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1. Ethics & Medics: Volume > 49 > Issue: 6
Michele Blackwell

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The majority opinion in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health gave the nation a lesson in the history of the relevant caselaw, legal precedent, and common law traditions regarding abortion in the United States. It also presents a master class on the proper examination of cases in the Supreme Court and the meaning, strengths, and weaknesses of the principle of stare decisis. In this article, Blackwell gives readers a summary of this monumental opinion and its depth of information and analysis.

2. Ethics & Medics: Volume > 49 > Issue: 6
Colten P. Maertens-Pizzo

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In the highly politicized world of maternal-fetal health care, the lines between risks associated with pregnancy and the presence of active pathologies caused or exacerbated by pregnancy are blurred in the name of reproductive freedom. Rather than treat these risks as something to be aware of during pregnancy, the pro-abortion lobby treats them as reasons to terminate pregnancy regardless how realistic they are. In this article, the author pushes back against the movement to treat potential risks, no matter how remote, as immediate dangers.

3. Ethics & Medics: Volume > 49 > Issue: 5
Joseph M. Eble, MD

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Informed consent is an important principle in medicine. It protects patients and their families from being unduly pressured into procedures they do not understand with risks they may not fully appreciate. While organ donor status is near ubiquitous for anyone with a driver’s license or ID card, rarely is this status accepted with fully informed consent. As a result, patients are left vulnerable to tests that may cause them irrevocable harm or even procedures that may cause their death. The test for brain death is an example of the former possibility. This article explores the dangers of this and the apnea test, as well as the lack of informed consent present when organ donor agreements are generally made.

4. Ethics & Medics: Volume > 49 > Issue: 4
Jay J. Oh

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Concierge medicine is a practice where patients pay a membership fee in order to receive more personalized and often higher-than-average quality health care. This is in stark contrast to the more common fee-for-service model most patients receive. In this article, concerns about concierge medicine are raised, focusing mostly on the inequity that can result from what is essentially a two-tiered health care system.

5. Ethics & Medics: Volume > 49 > Issue: 4
Gerald Coleman

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The execution of Kenneth Smith by the state of Alabama using nitrogen hypoxia made headlines earlier this year. The major question was whether the method of execution was appropriate. However, few major news outlets approached the question of whether Smith’s execution was appropriate in itself. In this article, Coleman explores the case itself and the teachings of the Catholic Church regarding capital punishment.

6. Ethics & Medics: Volume > 49 > Issue: 3
Joseph M. Eble, MD, John A. Di Camillo, Peter J. Colosi

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The Dead Donor Rule is an important component of the protections afforded to donors in organ donations. It states that medical professionals must be certain that a patient has truly passed away before procuring their organs for transplantation. One method of assessing this is using the neurological criteria. Patients satisfying these criteria have achieved what is commonly referred to as Brain Death. However, the question of whether brain death is true death is one hotly contested in some areas of Catholic bioethics. Recently, however, new guidelines provided by the American Academy of Neurology have given rise to a new disagreement: whether these new guidelines accurately assess brain death at all. This article gives an introduction to a longer call to action, Catholics United on Brain Death and Organ Donation, which describes the issues with this new guidance and objects to its use.

7. Ethics & Medics: Volume > 49 > Issue: 2
Gerard T. Mundy

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The modern definition of health care has, regrettably, expanded far beyond what can reasonably be considered care. Abortion, gender reassignment, and physician-assisted suicide damage bodies and end lives, rather than healing patients. In this article, Mundy describes where modern ideas of what passes for health care have gone wrong and how to better understand what it means to practice medicine.

8. Ethics & Medics: Volume > 49 > Issue: 2
Carolyn Humphreys

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The human conscience is a divine gift but one that is severely misunderstood in modern society. Often seen as an internal voice that guides us, conscience is much deeper and requires honest reflection and a receptivity to truth. In this article, Humphreys discusses both the errors many allow in their conscience development and how to better develop a trustworthy conscience.

9. Ethics & Medics: Volume > 49 > Issue: 1
Jay. J. Oh

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The tragic cases of Charlie Gard and, more recently, Indi Gregory in the United Kingdom have brought into question the rights of parents in cases where civil authorities consider prolonged medical intervention to be inappropriate. In both cases, accommodations were offered to the parents by medical systems outside the country, but the government of the United Kingdom refused to release the patients. This article discusses the disagreements over the use of what Catholic thinkers would call ordinary vs. extraordinary means balanced with the rights of parents to make health care decisions for their minor children.

