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Because an individual’s health is a “precious asset” to society as well as to himself, governments and other agencies should seek to protect it by “dedicating the equipment, resources and energy so that the greatest number of people can have access.”
Pope Benedict XVI
The Catholic Church has a long and proud tradition of providing quality and affordable healthcare to all. The Church founded the modern-day hospital system, manages approximately one-fourth of the world’s healthcare facilities, and is the largest non-governmental provider of healthcare worldwide and in the United States. The Church lives out Jesus’ command to prioritize the poor and marginalized by focusing much of its healthcare ministry in low-income communities. In serving the healthcare needs of patients, the Church never abandons the command to always respect first and foremost the human dignity of every human person. But recently, Catholic healthcare providers have come under fire for refusing to perform procedures that the Church considers gravely immoral. Catholic doctors, pharmacists, and nurses face constant legal threats for refusing to perform abortions, euthanasia, or dispense life-ending drugs, for example. TCA defends the right of Catholic healthcare workers to live out their professions without being forced to violate their most deeply held beliefs.