Bioethics and the Christian Life: A Guide to Making Difficult Decisions

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Alcorn, Randy C. Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, Beckwith, Francis. New York: Cambridge University Press, Boonin, David. A Defense of Abortion. Cambridge studies in philosophy and public policy. Burke, Theresa Karminski, and David C. Springfield, IL: Acorn Books, Phillipsburg, N. J: Presbyterian and Reformed Pub. Ekland-Olson, Sheldon. Second edition. Contemporary sociological perspectives. New York: Routledge, Forsythe, Clarke D.

Abuse of Discretion: The inside Story of Roe v. First American edition. New York: Encounter Books, Greasley, Kate. Arguments about Abortion: Personhood, Morality, and Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Greasley, Kate, and Christopher Robert Kaczor. Abortion Rights: For and Against. Janov, Arthur.

Bioethics and the Christian Life

Chicago: NTI Upstream, Kaczor, Christopher Robert. Notre Dame studies in medical ethics. Kershnar, Stephen. Abortion, Hell, and Violence against Abortion Doctors. Routledge research in applied ethics 7. Koop, C.

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Everett, and Francis A. Whatever Happened to the Human Race? Westchester, Ill: Crossway Books, Kreeft, Peter.

Christianity, Bioethics, Abortion and Euthanasia

San Francisco, Calif: Ignatius Press, Steinbock, Bonnie. Second Edition. Tooley, Michael, ed. Abortion: Three Perspectives.

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Watt, Helen. Wyatt, John. Nottingham: Inter-Varsity Press, Beville, Kieran. Cambridge, Ohio: Christian Publishing House, Birnbacher, Dieter, and Edgar Dahl, eds. An International Perspective. International library of ethics, law, and the new medicine v. Dordrecht: Springer, Cassell, Eric J. The Nature of Suffering and the Goals of Medicine.

Craddock, Fred B. Dyck, Arthur J. Ekland-Olson, Sheldon, and Elysian Aseltine. Framing 21st century social issues.

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Foley, Kathleen, and Herbert Hendin, eds. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, Humphry, Derek. New York: Delta Trade Paperback, Huxtable, Richard. Biomedical law and ethics library. Jackson, Emily, and John Keown. Debating Euthanasia. Debating Law 3. Oxford: Hart, Jeffrey, David. Keown, John. Kilner, John Frederic, Arlene B. Miller, Edmund D. There are a couple of instances where he does have a position, but some of those positions seem controversial, if not extreme.

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Five Views on Law and Gospel - eBook. By refusing aggressive treatment for her condition, Anne realizes that she faces the possibility of death in the near term. She will continue to receive morally obligatory care for her illness even though recovery for her is unlikely. Anne knows that she may not refuse any morally obligatory means of preserving her life. She knows, for example, that she may not refuse food and water as long as they provide her a benefit.

To make sound moral decisions patients must receive all relevant information about their condition, including the proposed treatment and its benefits, possible risks, side-effects, and costs Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services [ERD], National Conference of Catholic Bishops, November , They must also know of any other morally legitimate options that are available. It is the patient, in consultation with the doctor, who ultimately must decide the course of medical treatment.

Normally, the patient's judgment concerning treatment should guide others in their decisions unless it is medically unwarranted or contrary to moral norms. When patients act with free and informed consent, they may use the most advanced medical techniques even when these are experimental or involve a certain measure of risk. The patient may also interrupt such methods when they fall short of expectations of benefit, but such a decision should take into account the reasonable wishes of the patient's family and the advice of one's doctor.

The patient may also consider the expense the treatment may impose on the family and the community at large ERD, When death is imminent one may refuse forms of treatment that would only result in a precarious and burdensome prolongation of life. There is a presumption in favor of continuing to provide food and water to the patient, but there is a stage in the dying process when even these may no longer be obligatory because they provide no benefit.

Normal care always remains morally obligatory, but refusal of additional treatment when death is imminent is not equivalent to suicide. It should be seen instead as an expression of profound Christian hope in the life that is to come. An instruction not to provide such treatment, when communicated ahead of time to family and friends, may give great comfort to loved ones during emotionally stressful times. Anne is blessed to have family and friends who love and care for her and who visit often.

Not all the patients at Central Medical are as fortunate.

Bioethics is Love of Life - chapter 5

Should it happen that Anne is no longer able to make decisions on her own, there are family members and friends who are capable of making decisions on her behalf. Anne must decide, however, whether or not to designate a particular member of her family to serve as her "proxy" or "agent. Even though these documents can be written without the assistance of an attorney, some states give them considerable legal weight.

An Advance Medical Directive specifies what medical procedures the patient wishes to receive or to avoid. An Advance Medical Directive sometimes is called "A Living Will," but because of its association with the advocacy of euthanasia, we have chosen to avoid this phrase.

Christian Bioethics

Durable Power of Attorney specifies a particular individual variously called a "proxy," "agent," or "surrogate" to make medical decisions on behalf of the patient or the "principal" when the patient is no longer able to do so. When neither of these instruments is drawn up, the task of making important medical decisions usually falls to the family.

Most states have laws governing the use and implementation of the Advance Medical Directive and Durable Power of Attorney. Individuals should remember that they do not have to sign any Advance Directive given to them by the hospital. Make certain that your Advance Directive forbids any action that the Catholic faith considers to be immoral, such as euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide. A Catholic hospital, in any case, will not follow a directive that conflicts with Church teaching ERD Once a directive is made, copies should be distributed to the agent and anyone else the patient deems appropriate.

One should periodically review the provisions of an Advance Directive and, when there is a revision, all previous copies should be destroyed. The usefulness of an Advance Directive, which gives specific instructions for care, is limited because of its inflexibility. If circumstances change significantly between writing the Advance Directive and its implementation, the instructions may be of little value to those acting on a patient's behalf, or may even hinder their freedom to make good decisions.

There may also be a problem of interpreting the document when it is not clearly written. An Advance Directive oftentimes does not allow for adequate informed consent because one must make a decision about a future medical condition which cannot be known in advance. When drawing up an Advance Directive, therefore, one should focus on general goals rather than on specific medical procedures. Assigning Durable Power of Attorney is preferable to an Advance Directive because it leaves decisions in the hands of someone whom the patient has personally chosen.

A proxy agent also can be more sensitive and responsive to the decision-making that is necessary for a given case. When assigning Durable Power of Attorney one should choose an agent of good moral character—someone who is known to be capable of making sound decisions under stressful circumstances. The agent should know the teachings of the Church and possess the practical wisdom to apply them to changing circumstances. An agent, of course, must also survive the patient. One may designate alternate agents in case one's first choice, for some reason, is unable to act. A good agent makes decisions for the patient in light of what the patient would choose if able to do so.