislature over various health care reform proposals.

The Bishop affirmed that the Church "ought to always promote wider and more complete access to health care," but clarified that this "does not mean that in practice the Church ought to support each and every plan which is proposed by civil leaders."

The first, he stated, is that "any provisions for actions which deny the dignity of human life, especially abortion, euthanasia, whether passive or active, and embryonic stem-cell research must be excluded from all health care plans."

As a second principle, the bishop affirmed, "the freedom of consciences must be safeguarded."

Third: "Access to health care ought to be available to all people, including the poor, legal immigrants, the handicapped, and especially the elderly and unborn members of society."

Lastly, "the means of providing access to health care should be governed by the principle of subsidiarity, being reasonably and equitably distributed among members of society."