Principles of Social Catholic Teaching
Pope Francis in Laudato Si says in section 206, "They prove successful in changing the way businesses operate, forcing them to consider their environmental footprint and their patterns of production. When social pressure affects their earnings, businesses clearly have to find ways to produce differently. This shows us the great need for a sense of social responsibility on the part of consumers (pg 127). Pope Francis explains that when society is displeased with the affects of a business, and in this case, on the Earth, these businesses need to find a way to change. He explains that there is a social responsibility within the consumers to bring up the negative affects of these businesses and make them change their production. In healthcare not everyone has access to services or the money to afford care needed to pay for treatments they need. The Preamble of The American Medical Association (AMA) Code of Medical Ethics states, "a physician must recognize responsibility to patients first and foremost, as well as to society, to other health professionals, and to self." Before the document starts talking about the specific principles a doctor must follow, it states that a doctor also has an obligation to care for any patient that walks into an organization. The last principle of the code of ethics reiterates this and says, "A physician shall support access to medical care for all people." These responsibilities of health employees incorporate what Pope Francis says in his book except in this case it is centered towards a hospital rather than businesses and pollution. The fact that a doctor must care for a patient no matter what also incorporates most of the Principles of Catholic Social Teaching stated by Cabrini University.
Despite all the efforts the United States has put into the healthcare system these efforts contradict where we stand on the quality of care we receive. The WHO or the World Health Organization ranks us 37 out of 191 countries which is relatively high but the amount of funding we have compared to other countries contradicts our ranking.
Healthsystemtracker.org shows the amount of expenditures the United States spends compared to a few countries.
These same countries are ranked higher than the United States healthcare system and that we are below the comparable countries average even though we spend much more than other countries.
Pope Francis says in paragraph 206 that not only is it a businesses' job to positively change a businesses' operation but also the communities to fight for changes that will be better for them and the environment. It is difficult however if people do not know about these issues which is another point that Pope Francis makes in this book. He says in section 15 that, "Finally, convinced as I am that change is impossible without motivation and a process of education, I will offer some inspired guidelines for human development to be found in the treasure of Christian spiritual experience." Without knowledge or exposure to an issue it would be impossible for someone to know what needs to be fixed. In this book he gives his insight on how as a community we can stop pollution and help keep the Earth healthy. This relates to also fixing the healthcare system since the issues presented in the book tie into how the healthcare system can change.
The Common Good
The first principle of Catholic Social Teaching stated by Cabrini University is the respect of human life and dignity. A hospital's duty is to preserve the life of every individual however without money a person might not be able to get the care they need to preserve their life. Pope Francis believes that this is the case because, "There are too many special interests, and economic interests easily end up trumping the common good and manipulating information so that their own plans will not be affected." Even though the code of ethics for a physician or a hospital employee is to preserves everyone's life, special interests or selfishness leads to corruption and a system failure. A hospital at the end of the day is a business that not only helps people but also tries to gain money in order to have systems that help ensure the quality of care is high. The problem however is that if there is no money healthcare employees would dwindle since there is no incentive to help these people. Pope Francis includes a prayer in union with creation at the end of this book which says, "Enlighten those who possess power and money that they may avoid the sin of indifference, that they may love the common good, advance the weak, and care for this world in which we live." These words are vital to a hospital since selfishness and greed are not qualities that would benefit employees. It is the job's of a health system to preserve life and care for a person.