10. Ethics & Medics: Volume > 49 > Issue: 1
James McTavish

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The release of the document Fiducia supplicans from the Dicastery for the Doctrine of Faith in December quickly led to intense discussion over its implications. Some quickly assumed the document allowed certain blessings previously disallowed by the Church while others considered it a clarification of the Theology of Blessings that remained in line with previous teachings. Still others found great confusion in the discordant interpretations. This article aims to clarify the document’s teaching and aid the faithful in its interpretation while discussing how it may be reflected upon by church leaders and laity alike.

11. Ethics & Medics: Volume > 48 > Issue: 12
Alfred Cioffi

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Embarking from childhood into adulthood presents all human beings with the dilemma of discerning where their future will take them. In the Catholic faith, human beings are called to either Holy Matrimony and family life or a vocation which leads them to celibacy, such as choosing the priesthood or religious life. This decision is more complicated for women in part because the reality of human reproduction dictates that their prime reproductive years are limited. In this article, the author argues in favor of young women called to Holy Matrimony and family life pursuing that call first and choosing a profession later in life.

12. Ethics & Medics: Volume > 48 > Issue: 12
Mark Bradford

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13. Ethics & Medics: Volume > 48 > Issue: 11
Caitlyn Trader

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Palliative care and hospice are growing fields in health care. Both require special attention from medical professionals with an understanding of suffering as a gift. The author explores the end-of-life care through a Christocentric lens that sees the whole person: body and soul. The objective is to embrace the unavoidable struggle that the end of life brings with an eye to the sanctifying nature of suffering.

14. Ethics & Medics: Volume > 48 > Issue: 11
Joseph Meaney

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15. Ethics & Medics: Volume > 48 > Issue: 10
Jay J. Oh

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Harm reduction strategies aim at protecting those with substance use disorders from using in dangerous situations. This is done by providing safe injection sites with clean needles, as well as other controlled situations that prevent the spread of disease and decrease the likelihood of overdose. Some argue that this encourages dangerous behavior when the best approach would be to encourage abstinence. However, advocates say that harm reduction strategies give the best opportunity for counseling and offer hope for recovery. This article explores both arguments.

16. Ethics & Medics: Volume > 48 > Issue: 9
Colten Maertens-Pizzo

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The phrase assigned X at birth is becoming normalized as modern gender theory pushes against the traditional ways of thinking and speaking about gender. This phrase has no place in respectable dialogue about sex and gender because its logic – a flawed version of flawed feminism – distorts how human beings ordinarily attend to the sexed body at birth. I will briefly be examining how the logic behind this phrase obscures a teleological view of the body and conclude that no one is actually assigned a sex a birth because each person is recognized as male or female by the ordinary observation of their human nature and its teleological boundaries.

17. Ethics & Medics: Volume > 48 > Issue: 9
Edward J. Furton

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This is an excerpt from an essay published previously on our website.

18. Ethics & Medics: Volume > 48 > Issue: 8
James McTavish

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Societal views of the place of transgender and intersex individuals and the right of such individuals to participate in activities and institutions previously made unavailable to them based on sex are changing rapidly. While many institutions are allowing such people to engage in activities previously reserved for the sex opposite from their biological sex, the Catholic church must stand firm in its fidelity to the truth of human sexuality. However, groups within the Church have expressed differing views; namely, the German Synod and its recent text titled, “Dealing with Gender Diversity.” This paper seeks to examine the synod’s conclusions and refutes them using appeals to Orthodox Catholic teaching.

19. Ethics & Medics: Volume > 48 > Issue: 7
David Chen, Kevin Shaw

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The Human Genome project has begun over 30 years ago and ran into the early 2000s, completing the total mapping of more than three billion DNA base-pairs in the human genome. Studying this has revealed significant information into the heritability of different traits. In this article, David Chen and Kevin Shaw examine the heritability of a selection of mental illnesses with special attention to what the appropriate approach to treating such illnesses is.

20. Ethics & Medics: Volume > 48 > Issue: 7
Gerald D. Coleman

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Hunger strikes have long been a method used by individuals with limited power to change their circumstances as a way of drawing attention to injustices suffered, whether actual or perceived. However, those responsible for the care of such people have a competing responsibility to their care, including making certain they are properly nourished. This article discusses whether it is appropriate to force-feed an individual on a hunger strike, using a Catholic ethical framework to explore the issue.