This fall, the Holy See and The United Methodist Church will unite in a conference to defend patients’ quality of life

The Palliative Care and Spirituality for Life (PCSLife) conference is a joint project of the Catholic Church’s Pontifical Academy for Life (Vatican), The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Houston Methodist Research Institute. These groups are united in their passion for promoting palliative care that is just, compassionate, and accessible throughout the world.

The joint mission to advocate for the best possible palliative care transcends the barriers of distance—10,000 miles—and doctrinal differences.  Pope Francis stressed the importance of fostering dialogue between faiths in his Message to the Pontifical Academy for Life in February of this year: «The complexity and delicacy of the subjects present in palliative care require continuous reflection and the spread of the practice to facilitate access: a task in which believers can find like-minded companions in many people of good will.»

Italian Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, about Palliative Care says: «Even if we can not cure, we can still alleviate pain and suffering and continue to care for the patient. The “incurable” patient is never “beyond care.” Without this conviction, the medical profession can easily fall into “therapeutic abandonment” (“since no cure is available, there is nothing worth doing”) or in a slide toward euthanasia (“better to end it all”). Palliative care, in opposing these two risks, helps the medical profession rediscover its humanistic vocation, which is to defend the dignity of every person in whatever condition that person might be in».

This Palliative Care and Spirituality for Life conference (PCSLife) brings together palliative care and spiritual leaders to explore how to integrate spirituality into palliative clinical practice, develop ecumenical approaches to palliative care that support the spiritual life of patients and caregivers, and advocate for best practices in palliative care around the world.  The conference will also include an art exhibit by Lynn Randolph, whose moving work has been featured in hospitals and museums across America.

Palliative Care and Spirituality for Life
September 16-18, 2018
Houston Methodist Research Institute
6670 Bertner Avenue, Houston, TX, USA

We are pleased to announce an agenda and list of speakers for the conference, which is available in full on the website: –  Registration is also open on this website.

September 16th: Private gathering of speakers and executive committee
September 17th: Public PCSLife Symposium & Marialuisa Lectureship for Life
September 18th: Private gathering of speakers, executive committee, and Pontifical Academy for Life members

Please note:
– Italian Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia is the President of the Pontifical Academy for Life (Vatican City):
Department of Palliative, Rehabilitation, & Integrative Medicine
– Prof. Mauro Ferrari, President and CEO Houston Methodist Research Institute
Director, Institute for Academic Medicine at Houston Methodist Hospital
– Prof. Eduardo Bruera, Department of Palliative, Rehabilitation, & Integrative Medicine. UT MD Anderson Cancer Center
For contacts:
Houston Methodist: Gale Smith,  281.627.0439
Pontifical Academy for Life: Fabrizio Mastrofini mob.: 0039 347 3504311