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The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly

Volume 12, Issue 4, Winter 2012

John Butler
Pages 633-651

Truthfulness and Thomism in Medical Practice

Following a series of undercover sting operations organized by Live Action at several Planned Parenthood clinics in 2008, there has been renewed interest in truthfulness and lying from the perspective of St. Thomas Aquinas. Some scholars have used these stings as an opportunity to criticize Aquinas’s position on lying, while others have defended the position of the Angelic Doctor. What implications does this renewed discussion of truthfulness and lying have on medical practice? Although deception in medicine has long been the subject of scholarship, an authentic Thomistic analysis may shed new light on the issue and renew support for truthfulness in medicine while still permitting the prudent masking of the truth for the patient’s benefit. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 12.4 (Winter 2012): 633–651.