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From the Letter of the Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, Archbishop of Milan on the occasion of the First International Symposium on Saving Surgery for Rectal Tumors

The theme you are going to face and sound out in its several aspects is certainly of great importance, and not only from a scientific point of view, but also on a social and anthropological perspective.

Indeed the new surgery techniques successfully experimented that you mean to study in depth in order to improve your knowledge can allow many people to hope and help them in facing the delicate and traumatic moment of the illness thanks to the increased possibility of defeating the illness and to the improved quality of life after the operation. The increased possibilities of returning bakc to the normal physiological activities, avoiding the great troubles to which stomized patients were destined, a lager possibilità of continuino a life full of social contacts at any level, and the same economical advantage resulted by the reduction of welfare costs are all factors which make the conservative techniques an important progress of medicine, at the disposal of people and of their qualità of life.

Creation and use of technological supports more and more specialized and of conservative surgery which do not undermine the therapeutic efficiency represent, for everybody, a further reason of committment. In these techniques we can see one of the many “signs of hope” which the Pope mention in the encyclical “Evangelium vitae”, when he underlines that "medicine, promoted by doctors and researcher, continues in its effort for finding more useful remedies” and he points out that “results once upon a time inconceivable are now at the disposal of new lives, of suffering people and of terminally ill patients”. The omen is for this techniques to be more and more improved and spread in order to reduce the number of people obliged to demolitive and disabling surgery.

From the Letter of Gino Paoli

The work and the surgical knowledge of Prof. Leo can give to many patients a better quality of life. His greatest aspiration is that these knowledge and skills can be learnt by the largest number of surgeons so that what is now a privilege of few can be, tomorrow, within everyone's grasp.

This is the object of all the initiatives that will be taken up by all of us.

I am very touched by who refuses the privilege of a knowledge that can guarantee him fame and money and, on the contrary, he gives it to the common human heritage.

I have always thought to doctors in a romantic way: medecine as a vocation to dedicate to other people and not as a job.
Perhaps Ippocrates thought so too.

The characteristic of the people I love and respect is generosity. And this is one of the highest kind of generosity is sharing with other people what could be, on the contrary, a privilege.

From the Letter of Enzo Biagi

Said professor Antonio Gasbarrini, doctor of two Popes, that “medicine which wishes to be human must address to the whole person, body and soul, being aware of the technical needs and the moral responsibilities".

Albert Bruce Sabin, the great researcher who discovered the polio vaccination, who did not want a dollar for his work at the disposal of children of all the world, told me that the task of doctors i sto avoid humiliation of men and make their death respectable too.
So you do not have only to fight against death or look for the secrets that makes the greatness and the decay of human nature, but also against those mutilations which extend life but mortify who has been struck by the illness.

Some ancient Jews died in the wagons sealed with lead on their way to the Lagers because decency forbid them to give vent to their physiological necessities.

In the war against cancer there is also a charter dedicated to the “rectal tumor” which treatment requires brilliant surgical solutions as well as a great respect for the decency and the future of the patient.

Knowing it and making it known has been a very generous gesture.

From the Letter of The director of the Institute of General Surgery and Oncological Surgery University of Milan President A.I.S.T.O.M. Prof. Alberto Peracchia

I have always though with sorrow to the quality of life of patients who had undergone a removal of the rectum and who had to live with the unpleasant artificial anus.

The coming of more advanced mechanical suturer and the diffusion of the technique of the colon-anal anastomosis in the specialized centres allowed the reduction of colostomies made all over the world making the rectum surgery more conservative and human.

As current president of the A.I.S.T.O.M., the association which gathers about ten thousand stomized and incontinent patients in Italy, I feel I have to support any iniziative which can improve the future and the quality of life of these people.
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