VATICAN CITY – Physicians from Spain, Portugal and other Ibero-American countries met with Pope Francis on Thursday at the Vatican, where they discussed compassion, inequality and other issues, such as “unjustified wars,” gender violence and euthanasia.
The participants talked about “concerns around the world that cause suffering to people, from the many unjustified wars to end-of-life medical care,” Spanish Medical Association president Juan Jose Rodriguez Sendin said.
The doctors and Pope Francis discussed gender violence, the differences between men and women, refugee crises, wars, the protection of water resources and the environment, and the growing gap between rich and poor around the world.
In April, Pope Francis said in his apostolic exhortation “Amoris Laetitia” (The Joy of Love) that euthanasia and assisted suicide represented “a grave threat to families all over the world.”
The discussions with the pope touched on “the need to take measures” and employ therapies so that the terminally ill person does not die “with suffering and pain,” Rodriguez Sendin said.
“When people are in pain, they must receive treatment and must be cared for until life ends. There cannot be shortcuts. We are absolutely against ending life under any circumstances,” the physician said.
Regarding discussions about inequality, Rodriguez Sendin said the gap between rich and poor in Spain was growing.
“In Spain, people are crying out because of inequality and the big fissures that have been produced” in society in recent years, Rodriguez Sendin said.