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Pope says medical research must not sacrifice ethics for profit

John Paul II warned against the risk of research that is based solely on economic interests to the detriment of the dignity of the human person.

The Holy Father raised the sign of alarm in a letter sent to an international conference on conflict of interest in medicine, held last week in Warsaw, Poland. The Vatican Press Office published the text of the letteron Thursday.

"While it is certainly proper for a firm in the field of biomedical or pharmaceutical research to seek an appropriate return on investment," he said, "It sometimes happens that overriding financial interests prompt decisions and products that are contrary to truly human values and to the demands of justice, demands which cannot be separated from the very aim of research."

"As a result, a conflict can arise between economic interests on the one hand and, on the other, medicine and health care. Research in this field must be pursued for the good of all, including those without means," the Pope continued.

The Holy Father proceeded to list the conflicts of interest being experienced by medical and pharmaceutical research.


16 Apr 2002