Some researchers in the field of ageing claim that significant extension of the human lifespan will be possible in the near future. While many of these researchers have assumed that the community will welcome this technology, there has been very little research on community attitudes to life extension. This paper presents the results of an in-depth qualitative study of community attitudes to life extension across age groups and religious boundaries.
The success of science and medical technology has led to medical brinkmanship, pushing aggressive treatment as far as it can go. But medicine lacks the precision necessary for such brinkmanship to succeed, and the resulting cycle of expectation and disappointment in technology has, in part, led to an increasing acceptance of euthanasia and assisted suicide, linked closely with advocacy for patient autonomy. At the opposite extreme lies medical vitalism, which refers to attempts to preserve the patient's life in and of itself without any significant hope for recovery.
This article provides an account of how AndrÈ Hellegers, founder and first Director of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University, laid medicine open to bioethics. Helleger's approach to bioethics, as to morality generally and also to medicine and biomedical science, involved taking the "wider view" -- a value-filled vision that integrated and gave meaning to what otherwise was disparate, precarious, and conflicting.
University of Toledo Law Review. University of Toledo. College of Law
This essay reviews how cloning techniques may be used for therapeutic purposes, analyzes ethical implications, and makes recommendations for public policy discourse. Although cloning may bring many potential benefits, they remain uncertain. Furthermore, human embryo research is morally problematic. Therefore, alternatives to human cloning for therapeutic aims should be sought at present. In addition to central ethical issues, public discourse should maintain an emphasis on the value of the human embryo over scientific expediency, the relativity of health, and the principle of justice.
This article discusses the unexpectedly firm stance professed by John Paul II on the provision of artificial nutrition and hydration to patients who are in a persistent vegetative state, and it implications on previously held standards of judging medical treatments. The traditional ordinary/extraordinary care distinction is assessed in light of complexities of the recent allocution as well as its impact on Catholic individuals and in Catholic health care facilities.
Establishing and maintaining institutional identity is a challenge for leaders in Catholic health care. A process known as "progressive articulation" can be used to help leaders assess how well their organizations reflect Catholic social tradition and help them apply this tradition toward specific organizational practices.
BACKGROUND: Catholic health systems represent a unique sector of nonprofit health care delivery organizations because they must be accountable to institutional pressures of the Roman Catholic Church, in addition to responsiveness to market pressures. Mission statements and values are purported to be the driving force of Catholic institutional identity. Central to the understanding of the Catholic health care delivery sector is the exploration of variation in mission and values statements across the homogeneous field of organizations.
Lisa Sowle Cahill takes up the methodological issue of how substantive religious perspectives can be communicated in a pluralistic society. Cahill sees public discourse about bioethics as embodying a commitment to dialogue among traditions, religious and nonreligious, that have common concerns.
Roman Catholic bioethics seems to be caught in a paradox. On the one hand it is committed to the natural law tradition and the power of reason to understand the structures of creation and the moral law. On the other hand there is a greater and greater appeal to Scripture and revelation. The tradition maintains that reason is capable of understanding the rational structures of reality and that ethics is properly built on metaphysics. In this way ethics, bioethics, is non-sectarian.