The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly

Volume 11, Issue 1, Spring 2011

The Principle of Double Effect

Edward J. Furton
Pages 53-62

Ethics Without Metaphysics
A Review of the Lysaught Analysis

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.