Life Issues, Medical Choices: Questions and Answers for Catholics

Life Issues, Medical Choices: Questions and Answers for Catholics

Paperback(Second Edition, New Edition, Revised and Expanded)

$17.59 $17.99 Save 2% Current price is $17.59, Original price is $17.99. You Save 2%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Eligible for FREE SHIPPING
  • Want it by Wednesday, October 17?   Order by 12:00 PM Eastern and choose Expedited Shipping at checkout.


Life Issues, Medical Choices: Questions and Answers for Catholics by Janet E. Smith, Christopher Kaczor

Complex Issues. Thoughtful Answers.
When is it right to remove a feeding tube from a patient?
Are health care workers entitled to conscience protections? 
Should contraceptives be used for medical purposes?
Is medical marijuana ever OK?
Medical and technological advances have left millions of Catholics grappling with tough issues—dilemmas that will only multiply as technology and medicine continue to develop at an ever-faster pace. In this updated and expanded edition of Life Issues, Medical Choices, two noted bioethicists explore fundamental principles of Catholic thought—in accessible, easy-to-understand language—to help you make decisions about complex medical and life issues.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781616369378
Publisher: Franciscan Media
Publication date: 05/06/2016
Edition description: Second Edition, New Edition, Revised and Expanded
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 503,236
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

JANET E. SMITH is the Father Michael J. McGivney Chair of Life Ethics at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. She wrote Humanae Vitae: A Generation Later and Why Humanae Vitae Was Right: A Reader. She speaks nationally and internationally on the church’s teaching on sexuality and on bioethics. Over one million copies of her talk “Contraception: Why Not” have been distributed. DR.

CHRISTOPHER KACZOR holds a PH.D. from the University of Notre Dame, studied as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Cologne in Germany, and is the Robert H. Taylor Chair in Philosophy at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He wrote Proportionalism and the Natural Law Tradition, The Edge of Life: Human Dignity and Contemporary Bioethics and How to Stay Catholic in College.

Table of Contents

Preface xv

Introduction xvii

Chapter 1 Fundamentals 1

Question 1 How would one argue, from a philosophical point of view, that human life has intrinsic value? 1

Question 2 "Why do Catholics value human life so highly? 4

Question 3 What is the meaning of suffering from a Christian perspective? 8

Question 4 What does it mean to say that Catholics must follow their consciences? 14

Question 5 Are Catholics always obliged to follow Church teaching? 16

Question 6 If a Catholic in ignorance of Church teaching does something contrary to that teaching, such as using in vitro fertilization, does he or she sin? 19

Question 7 What kinds of actions are intrinsically evil? 22

Question 8 What does it mean to say that an action is a matter of "prudential judgment"? 23

Question 9 What is the principle of double effect? 24

Chapter 2 Beginning-of-Life Issues 29

Question 10 Why is abortion wrong? 29

Question 11 Defenders of abortion sometimes claim that abortion is safer than childbirth. Does this justify abortion? 34

Question 12 Since an early embryo can split into twins, is an embryo really an individual? Before the brain develops, is an embryo really rational? 37

Question 13 Since an embryo cannot experience pain until several weeks into the pregnancy, would abortion be moral before that time? 39

Question 14 Would abortion to relieve the mental distress of a pregnant woman be moral? 41

Question 15 Is it moral to have an abortion if the unborn child is handicapped? 42

Question 16 Is it immoral to use "excess" embryos for research? 43

Question 17 Which ways of treating ectopic pregnancies are moral? 47

Question 18 Is it ever morally permissible to induce labor prematurely? 49

Chapter 3 Reproductive Technologies 53

Question 19 Which reproductive technologies are moral? 53

Question 20 Do children have a right to know their biological parents? 56

Question 21 Is cloning wrong? 59

Question 22 Is it moral to have a baby in order to provide for the medical needs of an already existing child? 60

Question 23 Is it morally permissible to "adopt" a frozen embryo? 61

Question 24 Is it moral to attempt to have a child when genetic factors make it likely that the child may be mentally or physically handicapped? 63

Question 25 Is it moral to try to select the sex of one's baby? 64

Question 26 Are ovarian transplants morally permissible? 65

Chapter 4 Contraception, Sterilization, and Natural Family Planning 67

Question 27 Why does the Church teach that contraception is intrinsically immoral? 67

