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v2.1 Reference

Medicine, Health Care, and Ethics

Catholic Voices

From its earliest beginnings, the Catholic Church has cared for the sick and dying of the world as an extension of the healing ministry of Jesus. As a natural consequence, Catholics have regularly addressed moral issues relating to health care long before the term "bioethics" was coined. Beginning with a deeply nuanced, holistic understanding of the human person as their foundation, Catholic scholars have developed a person-centered ethic with which to approach ethical dilemmas that is understandable and defensible in the light of natural human reason, yet which is compatible with the teachings and doctrine of the Church—emphasizing the harmony of faith and reason within the Catholic moral tradition.

Medicine, Health Care, and Ethics adds to this rich tradition with a collection of contemporary essays that represent the very best efforts of current Catholic scholarship in the field of health care and medical ethics. The book begins with an introductory section that explains the basic foundations of the personalist approach to ethics and its development within Catholic thought. The remaining parts of the book address timely topics such as artificial reproduction, contraception, abortion, euthanasia, genetic engineering, stem cell research, cloning, and health care reform. Each author brings a fresh perspective and a wealth of knowledge on these issues that will benefit Catholics as well as non-Catholics. With general overviews for each section, and topic-specific bibliographies to guide further study, this volume is designed to provide a greater understanding and deeper appreciation of the Catholic perspective on health care and medicine for both newcomers and seasoned students of bioethics alike.

In today's culture of pluralism and diversity, the Catholic tradition has much wisdom to contribute to society's consideration of contemporary problems in medicine and health care. This collection of essays is offered in the spirit of open and honest dialogue for all who are seeking to understand that tradition.


John F. Morris, associate professor of philosophy at Rockhurst University, has published numerous articles on the subject of medical ethics. In addition to Morris, contributors to the volume are Benedict M. Ashley, O.P., Gregory R. Beabout, John Berkman, Clarke E. Cochran, Catherine Green, John F. Kavanaugh, S.J., William E. May, Kevin O'Rourke, O.P., Michael D. Place, Jeanne Schindler, and Brendan Sweetman.


"Morris intends his book to be used as a supplementary text for courses in bioethics and by members of hospital ethics committees. A number of the volume's features recommend it for these audiences. Each of the 5 parts of the book has an introduction that is informative, lucid, and relatively comprehensive. These introductions offer an overview of the issue or issues addressed by the essays and briefly describe each presentation. Unlike so many collections of multiauthored essays, this volume's offerings are consistent in quality and are accessible to the readers for whom they are intended. Finally, each part of the book concludes with a short but helpful bibliography for further reading or research. These qualities of the book recommend it not only for the audiences for which it is intended, but also for all educated laypersons, clergy, and health care professionals who are interested in learning more about a Catholic approach to a variety of controversial issues in bioethics. . . . In all likelihood, readers will also come away with some valuable insights and wisdom contained in the Catholic tradition and will acquire a better appreciation of the contribution of "Catholic voices" to debates in bioethics. The excellent section introductions and the high quality of each of the essays make this volume a must for anyone wishing to better understand a traditional Catholic approach to bioethics."— Ronald P. Hame

The Catholic University of America Press

9780813214832 : medicine-health-care-and-ethics-morris
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