October 21-23, 2011
Medicine’s goal is to heal the life of our patients, because life is a fundamental good. Historically, medical care focused on alleviating the patients’ suffering, more recently the developments of science and medical technology have made possible the healing of an increasing number of sick persons. However, when the impossibility of cure becomes apparent, a new risk emerges: that of abandoning the patient.
We submit that, even when a medical or surgical cure can no longer allow a complete recovery, much can still be done to care for the patient. This is not something to be underestimated, because every individual patient, even one who is incurable, bears an inherent unconditional value, which constitutes the indispensable basis of every medical intervention.
Moreover, the decision for a specific treatment, whether medical, surgical or palliative, is quite complex, depending not only on the diagnosis and prognosis, but also on thepatient’s concrete situation – here and now.
Is evidence based medicine the only guideline for decisions related to the initiation or the cessation of a specific medical treatment? How do we measure ‘how far’ we can go with invasive procedures? What is palliative care?
At the end of the day, we as caregivers serve the lives of others and each one of our patients has a destiny that is not decided by us or by them. To whom do we respond?
The 2011 MedConference proposes that the specific mission qualifying the medical profession includes 3 main objectives: to cure the patient or at least to attempt to prevent further development of the disease, to alleviate the associated painful symptoms, especially in the advanced stages of illness, and to attend to all the sick person’s needs and expectations.
The MedConference, in its 3rd edition, is born out of the desire of a group of physicians, nurses and students to pursue within the medical fields the ideals for which they decided to embrace the medical profession.
The organizers of this conference strongly desire to provide a yearly meeting place where health care professionals may encounter others with a desire to rebuild a more person-oriented health care.