Vatican hosts conference on prescription drugs and children

Although the mainstream news don't cover them as much, many of the Pontifical Councils, leading Catholic scholars focusing on a particular group or topic, hold conferences that are often able to take a broader view of a topic than the typical professional conference. One such is about to take place: “The Child as a Person and as a Patient: Therapeutic Approaches Compared.”

The Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Health Care Workers has organized the conference in hopes of bringing together professionals to discuss the harmful consequences of overusing prescription drugs for treating mental and emotional disorders in children as well as how a similar trend is hurting

The conference is different from the typical professional conference in three ways.

  1. It seeks to cross professional boundaries and recognizes
    that each profession contributes a different perspective and expertise; most conferences are organized within professional lines.
  2. The conference is funded and organized independently of the major financial players, especially the pharmaceutical firms and medical insurers and founders; this widens the lens through which the question can be viewed.
  3. The Christian anthropology that undergirds the Pontifical Council's work emphasizes the thriving of the child and the family as the goal — and is better able to keep that in mind because it is not as captive to political and financial players.

This broader perspective allows the Pontifical Council to ask big questions: What is going on in our world that so many children suffer severe emotional disturbances? How can we address the root causes and not just the symptoms?

As a Catholic organization, it is able to consider answers that would require changes tomeconomicmand political systems. It cannot directly carry them out, but the result is a closer approximation to understanding reality by naming the social patterns that work contrary to the good of society.

I am trying to follow these conferences more closely, and look for their reports to read when they come out later. Vatican conference to reveal harm of prescription drugs for children :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


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