Contemporary Issues in Bioethics: A Catholic Perspective applies the best of the Roman Catholic theological and ethical tradition to some of the most controversial and complex bioethical topics that confront contemporary society. Authors James Walter and Thomas Shannon offer a fresh analysis from the Catholic tradition and show how a specifically Catholic perspective might inform public discussion on these issues. In an age where it is claimed that religion should not be part of ethical discussion on bioethical issues, this book takes a decidedly different tack and shows that the Catholic tradition has something very important to offer. Contemporary Issues in Bioethics combines clear, concise and accessible prose with teachable case studies on such issues as reproductive cloning, quality of life and clinical decision making, and the withdrawal of artificial nutrition and hydration. Divided into four sections—theological issues, issues at the beginning of life, issues with genetic medicine and the care of ill patients, and issues at the end of life— this book is ideal for use in college, university, and seminary courses on bioethics, as well as for medical professionals, policy makers, and individual readers.
Walter and Shannon have the long experience, sure judgment, ample wisdom and deft style to carry off this creative revitalization of the Catholic bioethical heritage. They will both enlighten scholars and educate newcomers to important debates about new technologies and the state of health care today. The authors make it clear how rich are the resources Catholicism brings to urgent dilemmas in medicine and policy that should be of concern to everyone.
Two giants in contemporary bioethics provide a lucid and breathtaking analysis of how the Catholic moral tradition can shape and inform the most neuralgic issues in health care. This work offers a very practical and user-friendly study for students and scholars in the academy, for clinicians and other professionals in health care, as well as for patients and families struggling with Catholic teaching about controversies in bioethics. The authors display a profound respect for the Catholic moral tradition to enhance its influence in the high-tech culture of health care today.
Maura A. Ryan
Thorough, nuanced and challenging, this new work by Walter and Shannon is a welcome addition to the resources for the teaching and practice of Catholic bioethics. Nicely balanced between theoretical and “practical” considerations, Contemporary Issues in Bioethics captures the diversity of Catholic perspectives on life and death issues while showing us exactly what is lost when religious voices are missing or distorted in our public debates.
James J. Walter is the Austin & Ann O'Malley Professor of Bioethics and Chair of The Bioethics Institute at Loyola Marymount University. He is co-author (with Thomas Shannon) of The New Genetic Medicine: Theological and Ethical Reflections. Thomas A. Shannon is Professor of Religion and Social Ethics at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, MA. He is the editor of Rowman & Littlefield's Readings in Bioethics series.
Chapter 1 Introduction Part 2 Part One: Theological Issues Chapter 3 Religion and Bioethics: A Value Added Discussion Chapter 4 Playing God or Playing Human Chapter 5 Horizon Analysis and Moral Stance: An Interpretation of Cardinal Bernardin's "Consistent Ethic of Life" Chapter 6 The Communitarian Perspective: Autonomy and the Common Good Part 7 Part Two: Issues at the Beginning of Life Chapter 8 Reflections on the Moral Status of the Pre-embryo (with Allan B. Wolter, OFM) Chapter 9 A Catholic Reflection on Embryonic Stem Cell Research Chapter 10 Cloning, Uniqueness and Individuality Chapter 11 Reproductive Technologies: Ethical and Religious Issues Chapter 12 Theological Parameters: Catholic Doctrine on Abortion in a Pluralist Society Part 13 Part Three: Issues Concerned with Genetic Medicine and the Care of Ill Patients Chapter 14 Perspectives on Medical Ethics: Biotechnology and Genetic Medicine Chapter 15 Theological Perspectives on Cancer Genetics and Gene Therapy: The Roman Catholic Tradition Chapter 16 The Meaning and Validity of Quality of Life Judgments in Contemporary Roman Catholic Medical Ethics Part 17 Part Four: Issues at the End of Life Chapter 18 Terminal Sedation: A Catholic Perspective Chapter 19 The PVS Patient and the Forgoing/Withdrawing of Medical Nutrition and Hydration Chapter 20 Artificial Nutrition & Hydration: Assessing Papal Statement Chapter 21 Implications of the Papal Allocution on Feeding Tubes Chapter 22 Assisted Nutrition & Hydration and the Catholic Tradition: The Case of Terri Schiavo