As a general rule, bioethical debates deal with the questions raised by scientific-technical breakthroughs in the field of research and biomedical practice. The swiftness with which these advances take place calls into question whether moral philosophy —and in particular theological ethics— can provide answers to the new questions raised, or whether it should capitulate to strategic ethics.
The American College of Pediatricians urges healthcare professionals, educators and legislators to reject all policies that condition children to accept as normal a life of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex. Facts – not ideology – determine reality.
As many as 500 scholars affirm that the Catholic Church’s teachings on the gift of sexuality, on marriage, and on contraception are true and defensible on many grounds, among them the truths of reason and revelation concerning the dignity of the human person. Scholarly support for the Church’s teachings on the gift of sexuality, on marriage, and on contraception has burgeoned in recent decades. Moreover, institutes and programs supporting that teaching have been established all over the world. Even some secular feminists and secular programs have begun to acknowledge the harms of contraception.
The Incarnation of Jesus Christ the Son of God, into the human condition has served to forever change the meaning and value of human life. His incarnation has restored upon the face of humanity, the image of God, which had been disfigured through sin. As part of the restoration of the divine image upon the human countenance, the value of each and every human being has thus been invested with inestimable worth. No longer can it be said that the human is far from God but indeed God in Jesus has joined Himself to the human being and become one like them and so has raised it to the dimension of its origins.
In the Encyclical Evangelium Vitae St John Paul II has written clearly about the Church’s teachings on the value of each and every human life. He writes that human life is specifically “holy” and “good” because “the life which God gives man is quite different from the life of all other living creatures, inasmuch as man, although formed from the dust of the earth (cf. Gen. 2:7, 3:19; Job 34:15; Ps 103:14 Ps 104; 29), is a manifestation of God in the world, a sign of His presence, a trace of His glory (cf Gen. 1:26-27; Ps 8:6) ” (n.34).
Questions related to sexuality and gender bear on some of the most intimate and personal aspects of human life. In recent years they have also vexed American politics. The New Atlantis offers this report — written by Dr. Lawrence S. Mayer, an epidemiologist trained in psychiatry, and Dr. Paul R. McHugh, arguably the most important American psychiatrist of the last half-century — in the hope of improving public understanding of these questions. Examining research from the biological, psychological, and social sciences, this report shows that some of the most frequently heard claims about sexuality and gender are not supported by scientific evidence. The report has a special focus on the higher rates of mental health problems among LGBT populations, and it questions the scientific basis of trends in the treatment of children who do not identify with their biological sex. More effort is called for to provide these people with the understanding, care, and support they need to lead healthy, flourishing lives.
Arguments in favor of research on human embryos typically play off our unfamiliarity with the way that we ourselves once appeared and existed as embryos. Humans in their tiniest stages are indeed unfamiliar to us, and they hardly look anything like “one of us.” Yet the undeniable conclusion, that every one of us was once an embryo, remains an indisputable scientific dogma, causing a “fingernails on the chalkboard” phenomenon for researchers every time they choose to experiment on embryos or destroy them for research. To enable scientists to get beyond the knowledge that they’re experimenting on or destroying fellow humans, clever stratagems and justifications have had to be devised. Among the more successful of these approaches has been the well-known “14-day rule.”
Making Sense Of Bioethics – by Father Tad Pacholczyk, Director of Education at the NCBC, is the author of a column called Making Sense of Bioethics that appears in various diocesan newspapers across the United States of America.
During the upcoming World Youth Days, the FIAMC committee for Young Doctors and Medical Students will organize a seminar entitled: “I was sick and you visited me”. The seminar will take place on Wednesday July 27th at the Collegium Novum from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, between 2 and 4 pm. The FIAMC Bioethics Committee will also be represented. In this meeting students and young professionals will reflect on the role of mercy in the lives of health professionals and will be able to exchange experiences with colleagues from around the globe. Here are the welcoming and inspiring words of Kevin J. Murrell MD.