Health Care for the Common Good

No society can flourish, much less survive, without caring about and attending to the health of its members. Simply put, this is what it means to think about health care as “common good.”

Fundamentally, such thinking will require the mutual discernment of what forms such health care should take; how it should be delivered; what structures will enable the most equitable distribution of and access to it; and what principles and ends will guide the crafting of laws and policies regulating it.

These are not easy questions. They are especially difficult in our complex and increasingly global health care system.

To address these questions both wisely and effectively, therefore, will require the active participation of individuals with sufficient knowledge and skill, not only in the various health care professions themselves (e.g., medicine and nursing), but also in a range of ancillary disciplines and fields, including engineering, business, law, the natural sciences and the humanities.

The University of St. Thomas is committed to forming students who are not only committed to promoting the common good of health care, but also equipped with the knowledge and skills to effectively, wisely and actively contribute to helping their communities discern what that common good both is and requires. 

All for the common good.

Learn more about the St. Thomas 2020 Strategic Plan and the Health and Wellness Initiative


Common Good Quotes

United Nations

“Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.”

-- United Nations, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 25 (1948)

Pope John XXIII

“Man has the right to live. He has the right to bodily integrity and to the means necessary for the proper development of life, particularly food, clothing, shelter, medical care, rest, and, finally, the necessary social services. In consequence, he has the right to be looked after in the event of ill health; disability stemming from his work; widowhood; old age; enforced unemployment; or whenever through no fault of his own he is deprived of the means of livelihood."

--Pope John XXIII, Pacem in Terris (1963)

United States Catholic Bishops

“The common good is realized when economic, political, and social conditions ensure protection for the fundamental rights of all individuals and enable all to fulfill their common purpose and reach their common goals.”

-- United States Catholic Bishops, “The Social Responsibility of Catholic Health Care Services,”
Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services 5th ed. (2009)