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The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly

Volume 21, Issue 1, Spring 2021

Rev. Gerald D. Coleman, PSS
Pages 37-43

Reading Samaritanus bonus in Light of Magisterial Teaching and Recent Papal Writings

On July 14, 2020, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) issued Samaritanus bonus (The Good Samaritan), beckoning the human family to take the Good Samaritan as the ideal in the care of all persons in critical and terminal phases of their lives. The import of this letter is understood best as seen through three prisms: (1) Fratelli tutti, the encyclical of Pope Francis signed at Assisi on October 3, 2020; (2) the Declaration on Euthanasia issued by the CDF in 1980; and (3) “the remarkable progressive development of biomedical technologies [which] has exponentially enlarged the clinical proficiency of diagnostic medicine in patient care and treatment [which] call for growth in moral discernment to avoid an unbalanced and dehumanizing use of the technologies especially in the critical or terminal stages of human life” (CDF, Declaration on Euthanasia, intro)

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