Catholic Medical Association

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18th century icon of Saint Luke, patron saint of physicians

The Catholic Medical Association is an organization of Catholic physician, dentists and health care professionals in the United States and Canada. It has about 900 members.[1]


The organization studies and holds conferences on topics that relate spirituality and health. For instance, the theme of the 74th annual meeting in 2005 was The Biological and Spiritual Development of the Child, and was attended by physicians from 43 US states and Canada, as well as a number of theologians.[2] Another example of the interleaving of religion and medicine that permeates the organization was the 2008 White Mass for healthcare professionals, held on the feast of Saint Luke, the patron saint of physicians.

The organization started around 1932 as local guilds of physicians meeting in various diocese and then became the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations, based in Rome. It eventually became the Catholic Medical Association. It publishes a journal of medical ethics, the Linacre Quarterly, which it claims to be one of the foremost medical journals in the field of medical ethics.[3]

The organization continues to comment on current policies of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.[4][5] The organization opposes euthanasia.[6] The use of human cloning experiments is also opposed by the organization.[7] The organization is a supporter of the "Rules of Conscience" in medical practice.[8] The Catholic Medical Association also sponsors specific studies, e.g. on the prevention of sexual abuse of children.[9]

The organization has affiliates in various parts of the United States and is recognized and its policies are supported by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops[10] On some legal and ethical issues, the organization cooperates with other Christian organizations such as the Christian Medical Association.[11]

The Catholic Medical Students Association is an association of medical students in the United States, operating in conjunction with the Catholic Medical Association and has some regional branches.[12][13][14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Catholic Medical Association urges sweeping health care reforms", Catholic News Service, October 12, 2004
  2. ^ Catholic Medical Association links medicine and spirituality CNS News November 3, 2005
  3. ^ Interview in Priests for Life
  4. ^ Catholic Medical Association faults HHS for bad logic, bad medicine, EWTN News, February 10, 2012 Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Catholic Medical Association Evaluates Health Care Reform Proposals Catholic News Agency, September 24 2009
  6. ^ Catholic Medical Association head: 'Unofficial euthanasia practiced in NHS Independent Catholic News, March 25, 2011
  7. ^ Matti Häyry Philosophical Arguments for and Against Human Reproductive Cloning in Bioethics Volume 17, Issue 5-6, pages 447–460, October 2003, DOI: 10.1111/1467-8519.00360
  8. ^ F Godlee, Rules of conscience BMJ May 14, 2009, page 338 doi: 10.1136/bmj.b1972
  9. ^ David Finkelhor, Prevention of Sexual Abuse Through Educational Programs Directed Toward Children in Pediatrics, Vol. 120 No. 3 September 1, 2007 pp. 640 -645 doi: 10.1542/peds.2007-0754
  10. ^ Doctors establish Denver affiliate of Catholic Medical Association CNA News Oct 17, 2008
  11. ^ Physicians take legal, educational steps to defend conscience rights CNS News February 27, 2009
  12. ^ University of Maryland Archived 2009-02-21 at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ University of Wisconsin Archived 2011-07-17 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ University of Texas

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