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1. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 13 > Issue: 4
Edward J. Furton, MA., PhD. In This Issue
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2. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 13 > Issue: 4
Colloquy
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3. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 13 > Issue: 4
William L. Saunders Washington Insider
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essays
4. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 13 > Issue: 4
Francis Beckwith On Making the Case for Life: St. Peter’s Counsel to Always Be Ready
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In Evangelium vitae, Pope John Paul II writes that the culture of death is the consequence of society embracing a “positivist mentality.” Given both where the Church is culturally situated as well as her call for a New Evangelization, this article offers a critique of positivist mentality that attempts to draw out of its advocates the natural law that is “written in the heart.” This critique includes an analysis of the article “After-Birth Abortion: Why Should the Baby Live?” authored by Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva and published in 2013 in the Journal of Medical Ethics. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 13.4 (Winter 2013): 601–609.
5. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 13 > Issue: 4
Luke Murray Craniotomy versus Lethal Self-Defense
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It can be confusing to define the object of an action because it may be unclear if there is a per se or a per accidens order to the end. Three common difficulties in distinguishing between these are that the per se ordering must be either in the nature of the end or in the act, that this ordering to an end is a real and not merely a logical one, and that technology has a tendency to ignore the teleology of natures by breaking things down to their parts for manipulation. Having drawn these distinctions, craniotomy is then compared to lethal self-defense. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 13.4 (Winter 2013): 611–616.
6. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 13 > Issue: 4
E. David Cook, Katherine Wasson The Common Good and Common Harm
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This article offers a critical examination of the notion of the common good in Catholic social ethical teaching, comparing this concept with utilitarianism and examining parallels between them and common critiques of both. Rather than focusing on the common good and trying to reach agreement on its content as a maximum standard for persons and communities in society, we argue that it is preferable to focus on the common harm. The common harm serves as a minimum standard of what causes harm to individuals and communities in society and should be avoided. The common harm provides both a conceptually sound and practically achievable construct for contributing positively to the social ethical discussion in an increasingly secular society. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 13.4 (Winter 2013): 617–623.
7. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 13 > Issue: 4
Mathew Lu Contraception, Abortion, and the Corruption of Medicine
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The Obama administration’s HHS mandate to force Catholic and other religious organizations to provide insurance coverage for morally objectionable practices has been the source of a great deal of controversy. While the religious liberty question has received the most attention, the mandate reveals a yet deeper problem in the mainstream acceptance of contraception and even abortion as normal parts of medical practice. The author argues that these practices constitute a deep corruption of medicine itself, away from its original meaning as a kind of restorative justice grounded in a substantive understanding of the human good and toward a formalist emphasis on preference satisfaction and patient autonomy. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 13.4 (Winter 2013): 625–633.
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8. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 13 > Issue: 4
Michael Augros, Christopher Oleson St. Thomas and the Naturalistic Fallacy
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Certain scholars wish to acquit St. Thomas Aquinas of the “illicit inference from facts to norms” commonly referred to as the naturalistic fallacy. Seeing in certain passages his awareness of illegitimate ways to derive morality from natural ends, many have come to read Aquinas as agreeing with the view that knowledge of the moral order does not derive from knowledge of human nature and of the natural ends of its parts and powers. This paper aims to expose the deficiencies of this reading as a way of bringing more fully into view the whole thought of Aquinas on the question. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 13.4 (Winter 2013): 637–661.
9. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 13 > Issue: 4
Rev. Kevin L. Flannery, SJ Two Factors in the Analysis of Cooperation in Evil
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The purpose of this essay is to explain what the terms “formal cooperation” and “material cooperation” mean in the thought of St. Alphonsus Liguori, who is a pivotal figure in the Church’s tradition of reflection on cooperation and is often referenced when the distinction between formal and material cooperation in evil is discussed. The author explains why—and to some extent when—mainstream Catholic moralists who associate themselves with Alphonsus speak of some cooperation as formal and other cooperation as material. Specifically, he discusses two factors that are essential for the analysis of cooperation in evil—(1) the meaning of the term “formal” and (2) the role of “segments of intelligibility” in determining what is material rather than formal cooperation. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 13.4 (Winter 2013): 663–675.
10. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 13 > Issue: 4
Rebecca Peck, MD, Rev. Juan R. Vélez, MD The Postovulatory Mechanism of Action of Plan B: A Review of the Scientific Literature
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Levonorgestrel is widely used as emergency contraception, yet much confusion surrounds its use. Consensus statements and reviews typically attribute its efficacy to prefertilization mechanisms of action (MOAs), such as suppression of ovulation and interference with cervical mucus or sperm function, yet studies do not rule out a postovulatory MOA. To yield greater clarity, the authors review recent scientific studies examining the MOAs of LNG-EC. They conclude that LNG-EC exerts minimal effects on cervical mucus and sperm function and that suppression of ovulation is not the dominant MOA accounting for the contraceptive efficacy of LNG-EC. Luteal deficiencies and endometrial changes reported in the literature strongly suggest a postovulatory MOA when LNG-EC is given during the critical preovulatory (or fertile) period. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 13.4 (Winter 2013): 677–716.