This essay reviews the Roman Catholic moral tradition surrounding treatments at the end of life together with the challenges presented to that tradition by the Texas Advance Directives Act. The impact on Catholic health care facilities and physicians, and the way in which the moral tradition should be applied under this statute, particularly with reference to the provision dealing with conflicts over end-of-life treatments, will be critically assessed.
Ethics is no less of a science than any other. It has its roots in conflicts of interest between human beings, and in their conflicting urges to behave either selfishly or altruistically. Resolving such conflicts leads to the specification of rules of conduct, often expressed in terms of rights and duties. In the special case of professional ethics, the paramount rule of conduct is altruism in the service of a 'noble' cause, and this distinguishes true professions from other trades or occupations.
The growing need for organ and tissue transplants has led a number of states to enforce a policy that views a donor's declared intent to be an organ donor as legally binding. This allows health officials to harvest organs without the permission of the next of kin. Legally binding consent is controversial because of concerns that it may anger family members, lead to negative publicity, and discourage potential donors. We use interviews and a pooled time-series data set of cadaveric donation rates in U.S. states to evaluate the effectiveness of this policy.
OBJECT: Research suggests that there may be a growing disparity between the supply of and demand for both pediatric specialists and neurosurgeons. Whether pediatric neurosurgeons are facing such a disparity is disputable, but interest in pediatric neurosurgery (PNS) has waxed and waned as evidenced by the number of applicants for PNS fellowships. The authors undertook a survey to analyze current neurosurgical residents' perceptions of both benefits and deterrents to a pediatric neurosurgical career.