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SANCTITY AND SCARCITY:

THE MAKINGS OF A TRAGEDY


Crisis is common t
Medicine
Medicine has always been best equipped to respond to the medical crisis.
SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY

SYMPATHY
CARE
Medical
Crisis
Sanctity
“All human beings, after all, even those
in crisis, those whose stories are sad
stories, are the object of God’s
unbounded love.”
FINANCI
Medica AL
l Crisis
Crisis
S carcity
“….makes allocation decisions
necessary”
We value other th
as health

Limiit.. Establish. Enforce.


If it is scarcity which
makes allocation
decisions necessary, it
is sanctity which
TWO STRATEGIES FOR DENYING
TRAGEDY
TO DENY
SANCTITY

TO DENY
SCARCITY
DENYING
SANCTITY
• Allocating the scarce
treatment to whom it
considered the “most
deserving”
DENYING
SCARCITY
• Promising to provide almost
everything despite limited
resources
Policies in relation to
scarce resources

DISTRIBUTIVE COST-
JUSTICE CONTAINMENT
Policies in relation to scarce resources

“A DECENT MINIMUM
OF HEALTHCARE”
DISTRIBUTI
VE • Physicians and nurses
commit themselves to
JUSTICE provide not a minimum of
health care to their patients,
but to offer their best efforts
with their best tools.
Policies in relation to scarce resources

“Cheaper= Preventive
medicine
Better health for MORE
people= Preventive COST-
Medicine” CONTAINMENT
• Physicians and nurses are
committed to the life and
flourishing of the patient on
the table or in bed in front
Two lessons emerge
from such tragic
choices
2
1
FIRST LESSON:
•Tragic choices are always
1 a consequence of our
finitude, of the fact that
we are not gods, that our
mortality is indefeasible
and that our resources are
still finite.
SECOND LESSON:

•The choice to use medical


technology- or the refusal
to use it even when we
can- can be irremediably
2
ambiguous.
1 2
piety
Medicine must be true
to itsef- for its won
sake and for ours.
ine will nurture and sustain certi
1.Sensitivity to economic factors
2.Truthfulness
3.Humility
4.Care
5.Piety
1. Sensitivity to economic factors.

They can have a –and should have- a “cost


conscience”.
2. truthfulness

They should not deny the truth about our


world and our limits.
3. humility

acknowledgement that we are not gods… we


are all equal
4. care

Care= what inspired and prompted medicine


in the first place.
5. piety

Nurtures and sustains…

truthfulness about our finitude


gratitude for the opportunities within our
limitations
respect and care for the sanctity of each
human life
a sense of God’s forgiveness in the midst of
moral ambiguity.
When goods collide
and evils gather we
may not deny scarcity,
we may not deny
sanctity, the best we
can do is to act with
integrity.
¼ sheet of paper.
When goods collide
and evils gather we
What does it
may not deny scarcity, mean to act
we may not deny
sanctity, the best we
with
can do is to act with Integrity?
integrity.