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1. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 18 > Issue: 4
Edward J. Furton, PhD In This Issue
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2. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 18 > Issue: 4
Nelson Thomas, MBBS, DA, Petrina Fadel Colloquy
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3. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 18 > Issue: 4
William L. Saunders Washington Insider
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4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
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8. 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.
9. 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
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10. 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.