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Contemporary Catholic Health Care Ethics, Second Edition.

Contemporary Catholic Health Care Ethics, Second Edition

David E Kelly, Gerard Magill and Henk Ten Have (Georgetown University Press, 2013, pp. 377)

Contemporary Catholic Health Care Ethics is a pleasant surprise. The title leads one to expect a laundry list of prohibitions, such as the bishops usually offer when discussing reproductive health. This book, however, provides a mixture of medical and religious wisdom that helps explain how and why the Catholic healthcare establishment arrives at its conclusions. For example, in the overview on contraception and Humanae Vitae, the authors begin with Augustine, whose theology they recognize is largely discounted on sexuality, but his misgivings on contraception still stand. "This leaves a conclusion in search of a reason," they write, and then follow the evolution of the church's teaching on contraception along with its nuances, like natural family planning, emergency contraception after rape, as well as the nuns who have been allowed to take birth control when they are in danger of being raped. This complexity makes it difficult for the authors to rely upon the traditional objection to birth control: i.e., that its intrinsic evil lies in the separation of the sexual act from its intended end in procreation.

From genetics to sterilization to new reproductive technologies, the authors present both theological and medical sources to support their arguments.
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Title Annotation:Bookshelf
Publication:Conscience
Date:Sep 22, 2013
Words:220
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