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Medicine, Health Care, & Ethics

Catholic Voices

John F. Morris

Publication Year: 2012

Medicine, Health Care, and Ethics adds to this rich tradition with a collection of contemporary essays that represent the very best efforts of current Catholic scholarship in the field of health care and medical ethics.

Published by: The Catholic University of America Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 2-7

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xii

This book has been more than four years in the making, and I owe a great debt of thanks to the many people who helped me finally get it into your hands—without their support and encouragement I am not sure I could have seen this project through. I would like to begin by thanking all of the people who sat with me for the six years that I was an ethicist on the Ethics and Human Values Committee for St. Joseph Health...

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Preface: Raising Our Voices

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pp. xiii-17

I have been teaching medical ethics at Rockhurst University, and at Saint Louis University before that, for several years now. I have also served as an ethicist on the Ethics and Human Values Committee for St. Joseph Health Center in Kansas City, Missouri, for two consecutive three-year terms (1996–2002). In addition, I served...

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Part I. Why “Catholic” Health Care Ethics?

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pp. 1-14

From its earliest beginnings, the Catholic Church has ministered to the sick and dying of the world. The Catholic involvement in health care is considered an important extension of the healing ministry of Jesus, to which all Christians are called. As the late John Paul II explained in 1985...

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1. Wounded Humanity and Catholic Health Care - John Kavanaugh, S. J .

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pp. 15-27

Catholic health care today is engaged in a massive ideological struggle with an increasingly powerful school of thought. A leading theorist of this school is Peter Singer, who teaches ethics at Princeton University. In 1994 Singer announced—in his book Rethinking Life and Death (a text used in university ethics courses throughout...

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2. What Counts as Respect? - Gregory R. Beabout

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pp. 28-42

Almost all health care institutions and personnel are, in some sense, committed to the principle of respect for persons. The mission statements of countless hospitals and health care institutions begin with some formulation of respect for persons, as do the codes of ethics of almost every group of health care professionals. Despite the near universal concern in health care to treat people with respect, there...

Selected Bibliography on Catholic Bioethics

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pp. 43-44

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Part II. Human Reproduction

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pp. 45-58

The general Christian perspective on human reproduction is rooted in the faith conviction that human beings are created in the image and likeness of God. As explained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “‘God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and...

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3. New Reproductive Technologies and Catholic Teaching - William E. May

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pp. 59-88

This paper examines “new reproductive technologies,” i.e., ways of generating human life that dispense with the need for coital union between a man and woman, whether marital or not. In it I will defend the teaching of the Church that God, in his wise and loving plan for human existence, wills that human life be given—“begotten”—only through the marital embrace, i.e., through a procreative marital...

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4. Contraception: Did Humane Vitae Contradict Itself? Benedict Ashley, O.P.

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pp. 89-106

For many Catholics the teaching of Humanae Vitae against contraception seems absurdly contradictory and hence an abuse of Church authority that can be in good conscience ignored. Certain well-known Catholic moral theologians have supported them in this opinion.1 Is it not contradictory to approve the practice of Natural Family Planning (abstinence in the woman’s fertile period) in order to...

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5. Abortion: A Catholic Moral Analysis - Jeanne Heffernan Schindler

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pp. 107-124

In the spring of 2002 New York City made national headlines when it became the first American city to require abortion training for obstetrics and gynecology residents in its public hospitals.1 Supporters and critics alike recognized the significance of the policy, as New York remains an influential player in the nation’s medical establishment—New York State trains one in every seven doctors nationwide...

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Selected Bibliography on Human Reproduction

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pp. 125-126

For a significant portion of the 1980s, ethical issues regarding the use of various forms of support to prolong life grabbed newspaper headlines in the United States. High-profile legal cases over the “right to die,” such as those of Karen Ann Quinlan and Nancy Cruzan, became legal landmarks. Other highly publicized cases, such as those of Brophy, Conroy, Herbert, and Jobes, contributed to making...

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Part III. Death and Dying

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pp. 127-142

With these words from the first chapter of his encyclical letter The Gospel of Life, John Paul II reminded the world that death was not part of God’s original plan for humanity. Rather, death and the suffering that often accompanies it are both the result of our shared sin. As such, suffering and death have become part of the reality of our common human existence...

