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81. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 18 > Issue: 3
Joshua Evans The Mother’s Child as Aggressor: A Further Reply to Charles Camosy
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In a short section of his 2015 book Beyond the Abortion Wars, Charles Camosy claims that direct abortion to save the life of the mother is consistent with Catholic principles. Joshua Evans published an essay critical of this view in the Summer 2017 issue of the National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, to which Camosy responded in the Summer 2018 issue. In the current essay, Evans replies to Camosy’s recent response by offering a further examination of three central issues in dispute: (1) how the history of moral theology bears on public debates, (2) how past authoritative Church teaching applies when the method of moral theology apparently has shifted, and (3) how the analysis of vital conflicts is affected when examined in relation to more fundamental theological considerations.
82. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 18 > Issue: 3
Divya Joshi, Dwight Stapleton The Influence of Spiritual Retreats on Compassion in Health Care
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Our moral compass is not the only thing that compels us to provide compassionate health care, which also improves patient outcomes and patient and provider satisfaction. In the current era of increasing medical complexity, provider burnout, and value-based reimbursement, health care systems struggle to durably improve their providers’ compassion in the provision of care. A religious retreat curriculum for leaders at OSF HealthCare, in Illinois and Michigan, has led to a significant, long-term increase among employees in their compassion toward patients, colleagues, and self.
83. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 18 > Issue: 3
Trent Horn Abortion and Good Samaritan Arguments
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Some defenders of legal abortion claim that even if the human fetus is a human being with the same right to life as an adult, abortion is not necessarily morally impermissible. They argue that abortion can be considered a form of indirect killing that results from the refusal to provide life support through one’s own body, which another person has no right to receive. While Catholic moral theology does not require people to donate organs against their will, this principle does not justify direct abortion.
84. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 18 > Issue: 3
Mary Beth Phillips The False Freedom of Promiscuity: Consequences of Teenage Sexual Activity
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Teenagers enjoy better physical and mental health when they avoid early sexual debut and reserve the sexual act for marriage. Teens who initiate sexual relations outside of marriage risk contracting sexually transmitted diseases, and those who also use hormonal contraception to avoid pregnancy often suffer unwanted physical and emotional side effects. Teens who have multiple partners may have later attachment or bonding difficulties. The consequences of an unintended pregnancy after a casual sexual relationship are often abortion or single motherhood and an increased likelihood of poverty. Teenagers who save sexual relations for marriage experience freedom from these negative consequences and are more likely, in marriage, to experience the beauty of self-giving love.
85. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 18 > Issue: 3
Cardinal Pietro Paolin The Wisdom of Finitude: Letter to Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, February 28, 2018
86. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 18 > Issue: 3
Archbishop Christophe Pierre Protecting the Vulnerable: Remarks on Palliative Care, April 12, 2018
87. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 18 > Issue: 3
Sean O’Brien Pursuing Authenticity by Changing the Body
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Although body alterations, including body art, sexual alteration, technological enhancements, and cosmetic surgery, usually are evaluated separately, they also can be approached by identifying common cultural trends. Because a person’s conception of identity lies at the core of many body alterations, any change to the body must pursue sincere authenticity, the virtue that fulfills one’s true identity.
88. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 18 > Issue: 3
Jonathan Scrafford, Lisa Gilbert Opportunistic Salpingectomy during Cesarean Section
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Medical literature on the protective effects of salpingectomy (surgical removal of the fallopian tubes) against ovarian cancer has challenged Catholic health care institutions to reexamine policies that prohibit tubal sterilization at the time of cesarean section. Salpingectomy performed for a woman whose fallopian tubes are known or suspected to have a serious and present pathology—risk-reducing salpingectomy—is morally justifiable as a therapeutic intervention. However, salpingectomy performed at the time of another medically indicated procedure, such as cesarean section, on an otherwise fertile woman whose fallopian tubes are presumed to be healthy—opportunistic salpingectomy—constitutes direct sterilization and fails to meet the conditions of double effect. Moreover, until magisterial guidance clarifies the right application of Catholic teaching to the specific question of opportunistic salpingectomy, Catholic health care institutions should, out of prudential judgment and to avoid scandal, avoid establishing institution policies that permit the practice.
89. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 18 > Issue: 3
Pope Francis Unite to Cure: Address to the International Conference on Regenerative Medicine, April 28, 2018
90. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 18 > Issue: 4
William Newton Adoption as an Analogy for Gender Transitioning: A Reply to David Albert Jones
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David Albert Jones recently proposed an analogy between adoption and gender transitioning. Jones notes that adoption grants a child a social identity that is distinct from the natal identity and suggests that a similar situation might obtain in the case of gender transitioning. According to this proposal, a biological male who wishes to be called a woman is not assuming a false identity. Adoption and gender transitioning are significantly different, however: adoptive sonship participates in natural sonship in a way that is not true of the relationship between a biological woman and a man who wishes to be called a woman. Attention is given to different forms of analogy, leading to the conclusion that the use of the word woman for a biological male would be either a metaphor or a very weak analogy. In contrast, the term son as applied to an adopted boy fulfills the fundamental signification of that word.
91. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 18 > Issue: 4
Rev. Gerald D. Coleman, PSS Separating Exorcism from Superstition
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The increased interest in exorcisms and demonology should be moderated by a proper understanding of the relationship between psychology and spirituality. There is an important link between psychological aberrations and possession, but too often and too quickly, a person’s mental health is dismissed or overlooked in favor of a diagnosis of demonic possession. The Church’s ritual of exorcism can be properly used only after psychological discernment, episcopal approval, and personal assent. Most priests are not prepared for the role of exorcist and should spend their time more effectively addressing pastoral needs. The belief in demons is part of biblical witness and Catholic history. At the same time, we must avoid any tendency toward redemption by exorcism.
92. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 18 > Issue: 4
Rev. Paschal M. Corby, OFM Conv. The Imperative of Conscientious Objection in Medical Practice
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In response to a growing movement opposed to conscientious objection in medicine, the medical profession should resist the privatization of conscience in general and accept the challenge, presented by conscientious objection, of rethinking its practices and being true to its calling. These claims are informed by the traditional understanding of conscience and the thought of Jürgen Habermas on the relevance of religious truths in public debate and the legitimacy of public dissent.
93. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 18 > Issue: 4
Jillian J. Boerstler Repeat Valve Replacement in Substance-Addicted Patients
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An emerging ethical dilemma in light of the opioid crisis, repeat cardiac valve replacements for patients diagnosed with endocarditis from intravenous drug use presents specific challenges to Catholic health care organizations. While secular health care is tasked with the allocation of scarce resources, Catholic institutions must address additional considerations when balancing stewardship of scarce resources, human dignity, and patient accountability. A recent ethics consultation illustrates the issues involved in multiple valve replacements for substance-addicted patients from a Catholic ethical perspective. The discussion includes policy recommendations and ethical reflections.
94. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 18 > Issue: 4
Angela Franks End-less and Self-Referential Desire: Toward an Understanding of Contemporary Sexuality
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Is postlapsarian sexual desire primarily altruistic or disordered? This paper utilizes the resources in the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas and in the contemporary magisterium to argue that recent phenomena such as the #MeToo movement underscore the inherently unstable and aggressive nature of sexual desire when it is uprooted from its natural end (i.e., is end-less). Aquinas highlights three aspects of desire that more sex-positive accounts of sexuality would do well to heed: its natural infinity, its self-referential nature (grounded in amor concupiscentiae), and its power of rationalization. By directing the motor of desire toward its natural ends, virtue—led by reason—can redirect desire away from self and toward the good.
95. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 18 > Issue: 4
Rev. Nicanor Austriaco, OP, Janet E. Smith, Elliott Louis Bedford, Rev. Travis Stephens, Rev. C. Ryan McCarthy Initial Reactions to the Recent CDF Responsum on Hysterectomy
96. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 18 > Issue: 4
Rev. D. Paul Sullins Is Sexual Abuse by Catholic Clergy Related to Homosexuality?
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Sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests has been a persistent and widespread problem in the Church. Although more than 80 percent of victims have been boys, prior studies have rejected the idea that the abuse is related to homosexuality among priests. Available data show, however, that the proportion of homosexual men in the priesthood is correlated almost perfectly with the percentage of male victims and with the overall incidence of abuse. Data also show that while the incidence of abuse is lower today than it was three decades ago, it has not declined as much as is commonly believed, and has recently begun to rise amid signs of episcopal complacency about procedures for the protection of children.
97. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 18 > Issue: 4
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Response to a Question on the Liceity of Hysterectomy in Certain Cases: December 10, 2018
98. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 18 > Issue: 4
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Responses to Questions Proposed concerning “Uterine Isolation” and Related Matters: July 31, 1993
99. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Jay Bringman, MD Challenging Underlying Assumptions of Wrongful Birth: Parental Counseling and Self-Perceptions of People with Down Syndrome
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The concept of wrongful birth, which is based on the premise that a person would have been better off never having been born, is a serious mat­ter for Catholic obstetricians, especially in the context of prenatal screening. This principle, in conjuncture with the belief that individuals with disabilities have a decreased quality of life, has been used to promote a eugenic mentality. Consequently, prenatal screening tests often are used to identify fetuses with disabilities, who subsequently are aborted. Not only is this practice ethically reprehensible, but its presuppositions about quality of life find little support in the medical literature. In fact, in the case of Down syndrome, there is consider­able evidence to the contrary: individuals living with Down syndrome have a high quality of life and are accepted by their families. These data illuminate the discrepancy between how physicians portray Down syndrome to expect­ant parents and what the literature shows regarding this condition.
100. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Gwyneth A. Spaeder, MD In This Issue