Health Workers Meetings
From the time the Association was established, it has promoted periodic meetings for doctors and health workers, with the aim of offering moments to exchange ideas and experiences and deepen the specific objective of medical etiquette and healthcare.
Among the topics of discussion: suffering, life in the face of actual challenges, empathy in the relationship with the patient, relationship between health and sickness, the relationship among health workers.
The value of life, the dignity of the human person
Life offers many challenges, both old and new, which impact us almost daily through the challenges that technological progress presents which are difficult to respond to;
However, there is only one ethical criterion which every single person, civil society, and the sciences – among which there is also Medicine- always have to measure themselves against:
the concept of the human person and the dignity of his/her life. This is the anthropological lens through which one should view the developments of scientific progress and elaborate ethical judgements. Now, science itself emphasizes that the dignity of a person, unique and unrepeatable, is inscribed in the laws of biology, biochemistry, physiology and this can be scientifically demonstrated.
The very dignity of the person, of every person’s life is a value shared by human beings and the point of convergence for all. Doctors and healthcare workers, in particular, are directly summoned to discover the original vocation of Medicine which is to rehabilitate, to heal the human being in his/her wholeness (entirety).
The relationship between health and sickness
The object of Medicine is not sickness, but the sick person. Without the person, sickness would not be understood and healing could not be administered. Healing understood in its full anthropological sense and not only as restitution ad integrum.
It is evident that a biophysical intervention is always of great importance, rather, it is indispensable, but not exclusively, because it is not only a person’s physical being that gets sick: it is the whole person that suffers from sickness, seeks for healing, and at the same time, questions the meaning of illness in his own life. This search for meaning involves the sick as well as his family and the community.
A person is made up of various dimensions: physical, psychological, spiritual: health or healing, like sickness and suffering, cannot but spring forth from the harmony of these dimensions. Therefore, health or healing does not only mean having physical health or functional recovery, but psychological peace, inner strength, courage, acquiring a new equilibrium. In this context, sickness can be seen as a possibility to develop one’s human capacities; in fact, it can be an occasion for emotional and spiritual growth. It can be a teacher of how to accept one’s limits and give value to what is essential.
A person is not to be isolated but inserted in a community and an environment where health is reinforced through the interaction of a complex system that promotes the wellness of a community intent on caring for itself.
Among other things, in the exercise of the health profession, now there is the tendency to use a working guideline based on organizational concepts such as “network” or “integration of services.”
This proves that the response to health needs can no longer be derived exclusively from an individual’s competency and knowledge, which are certainly fundamental, but from the work of a “body,” that is, a collective action. This is why there is the need of commitment from the community, not only of healthcare personnel, but all of the community’s components - physico-environmental, socio-political, economic, legislative, religious.
They are called upon to support and promote health and life. This assumes that the ethical, religious and political implications continue to develop new innovations in the medical field.
A relationship model in healthcare based on reciprocity
Reciprocity, fraternity, placed at the foundation of interpersonal and inter-community relationships can change every component of the healthcare sector into a subject, a protagonist where each person is projected outward to live for the other, to understand their needs, to share their suffering, or to recognize another person’s competence and give complete trust to him/her.
Such conditions allow for the creation of a truly “therapeutic” health care environment for all:
- for the patient who breathes in a serene, attentive, listening and caring climate in its broadest sense;
- for healthcare workers who feel appreciated and valued for their work performed in a context where professionalism is at its best, and they are stimulated to continuously improve;
- for the administrators who feel their burden of responsibility and decision-making lightened because it is participated in and shared by the others.