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6. Medically Assisted Nutrition and Hydration in Medicine and Moral Theology - John Berkman

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pp. 143-172

For a significant portion of the 1980s, ethical issues regarding the use of various forms of support to prolong life grabbed newspaper headlines in the United States. High-profile legal cases over the “right to die,” such as those of Karen Ann Quinlan and Nancy Cruzan, became legal landmarks. Other highly publicized cases, such as those of Brophy, Conroy, Herbert, and Jobes, contributed to making...

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7. Two Arguments against Euthanasia - Brendan Sw eetman

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pp. 173-192

In addition to abortion, the subject of euthanasia is one of the most discussed and controversial moral topics in contemporary American society. At present, the practice is legal in only one state, Oregon, following passage of that state’s Death with Dignity Act in 1997, and its subsequent survival of several court challenges.1 But the issue has appeared on the ballot in several other states over the past decade..

Selected Bibliography on Death and Dying

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pp. 193-194

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Part IV. Genetics, Stem Cell Research, and Cloning

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pp. 195-210

The Catholic position on the ethics of research on human genetics, cloning, and embryonic versus adult stem cells flows out of the twofold concern to respect human dignity and protect human life that we have discussed in the first three parts of this book. Promoting and improving human life is clearly part of the Catholic mission in health care. Thus, the Catholic Church recognizes...

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8. Genetics and Ethics: Questions Raised by the Human Genome Project - Kevin D. O’Rourke, O.P.

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pp. 211-221

Few enterprises have been as grand as the Human Genome Project (HGP). According to its leaders, the project is “an ambitious effort to understand hereditary instructions that make each of us unique.”1 It is intended “to find the location of the 30,000 or so human genes and to read the entire genetic script, all three billion bits of information, by the year 2005.” Researchers have announced...

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9. Genetic Enhancement as Freedom of Choice: The Myth - Catherine Green

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pp. 222-251

The Human Genome Project is essentially complete, with 99 percent of the human genome successfully sequenced.1 Scientists and commercial institutions predict a bright future for the use of this information. For example, James Watson argues that knowledge of how the “DNA code works is the path by which human health will be reached,”2 while marketers for corporations such as Monsanto...

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10. Stem Cells, Cloning, and the Human Person - John F. Morris

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pp. 252-298

this chapter I will explore the contemporary controversy surrounding stem cell research and cloning, and, from the perspective of the Aristotelian- Thomistic personalist tradition, how these technologies are impacting human persons both individually and in society. Now, immediately some may object that as a philosopher, and not a scientist, I have no business addressing these growing areas of scientific research. I have been told that I,...

Selected Bibliography on Genetics, Stem Cells, and Cloning

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pp. 299-300

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Part V. Health Care Reform

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pp. 301-308

Why are Catholics concerned with health care? The Catholic concern flows out of the Gospel call to serve as Jesus served others, and in so doing to serve Jesus as well. This concern also flows out of the social mission of the Church to work for the common good. As explained in the...

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11. Health Care Reform: Justice and the Common Good - Clarke E. Cochran

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pp. 309-333

Fragmentation, wasted resources, high costs, and barriers to medical care plague the American health care system. Decades of reform efforts, failed (the Clinton plan in 1994) and successful (State Children’s Health Insurance Program [SCHIP] in 1997), have alleviated some problems, but exacerbated others. This chapter applies central Catholic principles of justice and common good to designing a new set of...

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12. Health Care Reform and the “Consistent Ethic” - Michael D. Place

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pp. 334-348

In his living, and especially in his dying, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin embraced the innate dignity of every human being as God’s creation. He was compassionately connected to others, especially, at the end of his life, to those who also suffered from cancer. These personal qualities gave testimony to three core themes of the Catholic...

Selected Bibliography on Health Care Reform

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pp. 349-350

General Bibliography

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pp. 351-356

Contributors

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pp. 357-358

Index

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pp. 359-372

Production Notes

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pp. 373-390


E-ISBN-13: 9780813220819
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813214832

Page Count: 389
Publication Year: 2012

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Subject Headings

  • Medical ethics -- Religious aspects -- Catholic Church.
  • Medicine -- Religious aspects -- Catholic Church.
  • Christian ethics -- Catholic authors.
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