Religious discussion of human organs and tissues has concentrated largely on donation for therapeutic purposes. The retrieval and use of human tissue samples in diagnostic, research, and education contexts have, by contrast, received very little direct theological attention. Initially undertaken at the behest of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission, this essay seeks to explore the theological and religious questions embedded in nontherapeutic use of human tissue.
In addressing issues of access to health care and rationing, Jewish and Roman Catholic writers identify similar guiding values and specific concerns. Moral thinkers in each tradition tend to support the guarantee of universal access to at least a basic level of health care for all members of society, based on such values as human dignity, justice, and healing. Catholic writers are more likely to frame their arguments in terms of the common good and to be more accepting of rationing that denies beneficial and needed health care to some persons.
Skene and Parker are demonstrably mistaken in suggesting that the amicus role of Catholic bishops in three cases has been concerned with "developing" the law. In contrast with Skene and Parker's freestanding conception of legal principle, the Catholic understanding of law's rational moral foundations has permitted Catholic bishops to defend longstanding legal principle as well as defending the integrity of the church's health care and welfare services.
Business Ethics Quarterly: The Journal of the Society for Business Ethics
In this paper we highlight the emergence of organizational ethics issues in health care as an important outcome of the changing structure of health care delivery. We emphasize three core themes related to business ethics and health care ethics: integrity, responsibility, and choice. These themes are brought together in a discussion of the process of Mission Discernment as it has been developed and implemented within an integrated health care system.
The author presents an overview (completed on September 15, 2001) of three issues involved in the ethics of human embryonic stem cell therapy: the ethical implications of some of the scientific issues involved, the specific ethical issues of the moral standing of the early human embryo and the problem of cooperation, and a consideration of two public policy issues: should the research go forward, and what kind of health care system should the United States adopt. The author argues that the public policy questions are the most important agenda.
The use of terminal sedation to control the intense discomfort of dying patients appears both to be an established practice in palliative care and to run counter to the moral and legal norm that forbids health care professionals from intentionally killing patients. This raises the worry that the requirements of established palliative care are incompatible with moral and legal opposition to euthanasia. This paper explains how the doctrine of double effect can be relied on to distinguish terminal sedation from euthanasia.
Medicinska Etika a Bioetika: Casopis Ustavu Medicinskej Etiky a Bioetiky = Medical Ethics & Bioethics: Journal of the Institute of Medical Ethics & Bioethics
We are all called to make moral decisions, not only about preserving life and health, but also about accepting our death and dying. There are situations, when it is morally right, and indeed obligatory, to allow a dying person to die in peace and dignity. But there is a world of difference between allowing a peaceful death, and deliberately setting out to bring death of the person either by acts of commission (s.c. 'active euthanasia'), or by acts of omission (s.c. 'passive euthanasia').
Physicians often appear more troubled by moral dilemmas than would seem justified given the present social and professional consensus on many of the questions involved. Their discomfort arises not only at ethical, technical, and behavioral levels (the most commonly identified sources of difficulty), but also at an existential level, that is, as the manifestation of conflicts rooted in the processes and conditions of our coming-to-be as persons.
...A commercial surrogate mother is anyone who is paid money to bear a child for other people and terminate her parental rights, so that the others may raise the child as exclusively their own. The growth of commercial surrogacy has raised with new urgency a class of concerns regarding the proper scope of the market. Some critics have objected to commercial surrogacy on the ground that it improperly treats children and women's reproductive capacities as commodities. The prospect of reducing children to consumer durables and women to baby factories surely inspires revulsion.
This paper examines whether and to what extent parents are morally bound to seek reproductive genetic testing. It is concluded that, with rare exceptions, there is no requirement in parenting to seek or accept reproductive genetic testing if the only actions facilitated by such testing are abortion, selective conception or remaining childless. Commitments to other family members or to oneself can provide other, morally or prudentially compelling reasons to elect genetic testing and selective abortion in these circumstances.