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41. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
William L. Saunders Washington Insider
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essays
42. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
Servais Pinckaers Reflections on Veritatis splendor
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The encyclical Veritatis splendor represented a renewal of moral theology in the spirit of Vatican Council II. Pope St. John Paul II emphasized Gospel teaching in light of the Old Testament, reiterating the animating role of the Holy Spirit in the New Law. Properly understood, the New Law is not a code of obligations, but a dynamic life of charity made intelligible through grace and the natural law. As a primary connection between human beings and divine law, natural law inclines persons toward the good, thus providing an apprehensible link between human freedom and objective truth—enabling us to determine what is good and evil. This understanding of judgment provides a corrective for theological trends toward proportionalism and consequentialism.
43. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
Rev. Nicanor Pier Giorgio Austriaco, OP To the Sickest or to the Healthiest?: Ventilator Allocation during Time of Pandemic
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The COVID-19 pandemic has raised questions about the just allocation of limited medical resources. In this essay, I consider four pressing moral questions raised by the scarcity of mechanical ventilators, using the guiding principle that the primary criterion should be the conviction that each and every human being has equal moral status because each has an intrinsic dignity that makes him or her inestimable and inviolable. I propose that any legitimate criteria for ventilator allocation cannot discriminate among patient populations on the basis of any judgments that are not medically relevant. Instead, ventilators should be distributed solely on the basis of the likelihood that they will benefit patients and enable them to heal.
44. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
David Hershenov, Rose Hershenov Is It Coherent to Be Merely Personally Opposed to Abortion?
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Is it coherent to be personally opposed to abortion but to accept others’ decisions to terminate their pregnancy (referred to in this article as the IPOB position)? This might appear to be the case if one appeals to the different situations and attitudes of pregnant women. To the contrary, only those people whose personal opposition to abortion is restricted to situations in which the pregnancy and its consequences are not very burdensome can consistently hold their IPOB position and espouse an objective ethics. The vast majority of people claiming to be merely personally opposed cannot coherently sustain that position. To be logically coherent, the latter not only must be committed to condemning the abortions of others and have the moral standing to do so, but more importantly and controversially, must be committed to call for a legal ban on abortion rather than restrict themselves to being merely personally opposed to abortion.
45. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
Christopher M. Reilly Rescuing the Good Samaritan in Embryo Adoption and Beyond
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Embryo adoption, when oriented to the rescue of a dignified human person, is a merciful and morally licit response to an evil consequence of in vitro fertilization and the freezing of embryos. Those who object to embryo adoption not only misconstrue the relevant moral reasoning but exhibit confusion among the object, intention, and circumstances and between two very different potential objects. Because the mercy and charity effected through embryo adoption are at the very heart of moral action, juridical arguments that undermine people’s confidence in these priorities have far-reaching, harmful implications.
articles
46. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
Cameo C. Anders Individual and Institutional Religious Exemptions from Vaccines: Federal Law and Catholic Teaching
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Under federal law, an individual religious exemption from vaccines is valid when it is based on subjective, sincere beliefs rooted in religion but not dependent on the existence, veracity, or accurate understanding or application of denominational tenets or doctrines. Despite the subjective nature of the individual religious exemption, Catholic institutions may recognize or deny (under certain circumstances) individual religious exemptions on the basis of the institution’s own religious exemptions. For example, under the doctrine of the common good, the significant risk to the community presented by non-vaccinated individuals could be grounds for an institution to deny an individual’s otherwise valid religious exemption. This paper attempts to clarify the decision-making framework used by law to balance individual religious exemptions and compelling state interests, then proposes a similar decision-making framework, consistent with Catholic moral principles, for religious institutions to use when balancing individual conscience objections and compelling duties to society.
47. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
Steven J. Jensen Phoenix Rising from the Ashes: Recent Attempts to Revive New Natural Law Action Theory
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New natural law advocates are somewhat notorious for their loose action theory, having a track record of counterintuitive claims. In response to criticisms, advocates have entrenched, further defending their questionable action theory. This paper first rehearses the basic criticism against the new natural law action theory. It then examines four recent attempts to revive this action theory and finds these attempts wanting. Within these attempts, certain patterns arise. Given a certain means A to a goal C, a search is made to determine whether any middle means B is implied by A. The standards of this search vary wildly, however. By some standards, a middle means can be found; by others, every middle means can be easily swept aside. The same author will sometimes use both kinds of standards, depending upon the situation. One great weakness of the action theory, then, is a lack of consistency in applying a universal standard.
48. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
Most Reverend Thomas John Paprocki Social Shutdowns as an Extraordinary Means of Saving Human Life
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The effects of the novel coronavirus have raised questions about the extent to which social shutdowns are appropriate. We have a responsibility to protect the lives of others and an obligation to maintain our lives and health when possible, but there are circumstances when it is just to decline certain measures that are considered extraordinary to the situation. Measures taken to protect life must be proportionate. That is, they must offer a reasonable hope of benefit and not impose excessive burdens on individuals, families, or the community. The measures enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic are not proportionate. Restrictions on family and religious activities are disproportionate to the benefit they provide, particularly to the extent that they obstruct the Church in its duty to tend to the health of souls and salvation of its members
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49. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith Excerpts from Samaritanus bonus: On the Care of Persons in the Critical and Terminal Phases of Life
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notes & abstracts
50. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
Stacy Trasancos Science
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51. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
Vince A. Punzo Medicine
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52. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
Christopher Kaczor Philosophy and Theology
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book reviews
53. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
Rev. Benedict Guevin, OSB Philosophical Neuroethics: A Personalist Approach, vol. 1, Foundations by James Beauregard
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54. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
Rev. Michael Baggot, LC The Human Person: A Bioethical Word by Francis Etheredge
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55. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
Rev. Thomas J. Davis Jr. Between Hope and Fear: A History of Vaccines and Human Immunity by Michael Kinch
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56. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
Rev. Richard Benson, CM Why Free Will Is Real by Christian List
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57. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
Matthew Levering Adopted: The Sacrament of Belonging in a Fractured World by Kelley Nikondeha
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58. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
Brian Welter Pagans and Christians in the City: Culture Wars from the Tiber to the Potomac by Steven D. Smith
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59. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Jason T. Eberl In This Issue
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60. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Rev. Nicanor Pier Giorgio Colloquy
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