Double Effect Principle

Publication Title: 
Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics

Recent developments in biogerontology--the study of the biology of ageing--suggest that it may eventually be possible to intervene in the human ageing process. This, in turn, offers the prospect of significantly postponing the onset of age-related diseases. The biogerontological project, however, has met with strong resistance, especially by deontologists. They consider the act of intervening in the ageing process impermissible on the grounds that it would (most probably) bring about an extended maximum lifespan--a state of affairs that they deem intrinsically bad.

Author(s): 
Capitaine, Laura
Devolder, Katrien
Pennings, Guido
Publication Title: 
Christian Bioethics

Disagreement over the legitimacy of direct sterilization continues within Catholic moral debate, with painful and at times confusing ramifications for Catholic healthcare systems. This paper argues that the medical profession should be construed as a key moral authority in this debate, on two grounds. First, the recent revival of neo-Aristotelianism in moral philosophy as applied to medical ethics has brought out the inherently moral dimensions of the history and current practice of medicine.

Author(s): 
Cowdin, Daniel M.
Tuohey, John F.
Publication Title: 
Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics

The use of terminal sedation to control the intense discomfort of dying patients appears both to be an established practice in palliative care and to run counter to the moral and legal norm that forbids health care professionals from intentionally killing patients. This raises the worry that the requirements of established palliative care are incompatible with moral and legal opposition to euthanasia. This paper explains how the doctrine of double effect can be relied on to distinguish terminal sedation from euthanasia.

Author(s): 
Boyle, Joseph
Publication Title: 
Medicinska Etika a Bioetika: Casopis Ustavu Medicinskej Etiky a Bioetiky = Medical Ethics & Bioethics: Journal of the Institute of Medical Ethics & Bioethics

We are all called to make moral decisions, not only about preserving life and health, but also about accepting our death and dying. There are situations, when it is morally right, and indeed obligatory, to allow a dying person to die in peace and dignity. But there is a world of difference between allowing a peaceful death, and deliberately setting out to bring death of the person either by acts of commission (s.c. 'active euthanasia'), or by acts of omission (s.c. 'passive euthanasia').

Author(s): 
Narbekovas, Andrius
Meilius, Kazimieras
Publication Title: 
The American journal of bioethics: AJOB

Combined oral contraceptives (COC) have been demonstrated to have significant benefits for the treatment and prevention of disease. These medications also are associated with untoward health effects, and they may be directly contraceptive. Prescribers and users must compare and weigh the intended beneficial health effects against foreseeable but unintended possible adverse effects in their decisions to prescribe and use. Additionally, those who intend to abide by Catholic teachings must consider prohibitions against contraception.

Author(s): 
Casey, Murray Joseph
Salzman, Todd A.
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