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1. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 12 > Issue: 3
Colloquy
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2. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 12 > Issue: 3
Edward J. Furton, MA., PhD. In This Issue
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3. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 12 > Issue: 3
Richard M. Doerflinger Washington Insider
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4. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 12 > Issue: 3
Elliott Louis Bedford The Concept of Institutional Conscience
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Some bioethical commentators argue that protection for the institutional conscience of Catholic health care providers should be discarded because the notion is conceptually flawed and conflicts with the demands of medical professionalism. This paper argues in defense of the concept of Catholic institutional conscience. The arguments leveled against the concept of institutional conscience are based on an unsound definition of conscience, assume the validity of a definition of conscience that is amenable to the concept of institutional conscience, and indeed assume the validity of the concept of institutional conscience in order to argue against the conceptual validity of the consciences of Catholic health care institutions. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 12.3 (Autumn 2012): 409–420.
5. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 12 > Issue: 3
Francis Etheredge The Mysterious Instant of Conception
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There is a mystery, present from conception, namely, how the human person, who transcends the individual elements of sperm and ovum, can nevertheless come to exist at the first instant of the sperm’s interaction with the ovum, an event marked by the formation of an “embryonic skin,” or wall. In this essay, the author holds that the full complexity of the human person implies such a profound unity-in-diversity of human being that we must, in the end, let the dialogue between reason and revelation lead us to conclude that the first instant of embryonic life is the first instant that the person comes to exist: that the first sign of embryonic life is a “natural sacrament” of the internal act of God which brings the person to exist, one in soul and body. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 12.3 (Autumn 2012): 421–430.
6. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 12 > Issue: 3
Frans J. van Ittersum, MD, Rev. Lambert Hendriks Organ Donation after Euthanasia: Ethical Considerations from the Viewpoint of the Roman Catholic Church
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Belgian physicians recently reported on organ donation after euthanasia. In patients suffering mainly from a neurodegenerative disorder, the organ donation procedure starts after cardiac death due to euthanasia. The Church condemns the act of euthanasia. The act of procuring organs after euthanasia cannot be approved either, since those who procure the organs must cooperate closely with those who perform the euthanasia. Although the act of organ donation itself can be an act of charity, participation in organ donation after euthanasia suggests approval of euthanasia. A patient may, because of a difficult medical situation, choose to accept an organ obtained after euthanasia but should dissociate himself explicitly from the act of euthanasia itself. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 12.3 (Autumn 2012): 431–437.
7. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 12 > Issue: 3
Deacon Michael Gouge Embryo Adoption Scenarios: Drawing Distinctions and Separating Cases
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Is it morally acceptable for a couple to adopt a cryopreserved embryo by having it implanted in the wife’s uterus and, after birth, raising the child as their own? Is it morally acceptable for a single woman to do so? Advances in reproductive science have provided the technology to create and preserve embryos but not the means to evaluate the moral implications of the embryo’s status as a person. After examining Church teaching and specific ethical considerations, the author argues that there may be cases in which embryo adoption is licit. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 12.3 (Autumn 2012): 439–445.
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8. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 12 > Issue: 3
William Newton The Link between Life Issues and Social Justice: Insights into Pope Benedict XVI’s Social Encyclical Caritas in veritate
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In his most recent encyclical, Caritas in veritate, Pope Benedict XVI states that there is a profound connection between life issues and social justice. For example, when solidarity is undermined by abortion, it is also undermined in the relationship between the rich and poor countries of this world and between one generation and the next—with, in addition, disastrous consequences for the environment. In the encyclical, Benedict XVI states this connection but does not develop it to any great extent. In this essay, the author expounds the connection, staying as close as possible to what the Holy Father himself says both in Caritas in veritate and elsewhere. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 12.3 (Autumn 2012): 449–460.
9. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 12 > Issue: 3
James J. Delaney Embryo Loss in Natural Procreation and Stem Cell Research: How the Two Are Different
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John Harris argues that opponents of human embryonic stem cell research, Catholics specifically, suffer an inconsistency in their moral thinking, opposing it on the basis that the sacrifice of an embryo is impermissible even for the good of curing disease. They have no objection to natural procreation, however, which results in many early miscarriages. Harris contends that Catholics tacitly endorse these miscarriages as a permissible sacrifice for the good of producing other, healthy children. This paper offers a response to the argument that relies on only basic moral principles that Harris himself is likely to accept. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 12.3 (Autumn 2012): 461–476.
10. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 12 > Issue: 3
Rev. Christopher M. Mahar Neurology, Neuroethics, and the Vegetative State
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This paper examines neuroethics as a discipline in which ongoing formation and development in both ethics and medicine are shedding new light on the care of patients diagnosed as being in a vegetative state. From the perspective of the Catholic moral tradition, the author proposes that ethics and recent developments in functional neuroimaging form a complementary relationship that gives rise to an ethical imperative: because we can care for patients in a vegetative state, we should do so. This imperative for care finds a particular expression in the ethical debate in light of the 2004 statement of Pope John Paul II that assisted nutrition and hydration for patients in a vegetative state should be considered, in principle, ordinary care. What do neurology and developments in scientific research teach us about patients in a vegetative state? Neuroethics is providing a unique opportunity for both medicine and ethics to discover more completely not only who we are as human beings but also how we should act. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 12.3 (Autumn 2012): 477–488.