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The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly

Volume 11, Issue 1, Spring 2011
The Principle of Double Effect

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1. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Colloquy
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2. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Edward J. Furton, MA, PhD In This Issue
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3. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Richard M. Doerflinger Washington Insider
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essays
4. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Michael E. Allsopp The Doctrine of Double Effect in U.S. Law: Exploring Neil Gorsuch’s Analyses
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The doctrine of double effect has a firm, respected position within Roman Catholic medical ethics. Neil M. Gorsuch, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, believes that this doctrine also enjoys a central place within U.S. law. This essay examines and assesses Gorsuch’s thesis. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 11.1 (Spring 2011): 31–40.
5. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Lisa Gasbarre Black Double Effect and U.S. Supreme Court Reasoning
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Legal minds have utilized the principle of double effect as proposed by St. Thomas Aquinas for centuries to shape legal authority in cases where moral judgment and legal reasoning meet. The U.S. Supreme Court had uti­lized double-effect reasoning in the realm of self-defense cases. This article discusses more recent use of double-effect reasoning in the landmark Supreme Court case Vacco v. Quill and its companion case, Washington v. Glucksberg. Chief Justice William Rehnquist, writing for the Court in Vacco, introduced double-effect reasoning to identify the distinctions between palliative care and assisted suicide in an effort to uphold the constitutionality of the ban on assisted suicide in New York. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 11.1 (Spring 2011): 41–48.
6. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Helen Watt Bodily Invasions: When Side Effects Are Morally Conclusive
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What kind of interventions on the body of an innocent human being may be licitly intended? This question arises in relation to maternal–fetal conflicts such as ectopic pregnancy and obstructed labor, and to other cases such as organ harvesting and separation of conjoined twins. Many assume that harm must be intended for absolute moral prohibitions to apply; however, it is not always the case that foreseen harm is merely a factor to weigh against benefits we intend. On the contrary, foreseen harm (and absence of benefit) for someone we affect can be morally conclusive when linked to an immedi­ate intention to affect the person’s body or invade the space it fills. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 11.1 (Spring 2011): 49–51.
7. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Edward J. Furton Ethics Without Metaphysics: A Review of the Lysaught Analysis
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The recent moral analysis of Therese Lysaught concerning the death of a child by dilation and curettage is emblematic of a wider trend in Catholic moral theory that has forgotten Western metaphysics. Lysaught’s analysis depends on seeing the world as a mechanical system, lacking in all teleological order and thus incapable of providing the mind with moral guidance. The rejection of the traditional philosophical conviction that nature is under the governance of God, and its replacement with the view that nature is a merely physical order, explains why the new theorists do not see that direct killing of the innocent is wrong. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 11.1 (Spring 2011): 53–62.
articles
8. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Marie A. Anderson, MD, Robert L. Fastiggi, David E. Hargroder, MD, Rev. Joseph C. Howard Jr., C. Ward Kischer Ectopic Pregnancy and Catholic Morality: A Response to Recent Arguments in Favor of Salpingostomy and Methotrexate
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Respected Catholic ethicists have recently defended the use of salpingostomy and methotrexate in the management of ectopic pregnancies.This article examines the arguments for the revised assessments to determine whether there are sound reasons to believe that these two methods do not constitute the direct and immediate killing of innocent human beings. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 11.1 (Spring 2011): 65–82.
9. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Lawrence Masek The Contralife Argument andthe Principle of Double Effect
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The author uses the central insight of the principle of double effect—that the distinction between intended effects and foreseen side effects is morally significant—to distinguish contraception from natural family planning (NFP). After summarizing the contralife argument against contraception, the author identifies limitations of arguments presented by Pope John Paul II and by Martin Rhonheimer. To show that the contralife argument does not apply to NFP, the author argues that agents do not intend every effect that motivates their actions. This argument supplements the action theory of Germain Grisez, Joseph Boyle, John Finnis, and other proponents of new natural law theory. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 11.1 (Spring 2011): 83–97.
10. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Rita L. Marker End-of-Life Decisions and Double Effect: How Can This Be Wrong When It Feels So Right?
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The doctrine of double effect has a firm, respected position within Roman Catholic medical ethics. In addition, public debate often incorporates this doctrine when determining the acceptability of certain actions. This essay examines and assesses the application of this doctrine to end-of-life decisions. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 11.1 (Spring 2011): 99–119.