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Health Care Ethics is a comprehensive study of significant issues affecting health care and the ethics of health care from the perspective of Catholic theology. It aims to help Christian, and especially Catholic, health care professionals solve concrete problems in terms of principles rooted in scripture and tested by individual experience; however, its basis in real medical experience makes this book a valuable resource for anyone with a general interest in health care ethics.
This fifth edition, which includes important contributions by Jean deBlois, C.S.J., considers everyday ethical questions and dilemmas in clinical care and deals more deeply with issues of women's health, mental health, sexual orientation, artificial reproduction, and the new social issues in health care. The authors devote special attention to the various ethical theories currently in use in the United States while clearly presenting a method of ethical decision making based in the Catholic tradition. They discuss the needs of the human person, outlining what it means to be human, both as an individual and as part of a community.
This volume has been significantly updated to include new discussions of recent clinical innovations and theoretical issues that have arisen in the field:
• the Human Genome Project• efforts to control sexual selection of infants• efforts to genetically modify the human genotype and phenotype• the development of palliative care as a medical specialty• the acceptance of non-heart beating persons as organ donors• embryo development and stem cell research• reconstructive and cosmetic surgery• nutrition and obesity• medical mistakes• the negative effects of managed care on the patient-physician relationship• recent papal allocution regarding care of patients in a persistent vegetative state and palliative care for dying patients
List of Abbreviations Used in the Text and in Citations
Part I: Health Care Ethics and Human Needs
1. Bioethics in a Multicultural AgeOverviewThe Emergence of Secular BioethicsThe Foundations of the Ethics of Health CareCurrent Methodologies in BioethicsFaith and Reason in Health Care EthicsConclusion
2. Ethics and Needs of the Common Person OverviewAn Ethics Based on Innate Human NeedsJesus Christ, Healer, as Ethical ModelCharacter and the Major Moral VirtuesPrudent Decision MakingMoral Norms Especially Relevant to Health CareConclusion
Part II: Clinical Issues
3. Sexuality and ReproductionOverviewThe Meaning of Human SexualityWhen Does Human Life Begin?Ethical Issues in ReproductionPastoral Approach to Ethical Problems Arising from SexualityConclusion
4. Reconstructing and Modifying the Human Body: Ethical PerspectivesOverviewModifying the Human BodyGenetic InterventionGenetic Screening and CounselingOrgan TransplantationReconstructive and Cosmetic SurgeryExperimentation and Research on Human SubjectsConclusion
5. Mental Health: Ethical Perspective OverviewWhat is Mental Health?Medical/Surgical TherapiesPsychotherapiesThe Christian Model of Mental HealthEthical Problems in Mental TherapyAddictionConclusion
6.Suffering and Death: A Theological Perspective OverviewMystery of DeathFear of DeathDefining DeathTruth Telling to the DyingCare for the Corpse or CadaverSuicide, Assisted Suicide, and EuthanasiaAllowing to Die: Withholding or Withdrawing Life SupportCare of Permanently Unconscious PatientsTreatment of PainConclusion
Part III: Social and Pastoral Responsibilities7. Social Responsibility OverviewProfessions: Depersonalizing TrendsCharacteristics of Medicine as a ProfessionHealth Care CounselingProfessional Communication and ConfidentialityThe Political Situation of Health Care TodayPrinciples of Health Care PolicyHealth Care Ethics and Public PolicyResponsibilities of Catholic Health Care FacilitiesConclusion
8. Pastoral Care OverviewThe Goals of Pastoral MinistryPastoral Care of the Health Care StaffPastoral Care and Ethical CounselingSpiritual Counseling in Health CareCelebrating the Healing ProcessConclusion