Tag: religion

Blog Posts (15)

October 13, 2014

Belief In Ultimate Truth: Does it make for peaceful living?

<p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;"><span style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;">As I have been saying in recent blogs, most of what we do in clinical ethics, but also in most areas of bioethics, is procedural ethics. That is when we are faced with an ethical dilemma, our approach, whether consciously or unconsciously is usually to try to reach a reasonable compromise or consensus among the key participants that are in conflict consistent with well-established values and principles. This tendency reflects an obvious reality about the nature of contemporary ethics that we often ignore: in the current Western moral setting, our only viable methodology for resolving value laden disputes, whether at the micro level in clinical ethics or macro level in healthcare policy, is to attempt to craft an agreement or consensus among those with a say. Whether we are dealing with patients and families at odds with their physician on how to define the goals of care in the hospital setting or trying to build a consensus of opinion among voters in the political arena, we assume there are no final, authoritative moral answers that avail themselves to us. Whether we like it or not, we humans must figure out ethical dilemmas for ourselves and learn to get along.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;"><span style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;">Yet the idea of procedural ethics remains very worrisome for many people, including such bioethicists and Tristram Engelhardt, Jr. He believes that procedural ethics, such much of what we do in clinical ethics, is not really ethics in because it is based on convention and legalistic type standards. For him ethics worthy of the name must flow from a content-rich, canonical moral tradition that provides moral authority to our everyday ethical and moral judgments. The prototype ethical tradition was the medieval Christian Natural Law perspective grounded in Aristotelian philosophy. Aristotle assumed the inherent order and intelligibility of the cosmos, which also permeated his understanding of ethics. Humans, like all natural things, had a natural function, which was to be rational. But rational did not mean to that ethics was about finding intellectual or theoretical basis for right action according to rational rules in order to know and perform one’s duty—this was Kant’s (1724-1804) ethics during the 18</span><sup style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;">th</sup><span style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;"> century following the rise of modern science. For Aristotle, the question was, how can one live and embody the good life; so rationality in this sense meant internal harmony between emotions and decision-making that resulted in well-established habits or states of character. This means finding in all of one’s activities the balance between excess and deficiency, or what he called the “mean”. Over time, forming the right habits according to the mean in all areas of life lead to excellence and happiness or what he called the good life. This was the natural fulfillment of the human function in practical terms consistent with the ancient Aristotelian.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;"><strong style="color: #34405b; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 19.0400009155273px;">The Alden March Bioethics Institute offers a Master of Science in Bioethics, a Doctorate of Professional Studies in Bioethics, and Graduate Certificates in Clinical Ethics and Clinical Ethics Consultation. For more information on AMBI's online graduate programs, please visit our <a style="color: #000099; text-decoration: underline;" href="/Academic/bioethics/index.cfm">website</a></strong></p>
May 20, 2014

What we are forgetting in the case of Jahi McMath: Culture and its impact on medical decision-making

by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

Like many others, I followed the very unfortunate case of Jahi McMath. McMath is a 13 year-old black child who went into cardiac arrest and suffered irreparable brain damage after undergoing a tonsillectomy to relieve sleep apnea.…

February 18, 2014

Freedom for the corporation, religious servitude for the individual

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Many women in this country gained insurance coverage for their contraceptive costs under the controversial Affordable Care Act (ACA).…

July 19, 2013

Dangerous Catholic Attack on POLST

Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD PhD

The Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) program is proving to be a highly effective mechanism for assuring that the life-sustaining treatment seriously ill patients want is the same treatment those patients get. …

April 27, 2012

BS claims by Chopra, nothing new, but I’m compelled to reply

Deepak Chopra has moved into the domain of the brain… and it should come as no surprise that what he claims is not only laughably erroneous, but also deeply misleading and ignoring the vast amounts of data for the view he so eagerly wants to discard. Why do I even bother? Because I care! I […]
April 3, 2012

In Memoriam: Fr. Kevin O'Rourke

From the Loyola University Chicago Neiswanger website:

Kevin O’Rourke, O.P., J.C.D., S.T.M., Dominican priest, canon lawyer, and health care ethicist died on Wednesday.  …

March 25, 2011

Religious Belief Makes You Fat?

