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1. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 14 > Issue: 4
Edward J. Furton, MA, PhD In This Issue
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2. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 14 > Issue: 4
Colloquy
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3. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 14 > Issue: 4
William L. Saunders Washington Insider
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4. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 14 > Issue: 4
Ralph A. Capone, MD, Julie Grimstad Futile-Care Theory in Practice: A Look at the Law in Texas
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Examination of the bioethical concept of futile-care theory reveals its deleterious effects on patients when put into practice. Futile-care policies and laws unilaterally locate health care decision making in persons and committees other than the patient and his surrogate(s). Although not voluntarily ceded by the patient, this authority is assumed by third parties whose interests and goals do not contribute to the material and spiritual flourishing of the individual patient. A prime example is the Texas medical futility law, which blatantly disregards the natural right of patients to decide the course of their own health care. Christians are called on to oppose this unprecedented assault on human dignity, freedom, and life itself. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 14.4 (Winter 2014): 619–624.
5. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 14 > Issue: 4
Maria T. De Goede, RN An Argument against the Use of Methotrexate in Ectopic Pregnancies
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Catholic ethicists faithful to the magisterium of the Church are currently divided on the permissibility of using methotrexate to treat ectopic pregnancies. This paper examines the defenses of Rev. Albert Moraczewski, OP, and Christopher Kaczor, who argue that its use is morally permissible, in an attempt to demonstrate that methotrexate constitutes a direct abortion by virtue of its object. Specifically, the paper challenges the claims that methotrexate is aimed at inhibiting pathological tissues, that the trophoblast is not an organ of the embryo, and that direct removal of a nonviable fetus is not a direct abortion. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 14.4 (Winter 2014): 625–635.
6. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 14 > Issue: 4
Rev. James McTavish, FMVD, MD Chastity and Homosexuality: Combating the Scourge of HIV and AIDS
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Despite billions of dollars spent in risk-reduction measures, the HIV rate in men who have sex with men (MSM) continues to soar. Although MSM represent approximately 4 percent of the male population in the United States, in 2010 male-to-male sex accounted for 78 percent of new HIV infections among males. More emphasis needs to be given to risk-avoidance measures. The Catholic Church is both courageous and medically correct in stating that homosexual acts are harmful. The health risks of homosexual sex are scarcely mentioned in the public debate, as misguided political correctness seems increasingly to hold science and medical data hostage. Our brothers should be informed about the dangers of an active homosexual lifestyle and encouraged to live chastely. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 14.4 (Winter 2014): 637–645.
7. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 14 > Issue: 4
Manfred Spieker The Legal Language of the Culture of Death in Europe
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By its central terms, the language of the culture of death sends signals that produce life-accepting associations and at the same time mask its intentions against life. On the one hand, the culture of death includes certain behaviors. On the other hand, it includes those social and legal structures that strive to make killing socially acceptable by camouflaging it as a medical service or a social assistance. The culture of death wants to remove killing from condemnation, so that it is no longer cursed as a crime. In the center of the culture of death is the battle for the legalization of abortion, euthanasia, and embryonic stem cell research. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 14.4 (Winter 2014): 647–657.
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8. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 14 > Issue: 4
Michael Brian Humble, MD Do-Not-Resuscitate Orders and Suicide Attempts: What Is the Moral Duty of the Physician?
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Elderly persons are living longer with debilitating illnesses and are at risk for suicide. They are also more likely to have a living will with a DNR order. With the medical culture’s emphasis on patient autonomy, an ethical approach that respects the dignity of these suffering human persons is needed. Suicide must be viewed as an act against the principle of life and the intrinsic good of the human being. Beneficence outweighs autonomy in such cases. Medical providers are at risk of mediate material cooperation with the evil of such an act if they fail to preserve a life that can be saved. DNR orders should be reversed in these situations until these patients receive psychological treatment and pain relief. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 14.4 (Winter 2014): 661–671.
9. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 14 > Issue: 4
Charles Robertson A Thomistic Analysis of Embryo Adoption
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Although two documents from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith have given instruction on the moral problems of artificial reproductive technologies and the importance of respecting the lives of cryopreserved embryos, no definitive judgment has been made regarding the possibility of rescuing those embryos by means of embryo transfer into the uterus of a willing woman. This essay offers an analysis of the morality of embryo transfer in light of the ethical principles of St. Thomas Aquinas and argues that the proper use of our generative potential is only safeguarded by being restricted to marital intercourse. The arguments of those who favor the adoption model are considered and rejected in light of a Thomistic analysis of the categories of paternity, maternity, and filiation. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 14.4 (Winter 2014): 673–695.
10. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 14 > Issue: 4
Jeri Gerding Extraordinary Means and Depression at the End of Life
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Untreated depression at the end of life may affect treatment and raise ethical concerns. Patients with a major depressive disorder may desire a hastened death, may refuse reasonable and beneficial medical care, or may present with cognitive distortions that hinder their ability to make decisions about care. Treating depression can avert or minimize these problems in many cases. For a patient who does not respond to antidepressant medications and other interventions, however, the unrelieved depression could tip the balance and make additional medical treatments burdensome. In such cases, a proposed medical treatment might be considered extraordinary. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 14.4 (Winter 2014): 697–710.