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Vital Conflicts in Medical Ethics

A Virtue Approach to Craniotomy and Tubal Pregnancies

Martin Rhonheimer

Publication Year: 2012

Vital Conflicts in Medical Ethics by renowned Swiss philosopher Martin Rhonheimer considers some of the most difficult and disputed questions in Catholic moral theology

Published by: The Catholic University of America Press


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-viii

Translation and editing expenses for this volume were generously funded by the Our Sunday Visitor Foundation and the Cardinal Pio Laghi Chair of the Pontifical College Josephinum. The initial translation from the German was done by Dr. Henry Jansen and further refined by the author, the editor...

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Editor’s Preface

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pp. ix-xii

The present volume makes available, to English-language readers, a study by the Swiss philosopher Martin Rhonheimer in which he addresses a particularly difficult and contested class of cases in medical ethics1 In so doing, it complements not only the various essays that have been available in English for some time...

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Author’s Preface

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pp. xiii-xvii

This wide-ranging study was drafted for the Roman Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and completed and submitted to the Congregation in 2000. After it was carefully studied in the Congregation and by its then prefect, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the Congregation in turn asked that it be published, so...

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I. The Problem

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pp. 1-30

According to the doctrine of the Catholic Church, every deliberate, direct abortion is immoral because it involves the direct killing of an innocent human being. According to this doctrine, a doctor must try to save the lives of both mother and child in situations where the lives of one or both are stake. On..

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II. Church Doctrine and Past Discussions in Moral Theology

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pp. 31-82

According to Church doctrine, as it has most recently been presented in the encyclical Evangelium vitae (EV), “the direct and voluntary killing of an innocent human being is always gravely immoral” (EV 57.4). This is specified more precisely as follows: “The deliberate decision to deprive an innocent...

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III. Life-Saving Medical Interventions

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pp. 83-150

This final chapter includes (1) a concise restatement of the preceding argument, (2) an application of it in the moral analysis of four major therapies currently used for tubal gravidity, (3) a thorougoing moral justification of this approach, and (4) an epilogue on this virtue ethics based approach to the prohibition...


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pp. 151-156


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pp. 157-162

E-ISBN-13: 9780813217772
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813217185

Page Count: 184
Publication Year: 2012

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Abortion -- Religious aspects -- Catholic Church.
  • Obstetrics -- Surgery -- Religious aspects -- Catholic Church.
  • Medical ethics -- Religious aspects -- Catholic Church.
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