Self and Community: Exploring the Anatomy of Modern Society 

The four core principles of the catholic social thought are the dignity of human, common good, solidarity, and subsidiarity (Herr, 1991). As per this school of thought, it is believed that every human has the right to life and this is the critical reflective point in healthcare (O'Neil & Watts, 2015). Based on the catholic social thought, this paper will present a reflective analysis of the application of this thought in nursing and care practice and professional practice.

Nursing care is a profession of compassion and care I think, the catholic social thoughts provide a comprehensive and holistic perspective that can be applied to care directly. The catholic social thought, the dignity of the human person derives from the religious belief that every human has been created as an image of God and thus, should be treated with same respect and dignity through all the stages of life and being (Yaxley, 2017). This principle, in my opinion, is of prime significance in nursing practice as it will help future nurses like me to develop respect and dignity for the patients that are being cared for and ensure highest quality care. This principle, in my opinion, is also of critical significance in palliative care where the patients are old and/or fighting a terminal illness. The catholic social thought is the dignity of human in palliative care will ensure dignity and respect for patients in palliative care and help in providing them quality care and respect in the provision of care.

The catholic social thought of common good implies that every individual should have access to the goods and resources essential for a good life (Herr, 1991). This principle can be applied in healthcare and nursing by ensuring healthcare access to all the individuals in the community, promoting wellness, and encouraging community practice. In my opinion, this principle is critical for practice in nursing as it inculcates the value of compassion and promotes the wellbeing of the community as a whole by providing access and quality healthcare to all the individuals in the community (Yaxley, 2017). The catholic social thought of solidarity focuses on the identification of fellow humans as brothers and sisters and actively working for their good (O'Neil & Watts, 2015). This principle, in conjunction with the social thought of common good, can be applied to healthcare and nursing practice by ensuring community care and eliminating healthcare disparities, stigma, and social injustice that may prevail in the healthcare practice. The thought of solidarity is also applied in healthcare in the society by providing support and help, promoting self-care and sharing of the resources this also amplifies the community action and can help in the health promotion and healthcare access.

The catholic social thought of subsidiarity implies that the individual achievements and initiatives should not be taken by the higher authority (O'Neil & Watts, 2015). This principle and catholic social thought, in my opinion, can be applied to the healthcare principle of health advocacy where the health of the individuals is promoted through collaborative and participatory efforts. This principle is also applicable to the concept of shared decision making critically associated with the ethical principles of healthcare and effective quality care.

Through analysis of the catholic social thoughts, I think, their application in the healthcare and nursing practice is highly diverse and can be implemented to ensure holistic care for the patients in consideration of the community well-being, palliative care, health advocacy, and shared decision making. I think these thoughts help in developing of an individual as a competent professional with the moral developments of compassion, empathy, and promotion of well-being in the community.

This paper provides a reflective analysis of the catholic social thoughts dignity of human, common good, solidarity, and subsidiarity. These thoughts have been analysed as per the individualistic understanding and their application in the healthcare practice as a professional nursing individual. This paper concludes that the application of these principles can help in the development of a compassionate and empathetic nursing practice that can promote community well being and promotion of health of individuals in the care settings.

References for Catholic Social Thought and Nursing Practice

Herr, T. (1991). Catholic social teaching a textbook of christian insights. Retrieved from:

O'Neil, C., & Watts, T. (2015). Two Futures: Australia at a critical moment. Text Publishing. Retrieved from:

Yaxley, R. (2017). This is my song. Gosford NSW: Omnibus books. Retrieved from:

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