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41. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
Gary Michael Atkinson

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The aim of this essay is to demonstrate three main points: (1) that many of the widespread appeals made to conscience in the time of COVID display little understanding of conscience’s fundamental nature; (2) that they assume for conscience a sacrosanct status it does not possess; and (3) that because of the first two points, conversation regarding conscience and COVID has generated considerable confusion. In support of these points, this paper (1) shows what conscience is, (2) employs St. John of the Cross’s examination of attachments to suggest that possession of a well-formed conscience is frequently a most difficult achievement, and (3) examines various expressions associated with the COVID debate to illustrate how much of the conversation has stemmed from or resulted in little real understanding.
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42. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
Teofilo Giovan S. Pugeda III

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In vitro gametogenesis is the process of deriving gametes from embryonic stem cells or induced pluripotent stem cells. While not as well-known as in vitro fertilization, IVG could lead to more moral issues that would require corresponding responses from the Magisterium. Because IVG remains at the experimental stage, mainly using mice, the Magisterium has not issued any such responses in a document along the lines of Donum vitae and Dignitas personae. This essay situates IVG within Catholic moral teachings for those who are unfamiliar with the teachings of the Church but who are interested in forming their consciences and those of others on what is undoubtedly a peculiar medical technique with many moral ramifications.
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articles

43. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
Steven Dezort

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According to the contralife argument, because both contraception and natural family planning (NFP) entail at least a contralife motivation to have marital intercourse but avoid pregnancy, both should be forbidden—a conclusion rejected by the natural law tradition and Church teaching, which forbid contraception but permit NFP. This paper argues that the principle of double effect (PDE) can be applied to explain why contraception is forbidden but NFP is permissible. This double-effect analysis evaluates the good effect of procreation and unity against the bad effect of lustful sexual pleasure. This paper argues that contraception fails to meet the conditions of the PDE, because it intends sexual pleasure in isolation from procreation and unity and is therefore forbidden. Conversely, NFP meets the conditions of the PDE because, as with all permissible sexual intercourse, it intends sexual pleasure in conjunction with procreation and unity and is therefore itself permissible.
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44. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
Angela Baalmann

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This essay seeks to establish that Catholic community pharmacists should refuse to verify, dispense, and counsel on hormonal medications used for contraception on the grounds of professional and personal beliefs as these services constitute immoral immediate material cooperation. In this controversial area of patient care, pharmacists are more frequently being called upon to facilitate medication use for contraceptive purposes. Contraceptive acts are believed by some healthcare providers to be morally harmful to a patient’s well-being. Pharmacists who hold beliefs that contraception does not promote positive patient outcomes are professionally bound to refuse immediate cooperation through providing pharmaceutical services related to contraception.
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45. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
Melissa Moschella

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Irene Alexander’s article in last spring’s issue of this journal criticizes the new natural law (NNL) account of sexual ethics, including Melissa Moschella’s defense of that view in a previous article also in this journal. Alexander claims that the NNL account adopts an empiricist view of nature and that NNL’s rejection of the perverted faculty argument is contrary to the Magisterium. Here Moschella responds to Alexander’s criticisms by (1) clarifying NNL theorists’ understanding of the distinction between speculative and practical reason through an explanation of Aquinas’s account of the four orders, (2) correcting Alexander’s erroneous portrayal of NNL arguments against contraception, and (3) arguing that the NNL account of sexual ethics is not only in line with magisterial teaching, but offers a better philosophical defense of that teaching than the view Alexander proposes.
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verbatim

46. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
Pope Pius XII

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notes & abstracts

47. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
Stacy Trasancos

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48. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
Vince A. Punzo

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49. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
Christopher Kaczor

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book reviews

50. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
Lisa Gilbert

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51. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
Brian Welter

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52. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
Colten P. Maertens-Pizzo

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53. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
Francis Etheredge

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54. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 21 > Issue: 4
Edward J. Furton

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55. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 21 > Issue: 4
Cara Buskmiller

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56. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 21 > Issue: 4
Arina O. Grossu

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essays

57. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 21 > Issue: 4
Jenny Ingles

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Directive 36 of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services gives guidance to health care professionals on the reactive administration of contraceptives to women in instances of isolated rape. This paper examines the moral permissibility of long-term proactive contraceptive use in instances of repeated marital rape by comparing it to the moral permissibility of reactive contraceptive use in cases of isolated rape found in directive 36.
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58. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 21 > Issue: 4
Rev. James McTavish, MD, Rev. Tadeusz Pacholczyk

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Persons who identity as LGBTQ+ should be treated with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Under the guise of helping such persons, legislation is surreptitiously appearing in several countries seeking to ban so-called conversion therapy. While the definition of the term remains concerningly vague, the terms of enforcement for alleged offences tend to be precisely delineated, often including provisions that curtail Christian catechesis, teaching, and preaching in the areas of human dignity and sexuality. These problematic and repressive initiatives can prevent access to any psychotherapy that is not strictly gender-affirming. This article reviews and assesses conversion therapy in support of a judicious approach to the practice, accurately understood. It reviews past abuses and misunderstandings while considering the merits of conversion therapy and related therapeutic and pastoral approaches. Concerns about gender-affirming interventions are considered, especially for youth and teenagers, and efficacy claims around conversion therapies and related psychotherapies are also discussed.
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59. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 21 > Issue: 4
Elisabeth Parish

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Although there is discussion among ethicists about the permissibility of actions on the antenatal placenta, these discussions rarely take seriously the metaphysics involved. Rather, authors resort to opinion on how the placenta comes to be and for whose good it exists. This paper takes these metaphysical questions seriously. Through discussion of the biology of the placenta, I conclude that it is a shared organ of the mother and the fetus. In an analogy to the ethics of conjoined twinning, I conclude that actions on the placenta must take the good of both the mother and the fetus into account.
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60. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 21 > Issue: 4
Ryan Uchison

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Abortion jurisprudence in the United States has been criticized by many for allowing the destruction of millions of lives. What many may not know is that the Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion in all fifty states was very similar to another Supreme Court decision, namely, Dred Scott v. Sanford. The parallels between these two cases are astounding, revealing how dehumanization, while a very old idea, is almost always achieved through the same means. A legal analysis of Roe v. Wade, and subsequently Planned Parenthood v. Casey, shows that these cases are both morally and legally unjustified. Just like Dred Scott, Roe, by dehumanizing a specific group of individuals, is a case which does not belong in the American legal system.
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