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61. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 22 > Issue: 4
Christopher K. Bresnahan, Rev. Nicanor Austriaco

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Plastination is a relatively novel technique wherein human tissue is dehydrated and the water is replaced with a plastic-like substance. The process is valuable to educational institutions, because it preserves the body for a long period of time, allowing for prolonged anatomical study. However, a number of ethical issues have been raised regarding the process, particularly related to the procurement of human specimens and the act of displaying these bodies, even for educational purposes. This article explores both the process itself and the associated ethical pitfalls, particularly from a Catholic perspective.
62. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 22 > Issue: 4
Michele Chetham

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Ethical medical decision-making for a child is generally navigated with various standards and models that have been developed to address its complexities. A case is presented of the parents’ refusal of a surgical procedure for their child considered by medical providers as essential and potentially lifesaving, along with the ethical debate of whether the parents’ decision was in the child’s best interest and whether their refusal reached a threshold to report and seek state intervention. Utilizing the best interest standard and additional ethical decision-making tools, the ethicists helped the medical team accept the parents’ decision as reasonable, thus avoiding involvement with Child Protective Services. It is my goal to clarify the parents’ decision as reasonable and as honoring their child’s best interests and inherent dignity through the lens of Catholic anthropological and moral principles. These strengthen the ethical and moral arguments for the parents’ decision and the opposition to state intervention.

articles

63. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 22 > Issue: 4
Joseph Arias

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The moral permissibility of certain acts traditionally considered abortion has become a subject of much debate in recent years. One of the main points in this debate is the question of whether there exists a difference between “abortion as removal” and “abortion as killing.” This essay strives to present readers with an orthodox interpretation of Church documents regarding abortion, giving clear and well-supported evidence that this distinction is not found in Catholic teaching
64. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 22 > Issue: 4
John Skalko

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In a 2019 article and a 2022 article published in this journal, Melissa Moschella argues that new natural law (NNL) sexual ethics is sound and that old natural law sexual ethics fails. In her view, all non-reproductive type sexual acts are morally wrong because they are both contrary to the basic good of marriage and involve degrading the body as a mere instrument for pleasure. She also critiques the perverted faculty argument (PFA) as found within the work of Edward Feser as unsound. Here I argue that a proper understanding of the PFA as found within the writings of Thomas Aquinas easily avoids her objections and that the argument of Thomas has a distinct advantage over the pleasure argument insofar as it can ground the badness of such actions universally
65. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 22 > Issue: 4
Alan Vincelette

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An ongoing debate in Catholic bioethical circles today centers around the liceity of inducing labor in a woman with a healthy previable fetus in order to save her life. Many Catholic bioethicists have defended the view that such inductions are morally licit even though the fetus itself has no medical issues and it is the combination of the pregnancy along with a weakened heart of the mother that is causing problems. Typically the basis for this view is the procedure’s satisfaction of the four criteria of the principle of double effect, namely: the act itself is not evil, the evil effect is not intended, the evil effect is not produced by means of the good effect, and there is proportionate reason for the procedure. A few Catholic bioethicists have worried that the procedure does not satisfy the fourth criterion, the principle of proportionate reason. Here I present arguments showing that it is also unlikely to satisfy the first criterion, that the act itself is not evil. This hinges on the principle that it is only permissible to perform acts from which evil effects follow necessarily when such acts only directly target a pathology. Fortunately such vital conflict cases are rare and hopefully medical advances will eliminate them.

verbatim

66. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 22 > Issue: 4

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67. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 22 > Issue: 4
Pope Francis

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notes & abstracts

68. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 22 > Issue: 4
Kevin Wilger

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69. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 22 > Issue: 4
John S. Sullivan

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70. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 22 > Issue: 4
Christopher Kaczor

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book reviews

71. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 22 > Issue: 4
Colten Maertens-Pizzo

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72. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 22 > Issue: 4
Bridget Bagileo Smith

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73. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 22 > Issue: 4
Brian Welter

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74. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 22 > Issue: 4

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75. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 22 > Issue: 3
Edward J. Furton

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76. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 22 > Issue: 3
David Hershenov

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77. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 22 > Issue: 3
William L. Saunders

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essays

78. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 22 > Issue: 3
Michael Arthur Vacca

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Embryo adoption is a topic of considerable debate in the Church. Well over a million human embryos are currently being kept in cryogenic containers with little prospect of survival. The desire to rescue these vulnerable human beings is natural. However, the processes required to do so raise serious questions regarding the ethics of embryo adoptions. The violation of the unitive and procreative aspects of human intercourse and its ramifications on the moral status of heterologous embryo transfer are key to understanding the reasoning behind some objections to human embryo adoption.
79. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 22 > Issue: 3
Timothy Hsiao

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Conscience is widely misunderstood. For many, conscientious objection, both religious and nonreligious, is regarded as nothing more than a convenient excuse to get around the rules. This essay provides an argument for respecting conscience. It shows how the conscience is an integral part of responsible decision-making and must be recognized and protected and ends with an application of the right of conscience to recent debates over mandatory COVID-19 vaccination. The goal of this essay is to show why there is a strong case for taking conscience seriously in ethics and public policy.
80. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 22 > Issue: 3
Christopher Bobier

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I argue that proponents of heterologous embryo transfer are faced with the practical decision of whether would-be parents should adopt a prenatal child or a postnatal child (e.g., a child from the foster system). I argue that, all things considered, there is a good reason to favor postnatal adoption in every case in which a postnatal child is available for adoption. Since, unfortunately, there will always be postnatal children to adopt, there is little practical impetus for prenatal adoption.