According to a story in the L.A. Times Booster Shots blog, it would appear that religious belief is strongly correlated with packing on the pounds.…

October 27, 2010

On Pro-Life Bioethicists

Rarely do I ever find myself reading USCatholic.org, but in this particular case, I could not help but be drawn in the train wreck of bad argumentation put forth by “Guest Blogger Father Joseph Tham, L.C., M.D., Ph.D.” in his post “Pro-life academics means pro-life ideas“.…

November 6, 2009

The November Issue of AJOB Is Now Online!

With H1N1 and flu vaccines on everyone’s minds, the November issue of The American Journal of Bioethics couldn’t be more timely.…

December 15, 2008

Who Cares if the Vatican Weighs in on Bioethics?

No one. At least that’s my view. Certainly not American Catholics who use birth control, IVF, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, and a wide range of other reproductive technologies previously and even more so now get a Holy finger wagging from Rome.…

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Published Articles (10)

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 10 Issue 3 - Mar 2010

The Secret of Caring for Mr. Golubchuk

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 10 Issue 3 - Mar 2010

The Case of Samuel Golubchuk and the Right to Live

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 9 Issue 11 - Nov 2009

A Jewish Response to the Vatican's New Bioethical Guidelines

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 9 Issue 11 - Nov 2009

Assessing Social Risks Prior to the Commencement of a Clinical Trial

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 8 Issue 10 - Oct 2008

The Ethical Elephant in the Death Penalty Room

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 8 Issue 11 - Nov 2008

Review of David Novak, The Sanctity of Human Life

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 8 Issue 10 - Oct 2008

Review of Ronald Cole-Turner, ed., Design and Destiny: Jewish and Christian Perspectives on Human Germline Modification

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 8 Issue 10 - Oct 2008

Response to Open Peer Commentaries on The Ethical Elephant in the Death Penalty Room

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 8 Issue 7 - Jul 2008

Review of Daniel P. Sulmasy, The Rebirth of the Clinic: An Introduction to Spirituality in Healthcare.

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 7 Issue 12 - Dec 2007

Clash of Definitions: Controversies About Conscience in Medicine

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News (4)

September 20, 2012 8:38 pm

Can Female Genital Mutilation Be Surgically Undone? (Time)

As a young child Aïssa could not understand how she could conjure up such horrific images. No one had ever explained to Aïssa what her parents had allowed to take place. “All I could remember was being in a bath full of blood,” she says grimacing. “I thought I had made it all up in my head”. Like millions of women all over the world, Aïssa was a victim of female genital mutilation (FGM) – her clitoris was cut off, and her labia sewn up, all before she could even talk.

August 14, 2012 7:47 pm

End-of-Life Care for Kids Raises Ethics Issues (MedPage Today)

Healthcare providers should have rapid access to legal remedies for end-of-life disputes involving children whose parents resist withdrawal of aggressive therapy on the basis of religious beliefs, authors of a review concluded.  Over a 3-year period, 17 of 203 cases could not be resolved after lengthy discussions with parents. Subsequently, most of the cases were resolved, but five remained undecided, each because of the parents’ belief in a miracle for their children, according to an article published online in the Journal of Medical Ethics.

August 14, 2012 7:45 pm

Deeply Religious Parents Often Reluctant to Cease Medical Care (ABC News)

Arthur Caplan, the head of the division of medical ethics at NYU Langone Medical Center, recalls a case of a man who had beaten his six-month-old child to death. It was a horror the mother simply could not accept.  A deeply religious woman, she pushed the doctors to do more, telling them that God would intervene and allow her daughter to make a miraculous recovery. For several hours there was a tense standoff between caregivers and parent.

July 26, 2012 4:20 pm

Circumcision for Non-Medical Reasons Is Wrong (Spiegel Online)

As the debate over the medical ethics of circumcision rages in Germany, some have argued that the practice provides health benefits. But many in the medical community disagree. Circumcision is not in the best interest of boys who undergo the procedure.