THE Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has sent the Sisters of Charity a detailed explanation of why it opposed a safe injecting room for drug users at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney.
According to the Rome-based congregation, the harm that would be done by the medically supervised injecting service (MSIS) would outweigh the possible good outcomes.
Fr Gerald Gleeson, who teaches ethics at the Catholic Institute of Sydney and is research associate at the Plunkett Centre for Ethics in Health at St Vincent’s Hospital, has now prepared a response to the congregation’s evaluation.
The evaluation was in response to a submission to the CDF by the Sisters of Charity, who conduct St Vincent’s Hospital at Darlinghurst, near Kings Cross, after the Vatican’s initial ruling in October last year.
Fr Gleeson said the CDF believed that although the goals of the injecting service were “both very good and very urgent”, the question remained as to “the degree to which they can be expected to be achieved by the proposed means and whether other means involving less proximate co-operation (with illegal drug use), or none at all, might not be equally effective …”