The Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry believes doctors have an obligation to take into account the right for people who are ill to fully understand the cause of their diagnosis. We know that health is not limited to age, stress, diet, exercise-regimen and genetics. Although to different degrees, we are all exposed to forms of environmental contamination. In some cases, contamination causes our disease. Doctors must begin addressing these realities with their patients. In the Catholic News Service article below, council-member Dr. Antonio Pasciuto said, "I believe it is fundamental to always take into account the right of people who are ill to an etiological diagnosis, that is, (a diagnosis) based on the study of the causes that determine the pathology. Looking deeper at the environmental causes of illness not only assists the doctor in finding a more effective treatment and therapy," he said, "it can aid in prevention and possible solutions in order to avoid or correct environmental pollution." Are you a health-care provider who wants to learn how to communicate about environmental overlaps with disease? Find out how to begin these conversations by reading some of our research.
By Carol Glatz I November 17, 2015
Patients have a right to a diagnosis that includes the possible causes of their illness, not just treatment addressing the symptoms, said a doctor invited to a Vatican-sponsored congress.
The increasing awareness of the impact that pollution and other environmental factors are having on human health should play a greater role in medical assessments and policies dealing with prevention, Dr. Antonio Pasciuto said at a Vatican news conference Nov. 17.
The Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry was about to host an international conference on a culture of "health and welcoming" in serving humanity and the planet. More than 500 people -- scientists, health care professionals, theologians, diplomats and other experts -- were expected to attend the conference Nov. 19-21.
Pasciuto, who is a member of the European Academy for Environmental Medicine and president of the Italian Association of Environmental Medicine and Health, said many illnesses and diseases are caused by exposure to toxic substances present in the air, water, food and everyday products.
Science has found and continues to study the harmful effects of insecticides, pesticides, heavy metals, molds and a whole host of chemicals and particles people put into the environment, he said.
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