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1. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Edward J. Furton In This Issue
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2. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Stephen Rocker Colloquy
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3. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Richard M. Doerflinger Washington Insider
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4. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Gerald D. Coleman Pope Francis, Mercy, and the Meaning of Marriage
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Pope Francis has called for the Church to be a sign of mercy and hope to the world. Mercy stands at the center of the Gospel, and the family is a fundamental seat of mercy within the culture, responsible for bestowing the most valuable of God’s gifts, human life. Because of its mission to bestow life, marriage is necessarily a “lifelong covenant of love and fidelity between a man and a woman” (Francis). As the Church upholds the view of marriage exclusively as the union of a man and a woman who are capable of reaching the deepest kind of unity, she also affirms that persons of the same sex can achieve unity in meaningful ways. Upholding the traditional, comprehensive view of marriage does not belittle the dignity of homosexual persons, because all are our brothers and sisters.
5. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Samuel E. Hager Against Salpingostomy as a Treatment for Ectopic Pregnancy
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Ectopic pregnancy, when not resolved naturally, can be fatal to the mother if left untreated. A number of medical solutions exist, though none that save the life of the embryo. This article assesses the ethical value of one of these solutions, the salpingostomy, by examining the moral object of the salpingostomy and whether the procedure constitutes a direct abortion. The author responds with William E. May and Maria DeGoede to salpingostomy proponents Albert Moraczewski, Christopher Kaczor, John Tuohey, and others. Because of the lack of moral certitude that the trophoblast is neither a vital organ of the fetus nor a member of the fetus’s body, the author concludes that the salpingostomy may not be considered a licit procedure in the treatment of ectopic pregnancy, and challenges readers to admit that medical science lacks a direct, active solution to ectopic pregnancy.
6. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Francis Etheredge Frozen and Untouchable: A Double Injustice to the Embryo
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The ethical limbo in which frozen human embryos exist is, tragically, a real limbo, and in their untouchability lies an apparent contradiction: that God cannot rescue a person whom man, in his pride, has co-created outside the truly necessary incorporation within a family. The author explores the possibility that ethical objections to embryo adoption are based on a flawed conflation of two problems: (1) the immorality, injustice, and harm of the procedure that supplants the marriage act; and (2) the rights of the child conceived outside the welcoming nature of the marriage act—the primary rights of every conceived person to completing, wholesome, and relational nurture. The author argues for the humanitarian right to embryo adoption, within marriage, from the point of view of the rights of the person conceived.
7. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Nancy Valko Brain Death: Do We Know Enough?
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Every year, people make decisions based on trust in the certainty of diagnoses of brain death. These decisions range from signing an organ donation card to withdrawing life support from a loved one. Two recent developments have revived concerns about medical standards for determining brain death. One is a recent study on variability in brain death policies in the United States; the other is the filing of a federal lawsuit to rescind the death certificate of Jahi McMath, a teenager who appears to have survived a 2013 declaration of brain death. The author examines these developments and asks whether trust in the certainty of brain-death determinations is currently warranted.
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8. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
John E. Fitzgerald Long-Acting Contraceptives for Adolescents: A Critique of the Policy of the American Academy of Pediatrics
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In 2014, the American Academy of Pediatrics published its policy statement on contraception for adolescents, which provides, in effect, a mandate to temporarily sterilize all adolescents with long-acting reversible contraceptives for five to ten years. The author reviews the AAP guidelines and their effects on Catholic adolescents, their families, and adolescent health care providers. He then discusses medicolegal issues raised by the policy, outlines Catholic strategies for combating it, and proposes a diocese-based physician-led program for teaching and counseling elementary and high school students.
9. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Joshua Madden Marriage, “Bodily Union,” and Natural Teleology: A Response to Rebekah Johnston and the New Natural Law Theorists
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In recent years the account of natural law that has come to be known as the “new natural law theory” has come under criticism. Rebekah Johnston has engaged quite seriously with the NNL account of marriage and sexuality and has deemed it insufficient and internally inconsistent, going so far as to argue for the legitimacy of homosexual “marriage” based on the NNL’s own system. The author argues in this essay that the NNL does not fully realize the implications of its position in this regard, and that Rebekah Johnston’s critique fails similarly in providing an account of marriage and sexuality. To remedy these errors, the role of normative, natural teleology must be investigated thoroughly.
10. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Becket Gremmels, Dan O’Brien, Peter J. Cataldo, John Paul Slosar, Mark Repenshek Opportunistic Salpingectomy to Reduce the Risk of Ovarian Cancer
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Substantial medical evidence shows that about half of ovarian cancers originate in the fallopian tube. Some medical organizations and clinical articles have suggested opportunistic salpingectomy to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer in patients at average risk of developing it. This entails removing the fallopian tubes at the same time as another procedure that would occur anyway. The authors argue that the principles of totality and double effect can justify such salpingectomies, even though there is a low incidence of ovarian cancer. Since screening tools for ovarian cancer are ineffective and treatment options are poor, the good effect of reducing the risk of death from this type of ovarian cancer can be proportionate to the bad effects of the minor increase in surgical risk over the other procedure, the unintended side effect of infertility, and the removal of normally functioning tissue. The authors conclude that it is within the purview of a patient and physician to determine whether the benefits are proportionate to the risks in a particular case.