Moral injury represents an emerging clinical construct recognized as a source of morbidity in current and former military personnel. Finding effective ways to support those affected by moral injury remains a challenge for both biomedical and complementary and alternative medicine. This paper introduces the concept of moral injury and suggests two complementary and alternative medicine, pastoral care and mindfulness, which may prove useful in supporting military personnel thought to be dealing with moral injury.
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.
Epigenetics has the potential to revolutionize diagnosis and treatment in psychiatry, especially child psychiatry, as it may offer the opportunity for early detection and prevention, as well as development of new treatments. As with the previous introduction of genetic research in psychiatry, there is also the problem of unrealistic expectations and new legal and ethical problems. This article reviews the potential contributions and problems of epigenetic research in child psychiatry. Previous legal and ethical issues in genetic research serve as a guide to those in epigenetic research.
The success of science and medical technology has led to medical brinkmanship, pushing aggressive treatment as far as it can go. But medicine lacks the precision necessary for such brinkmanship to succeed, and the resulting cycle of expectation and disappointment in technology has, in part, led to an increasing acceptance of euthanasia and assisted suicide, linked closely with advocacy for patient autonomy. At the opposite extreme lies medical vitalism, which refers to attempts to preserve the patient's life in and of itself without any significant hope for recovery.
This study analyzes the involvement of men in abortion in Vietnam, where induced abortion is legal and abortion rates are among the highest in the world. Twenty men were interviewed in 1996 about the role they played in their wives' abortions and about their feelings and ethical views concerning the procedure. The results showed that both husbands and wives considered the husband to be the main decisionmaker regarding family size, which included the decision to have an abortion, but that, in fact, some women had undergone an abortion without consulting their husbands in advance.
The year 1996 witnessed the cloning of the lamb Dolly, based on the revolutionary somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) technique, developed by researchers from the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, Scotland. This fact marked a relevant biotechnoscientific innovation, with probable significant consequences in the field of public health, since in principle it allows for expanding possibilities for the reproductive autonomy of infertile couples and carriers of diseases of mitochondrial origin.
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.
The Roman Catholic Church is the single largest denomination in the United States and the one with the most extensive provider stake in health (and related social service) care. As a follow-up to an earlier analysis of the Catholic role in the thwarted health care reform effort of 1993-94, this article looks at the revival of interest in reform and at the rationale behind and strategy of the Catholic Church's current agenda-setting initiative.
Skene and Parker are demonstrably mistaken in suggesting that the amicus role of Catholic bishops in three cases has been concerned with "developing" the law. In contrast with Skene and Parker's freestanding conception of legal principle, the Catholic understanding of law's rational moral foundations has permitted Catholic bishops to defend longstanding legal principle as well as defending the integrity of the church's health care and welfare services.
We often speak of health care as a social good. What kind of good it is--and what justice requires of us in making it available to the members of society--depends on how society understands it. Yet the value of health care may be understood in many different ways within society.