On Conscience. Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

onconscienceBefore he ascended the Chair of St. Peter, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, a man of unparalleled theological understanding with a natural genius for teaching. Co-published by The National Catholic Bioethics Center and Ignatius Press, On Conscience combines two lengthy essays written by Cardinal Ratzinger and originally delivered as speeches while he presided as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Both speeches were presented at workshops hosted by The National Catholic Bioethics Center in Dallas, Texas. They explore the vital importance of conscience and its exercise in particular circumstances.

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For more information on this title, call the NCBC at 1-215-877-2660 (USA)

The Ethics of Pregnancy, Abortion and Childbirth

Screen_Shot_2016-02-25_at_21.42.06The Ascomb Bioethics Center (UK) has announced the publication of The Ethics of Pregnancy, Abortion and Childbirth: Exploring Moral Choices in Childbearing by Dr Helen Watt, Senior Research Fellow at the center. This book addresses the unique moral questions raised by pregnancy and its intimate bodily nature. From assisted reproduction to abortion and ‘vital conflict’ resolution to more everyday concerns of the pregnant woman, the book argues for pregnancy as a close human relationship with the woman as guardian or custodian. If the status of the fetus is conclusive for at least some moral questions raised by pregnancy, so too are facts about its bodily relationship with, and presence in, the woman who supports it. The pregnant woman is not a mere ‘neighbor’ or helpful stranger to the fetus but is rather already in a real familial relationship bringing real familial rights and obligations. 

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Bioethics Across the Lifespan

CoorsCover_400dpi_4CthumbnailThe purpose of the National Catholic Bioethics Center (USA) is to help health care providers and their patients navigate complex medical issues through informed decisions based on the fullness of Catholic doctrine. Their newest publication, Bioethics across the Life Span, edited by Marilyn E. Coors, was created specifically for the reader who is not a specialist. The 174-page volume serves as a rapid-fire overview of the field of modern bioethics, especially as bioethical issues touch on daily life. The Archbishop of Philadelphia, Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap., calls it a “volume that will be of tremendous assistance to those who study Catholic bioethics.” Each chapter highlights a particular and practical issue, surveying a wide range of topics, including stem cell research, organ donation, and the ethical use of vaccines.

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Catholic Health Care Ethics: A Manual for Practitioners

ECM_CoverThis landmark publication is in its second edition has been completely revised and updated to reflect recent developments in magisterial teaching and scientific research. More than thirty authors, who are experts in their fields, examine moral action theory, key ethical principles, ethics committees, the embryo and fetus, contraception, reproductive technologies, difficult pregnancies, rape protocols, the determination of death, palliative care, nutrition and hydration, the persistent vegetative state, do-not-resuscitate orders, health care proxies, organ donation, vaccination refusals, genetic medicine, human experimentation, religious freedom, triage, cooperation with evil, state mandates, organizational ethics, and other topics. Catholic Health Care Ethics is an ideal resource for classroom use in colleges and universities, as well as in nursing schools and by ethics committees in hospitals and other health care facilities.

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Bioethics and natural law: an interview with John Keown

Ethics049webIVBioethics discourse is often divided into two broad categories: utilitarian perspectives and so-called deontological or Kantian approaches to ethics. An alternative viewpoint that receives far less attention is a natural law perspective on ethics and medicine. The natural law approach emphasizes interests or ends common to all members of humanity, and offers a teleological account of morality and human flourishing.

Professor John Keown of Georgetown University’s Kennedy Institute for Ethics recently co-authored a book on natural law with the late Georgetown Professor Alfonso Gómez-Lobo. The book is entitled Bioethics and the Human Goods: An Introduction to Natural Law Bioethics. The Deputy Editor of BioEdge, Xavier Symons, interviewed Professor Keown about his latest work. 

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The Heart and the Abyss: Preventing Abortion

imageAt the heart of the abortion debate is a seemingly simple proposition: given the basic biology that the fertilised human egg is scientifically speaking a living human being the orthodox Catholic understanding that the ethical rule against killing should apply before as well as after birth seems self-evident. Understandably, however, the abortion debate in practice becomes far more complex. Legalising abortion has implications far beyond the unborn baby: for the mother who have to face the agonising choice of whether or not to terminate the life of her developing baby, for the father who may have no legal role in the decision but whose influence, for good or ill, is hard to ignore, for doctors who face pressure to collaborate in the taking of life itself and for a society which increasingly sees abortion as a necessary consequence of the desire to separate the sexual act from reproduction.

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Theology of the Body – Catechesis Online

Arazzo-beatificazione-foto-definitiva7The “Theology of the Body” is St. John Paul II’s integrated vision of the human person, love, sex and marriage, as presented during the 129 Wednesday audiences, delivered between 1979 and 1984. According to George Weigel, the papal biographer and author of Witness to Hope, “the Theology of the Body is a theological time-bomb set to go off with dramatic consequences…”. You can find the texts of the audiences here below.

For the translation in English of the Theology of the Body by Michael Waldstein: click here. Pour la traduction d’Yves Semen de la Theologie du Corps en Français: cliquez ici

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