FIAMC is the World Federation of Catholic Medical Associations(the letters F.I.A.M.C. are taken from the French name of the organization: “Fédération Internationale des Associations Médicales Catholiques”. French was its first official language.
FIAMC is made up of about 60 National Catholic Physicians’ Associations from all over the world. It is divided into six regions:
• Region I: Africa (blog)
• Region II: Asia (Asian Federation of Catholic Medical Associations – AFCMA)
• Region III: Australia and New Zealand
• Region IV: Europe (Fédération Européenne des Associations de Médecins Catholiques – FEAMC)
• Region V: North America
• Region VI: Latin America (Federacion de Asociaciones Médicas Catolicas Latino-Americanas – FAMCLAM)
The aims of FIAMC are listed in its official Statutes and are as follows.
- To coordinate the efforts of Catholic Medical Associations in the study and spread of Christian principles throughout the world.
- To encourage the development of Catholic Medical Associations in all countries in order to assist the Catholic Physician in his moral and spiritual development as well as in his technical advancement.
- To take part in the general development of the medical profession and to promote health and social work in accordance with the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.
- To devote itself to the study of medico-ethical problems and their practical and theoretical solution.
- To establish models of cooperation in health and pastoral care with developing countries.
- FIAMC organizes a World Congress which is held every four years in different areas of the world. These Congresses are held during the meeting of the General Assembly of FIAMC. The first World Congress was held in Brussels in 1935. At these Congresses, papers are presented and discussed to keep Catholic Physicians current on medico-ethical problems and their solutions within the teachings of the Church.
For example, in 1966 the 11th. International Congress held in Maniladiscussed the Catholic Physician and the Problem of World Population. In 1970 the 12th. Congress, which was held inWashington, D.C., discussed the Catholic Physician and the Conservation of Life. In 1974 the 13th. Congress, held in Barcelona, discussed the Freedom of The Children of God. In 1978 The Quality of Life in a Changing Society was studied in Bombay. In the 1982Congress, held in Rome, the theme was The Phvsician in the Service of Life.
Buenos Aires (1986), Bonn (1990), Porto (1994), New-York (1998), Rome (2000), Seoul (2002), Barcelona (2006) and Lourdes (2010) were the venues of the last World congresses. Speakers at these meetings are usually international experts in their field. Mother Teresa, the Nobel Prize winner, addressed the Bombay Congress in 1978. Our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, honored the Rome Congresses in 1982 and 2000 by coming to the Congress and addressing those present.
- Regional Congresses are held in different regions of FIAMC. These meetings are held two years after each World Congress. Here again, these meetings are intended to assist the physician in joining his faith with the practice of medicine.
- FIAMC uses to publish a Bulletin (“Decisions”) representing a discussion forum and a source of news of what was going on in various regions. It was also used to circulate the proceedings of the various regional or local national meetings. It was replaced in 2000 by the website (+++links) and the famous electronic Newsletter. FIAMC used internet and has got a blog and a Facebook page. Special issues on paper are also published.
- FIAMC has helped to establish a Bio-Medical Ethics Centre in Bombay to study ethical problems which arise as the result of the rapid advances in medical technology. This Centre extensively organizes meetings and publications. Interchange with other bioethics centers of catholic inspiration, which are numerous, is one of its priorities.
- FIAMC serves as a clearing house for projects and needs expressed by Catholic organizations throughout the world, giving counsel, recommendations, and support to them. Health care projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America were carried out under the patronage of FIAMC and with the active involvement of member associations or Mater Care International.
6) FIAMC produces press releases and official Documents about Medicine and Medical Ethics.
7) Memberships and cooperation
- FIAMC is member of the Catholic-inspired NGOs FORUM.
- FIAMC cooperates with the international federations of Catholic nurses (CICIAMS) and pharmacists (FIPC).
- FIAMC is member of Crescendo network for a more human and Christian aging.
- FIAMC cooperates with the United Nations and has got ECOSOC status.
- FIAMC sponsors special awards on Science and Faith and on Bioethics.
- FIAMC is member of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care
The question of why is an international organisation of Catholic doctors needed has been asked many times. Our Holy Father, Pope John-Paul II, answered this question very nicely when he addressed FIAMC at the 15th. International Congress in Rome on October 3, 1982.
In discussing the “urgent problem of providing for the safeguarding, the defense and the promotion of human life through the filter of the various cultures”, John Paul II said, ”In order to do this, individual action is not sufficient. Collective, intelligent, well planned,constant and generous work is required, and not only within the individual countries, but also on an international scale. Coordination on a world wide level would, in fact, allow a better proclamation and a more effective defense of your faith, of your culture, of your Christian commitment in scientific research and in your profession”.