The 25th Congress of the World Federation of Catholic Medical Associations – FIAMC,  held in Zagreb, Croatia from May 30 through June 2, 2018, had the following objectives:

    Sanctity of Life in the Light of Ethical Relativism, Secularism, and Transhumanism from Fertilization until Natural Death

    Science and Medicine through the Lens of the Magisterium as Expressed in the Past Fifty Years of Papal Encyclicals

    The Mission of FIAMC as an International Association of Lay Medical Professionals in Concert with the Teachings of the Catholic Church

In this concluding document, while it is impossible  to report on all of the many topics related to the above objectives which were successfully presented and discussed at this Congress consisting of physicians, clergy, allied health professionals, and students of the various medical disciplines, we can nevertheless distill several most significant themes represented in the following resolutions:

1.  Sanctity of Life

      Resolved, that we, Catholic physicians and allied health care professionals, in our daily encounter with our patients, recognize that the dignity of life derives from the sanctity of life as revealed through the teachings of the Church contained in the various Papal Encyclicals, especially in the last 50 years beginning with Humanae Vitae through the more recent Laudato Si, and be it further

     Resolved, that recognizing the sanctity of life must inform our clinical practice and medical moral decisions to include the inviolable relationship between our patients and God, over and beyond the principles of patient autonomy and individual freedom alone.

2. Humanae Vitae

       Resolved, that we Catholic physicians and allied health care professionals recognize the prophetic nature of the encyclical Humanae Vitae on the 50th anniversary of its publication, and be it further

        Resolved, that we recognize our obligation to help our patients repair and avoid the dangerous consequences predicted by Pope Paul VI through continued and expanded promotion of natural family planning, and  by recognizing the sanctity of the procreative powers given to mankind through the gift of sexual intercourse by protecting marriage as the permanent union in true love between one man and one woman.

3. Contraceptive Steroids

       Resolved, that we Catholic physicians and allied health professionals have an obligation to educate our patients and our society at large about the environmentally harmful effects of contraceptive sterols, be they excreted through the normal processes of human elimination or by contaminating our water supply by discarded excess un-ingested drugs.

4.   Rights of parents and guardians

      Resolved, that we Catholic physicians and allied health professionals condemn the usurpation of medical moral decision making from parents and other patient guardians by medical and legal authorities, whether it be through the implementation of so called futility policies, declaration of brain death criteria, or by court  action, and be it further

       Resolved, that  medical decision making, especially  involving discontinuation of treatment, should seek the consent of the  legal guardian of the patient, especially respecting the rights of parents in the case of minor children, and the right to a second opinion as well as transfer to an institution willing to accept the patient should be recognized.

5 .  The Church and the provision of health care

      Resolved, that provision of medical care  for those in need should be a priority of the pastoral care programs of the Catholic Church, with the participation of the laity who are competent to provide for such health care needs.

6.   Nutrition and hydration in palliative care

Resolved,  that all Catholic palliative care programs must respect the teachings of the Magisterium through the Papal encyclicals, especially the writings of Saint John Paul II  and the pronouncements of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith over the past 50 years, concerning the obligatory provision of proportional care, including  food and water, even if administered by artificial means, as long as it fulfills its intended purpose of providing nutrition and hydration and would otherwise be the cause of death if withdrawn.

7. Principle of double effect in palliative care

Resolved, that we, Catholic physicians and allied health care professionals call upon our Holy Mother Church to offer better education to health care professionals concerning proper understanding and clinical utilization of the principle of double effect, in order to end and avoid both intended and inadvertent abuses of this principle evident among some Catholic palliative care providers. 

8. Human organ trafficking

    Resolved, that we Catholic physicians and health care professionals support the position of the Holy See and other international organizations, based on the principle of the sanctity of human life, that the human body and its parts are not for sale or profit, and be it further

     Resolved, that trafficking in human organs and tissue for monetary gain must be condemned and prosecuted  under national and international laws, in order to protect vulnerable donors, both voluntary and coerced, and to forbid obtaining organs from prisoners including those who are legally executed for capital crimes.

9.  Religious freedom in health care

       Resolved, that we Catholic physicians and allied health care professionals, as well as Catholic institutions, who jointly represent the largest health care system of care for the sick,  the poor and the vulnerable  throughout the world, must be given the freedom by governments and other health care regulating agencies to practice scientific medicine without compromising our Faith, based on the sanctity of human life,  without legal or financial restrictions.

10.  Provision of charitable health care encouraged by Pope Francis

      Resolved, that FIAMC encourages and supports their member organizations in their charitable and missionary endeavors throughout the world, and be it further

      Resolved,  that  we Catholic physicians and health care professionals, responding to the consistent exhortations of the Holy Fathers throughout the past 50 years, especially our current Holy Father Pope Francis, should expand and multiply our charitable, pro bono work in helping the sick , the poor, and the vulnerable  throughout world, even if it requires stepping out of our comfort zones and making financial and personal sacrifices.

Signed by Dr. John Lee , president of the Congress, and co-chairs  Dr. Jasenka Markeljevic and Dr. George Isajiw