Question 28 Isn't Natural Family Planning just another form of contraception? 71

Question 29 If contraception is intrinsically evil, why does the Church permit women to take contraceptives for medical purposes? 74

Question 30 Is it moral for spouses to use a condom if one of them has the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)? 76

Question 31 Is it morally permissible to have sex with a contracepting spouse? 78

Question 32 Is it moral to use contraceptives as post-rape treatment? 79

Question 33 Should parents have their daughters receive the vaccine for the human papillomavirus (HPV)? 80

Question 34 Would it be moral to put a mentally handicapped woman on a contraceptive or have her sterilized if she is at risk of being sexually abused? 81

Question 35 Is it morally permissible for a woman to be sterilized if her uterus is so damaged that she could not get through a pregnancy safely? 82

Question 36 Are couples who have been sterilized morally obliged to get a reversal? 83

Question 37 Are mothers morally obliged to breastfeed? 85

Chapter 5 End-of-Life Issues 89

Question 38 What is euthanasia? 89

Question 39 Is there an ethical difference between active euthanasia (intending the death of the patient by some act) and passive euthanasia (intending the death of the patient by some omission)? 90

Question 40 Is it always wrong to let someone die? 91

Question 41 Is life always a good, even when it involves great suffering? 92

Question 42 What is the Christian view of the relationship of the soul to the body, and how does it influence the moral evaluation of end-of-life treatments? 94

Question 43 What is the difference between ordinary means and extraordinary means of preserving life? 97

Question 44 Should food and water be provided for patients in a persistent vegetative state? 100

Question 45 How should one respond to the request "Will you help me die?" 102

Question 46 Are advance directives helpful? 105

Question 47 Why does the determination of death matter? 106

Question 48 What is "brain death"? Does the Church approve of using neurological criteria to determine death? 106

Question 49 What is the "non-heart-beating donor" procedure for obtaining organs? Is it morally acceptable? 111

Question 50 Do hospital futility policies accord with Catholic morality? 112

Question 51 What is the sacrament of the sick? When should Catholics have recourse to it? 114

Chapter 6 Cooperation with Evil 117

Question 52 Sometimes health-care professionals are asked to perform actions that may make them guilty of cooperating with the evil actions of others, such as assisting in abortion. How do these workers know when they must refuse to do certain things? 117

Question 53 Is it moral for a Catholic pharmacist to fill prescriptions for contraceptives? Is it moral for a Catholic nurse to give Depo-Provera shots? 119

Question 54 What is scandal? In the practice of medicine, what kind of behavior causes scandal? 121

Question 55 Is it moral to use vaccines that have been produced from aborted fetuses? 124

Question 56 Is it morally acceptable to separate conjoined twins? 126

Question 57 Is it moral to have a healthy breast removed because of a genetic propensity to breast cancer? 128

Question 58 What if a patient cannot be persuaded to do what is morally correct? 129

Question 59 Does a physician need to respect the decision of a Jehovah's Witness to refuse a blood transfusion? 132

Question 60 What steps should a Catholic working at a Catholic hospital take in the face of evidence that the hospital or those working there are engaging in practices recognized by the Church as incompatible with true human dignity? 135

Question 61 Is it moral for Catholic employers to cooperate with the HHS Mandate, requiring them to pay for health-care insurance plans that provide free contraception for all employees? 137

Question 62 Should the law protect health-care workers who conscientiously object to abortion or contraception? 142

Chapter 7 Respect for the Body 147

Question 63 Why are organ transplants moral? 147

Question 64 Is sex-change surgery ethically permissible? 149

Question 65 Is it wrong to get a tattoo? 151

Question 66 Do parents have a right to refuse vaccines for their children if they believe the vaccines cause harm, such as autism? 152

Question 67 Is circumcision moral? 154

Chapter 8 The Ten Commandments for Health-Care Professionals and Patients 157

Helpful Resources 167

Notes 173

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Life Issues, Medical Choices: Questions and Answers for Catholics 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Habakkuk More than 1 year ago
Clear and accurate articulation of the objective and rational basis for the Catholic teaching on medical ethics