Discussion will also bring in elements of Pope Francis' chapter on technology in his 2015 encyclical Laudato si', raising questions such as: "Is the spread of technology is creating more justice and reducing certain inequalities? Or are inequalities growing?" Pegoraro said.
"Those who have this technology in hand, are they favoring global growth in various countries, especially in the relationship between the north and south of the world? Or do they run the risk of widening the gap between developed countries and those in the process of developing?"
He stressed the need to more clearly explore where the line should to be drawn between prolonging life and when to accept mortality, incorporating technology to reduce pain and help the person to have a "dignified death."
Technology can help to keep a person comfortable, he said, but "it doesn't defeat death." So the great challenge, then, is "to find the lines that are respected for every person, especially the most weak, vulnerable and suffering."
In comments to CNA, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the academy, said there is an urgent need to reflect on life "not as if it were an abstract idea, but in the concrete reality of people of all ages, in the different conditions in which they live, so that human life rediscovers its meaning, its vocation, and also its responsibility in the entire context of the planet."
So while beginning of life issues such as abortion or end of life issues such as euthanasia are crucial modern talking points, they aren't the full picture, he said, explaining that the academy seeks to address "defending life in all its conditions," including childhood, adolescence, and old age, as well as when it comes to other opics such as the death penalty.
"We interested in accompaniment at every moment, we are interested in making understood the contradiction of choices of new technologies in front of a humanistic vision," he said, explaining that the recovery of a "humanistic" dimension is required for all "scientific areas that involve human life."
Also present at the news briefing was Dr. Bernadette Tobin, Director of the Plunkett Centre for Ethics at the Australian Catholic University.
In comments to CNA, Tobin said that "new technologies require us to think out (about) medicines, healing, ethics, and thinking out how that can be provided for people in a way that respects their dignity as human beings."
New technologies have helped ensure that people suffering from various diseases have cures, "and can now live out what you might call a natural lifespan rather succumbing to some of these terrible diseases."
However, the reverse side "is that people are often kept alive in circumstances in which they simply would not want that to happen, and they simply feel that they don't have a duty to accept what kind of healthcare is being offered to them," Tobin said.
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
Because of this, "we need to think carefully about that, and help doctors who are looking after people at the end of their lives understand ethically and clinically what their responsibilities are because there is both over-treatement, and under-treatment, and we've really got to avoid both."
New technologies, she said, have "augmented medicine's ability" to pursue noble objectives such as pain relief, various cures and organ transplantation.
"This is a wonderful new set of technologies," Tobin said, while cautioning there is always a challenge in ensuring "that what's now possible is done in ways which respect both the internal ethic of medicine, and respect the dignity of the human being."